Readying responsible citizens

  • April 27, 2011
Student trustee Olivia Suppa. (Photo by Sheila Dabu Nonato)NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. - Being a Catholic student trustee has highlighted the gift of Catholic education for Olivia Suppa.

“Catholic education brings so much diversity to our province,” said Suppa, president of the Catholic Board Council of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association and a student trustee for almost two years. “You graduate embodying what Jesus wanted to embody.”

Suppa attends St. Jean de Brebeuf High School in Woodbridge, Ont., and took part in the recent Lighting the Way Catholic student leadership conference in Niagara Falls. Catholic schools, and being a trustee representing Catholic students, has taught her plenty.

“I learned a lot about myself, politics, (how much of an impact) a contagious idea, a contagious voice can be,” said the Grade 12 student.

Suppa said she was inspired by the Niagara Falls conference.

“All of the trustees gathered with a common goal to live our faith in everything we do,” she recalled.

Suppa said a Catholic education readies students to be responsible citizens and stewards in the community and the world around them.

“You (can) contribute a lot to the world from the morals and values you gain.”

Her work as trustee has enabled her to meet “amazing people who work hard in their (school) boards and communities.”

At her high school, Suppa is also committed to diversity. She started a multicultural society at St. Jean de Brebeuf to “stop the stigma of being a certain culture and create a more inclusive, diverse environment.” And her volunteer work extends to social justice through Street Patrol, an outreach to homeless people.

“Social justice is such an integral way to make Catholic education come alive. It’s a powerful tool.”

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