SOW: Olivia Moran October 20, 2008
GJHS senior always busy helping others
Olivia Moran’s contributions to Grand Junction will be felt long after the Grand Junction High School senior has left for college.
Whether it’s teaching swimming lessons at Orchard Mesa swimming pools to children, raising money for the American Cancer Society or helping local nonprofit organizations through the El Pomar Youth in Community Service program, Moran’s time is almost always occupied by her work assisting others.
“Sometimes I seem really busy, but then sometimes I don’t,” Moran said. “It’s really rewarding to have a chance to make an impact.”
Moran is president of her high school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, so there’s no question she is intelligent. But holding the top office requires more than just smarts.
One of the biggest projects Moran said the group had taken on is to transform the area outside of the school near the library into an outdoor commons area
Moran said the project has been in the works for three years and has received approval from the district to be constructed over spring break.
The area will be xeriscaped, she said, and finally provide a home to the school’s bronze tiger statue.
“The grass in that area now is horrible, and it’s not water efficient,” Moran said. “It’s kind of like a final senior gift to the school.”
Local organizations such as the botanical gardens have offered to help with the project, Moran said, because of the donations she has worked to get them through the El Pomar Foundation.
Moran said she is the El Pomar representative for her school and works with other high school students to raise $500 each year. Once they reach that goal, she said, the organization awards an extra $7,500, and local nonprofits such as the Botanical Gardens apply for the money.
Moran seems to have a knack for raising money. She also chaired a Relay for Life team and raised $3,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Between her school commitments at job at the pool, Moran doesn’t have much time to herself. Add to the mix practice time for her violin, and Moran has even less.
Moran has played the violin in orchestra since the sixth grade, she said.
But her busy schedule should prepare her well for the demand of college life. Moran said she would like to study statistics and women’s health sciences, and she has narrowed her college choices to
Stanford University, Rice University or Carnegie Mellon University.
“It’s really exciting, but still very scary,” said Moran on the idea of going to college out of state. “I can’t believe four years of high school is already done.”
Where she decides to go, her teacher Jane White said, Moran has promised her that future professors will be getting a “consummate student.”
“Olivia is the epitome of what ever teacher dreams of educating,” White said. “She has enriched my life.”
Parents: Kevin and Rebecca
Preferred college: Stanford University, Rice University or Carnegie Mellon University
Where she sees herself in five years: still in school
Favorite music: Shwayze and Diliated Peoples. “But my music changes by the week,” she said.
Favorite TV show: “The Office”
Personal hero: Anyone that’s impacted my life
Why: “I’m blessed to know that’s what has gotten me here,” she said.