Olivia Naum is a senior here at FTHS. She received the title as March Student of the Month in honor of her dedication, leadership, and outstanding work ethic in the FTHS chapter of Junior State of America, or JSA. Olivia is Senior Vice President of the club. She is an amazing role model to the younger members of the club! Thanks to the endless effort she puts into her work JSA has continued to grow in success! Congratulations to Olivia Naum, she is FTHS’ March student of the month!
– Good morning.
Before we proceed, congratulations on receiving this award
– Thank you!
After hearing your name announced moments ago, how would you describe your initial reaction to being promoted as Student of the Month?
– I was honestly really shocked. I love JSA so much and I put so much effort into it. It’s incredible to hear that I’m being recognized for the work that I’ve done in this club, but I really was not expecting it at all. I was really pleased because it was a big surprise, but overall I am very happy to receive this award!
To begin, before we discuss your club activity, why do you believe the FTHS staff nominated you as Student of the Month?
– That’s a good question. I think I give a lot to the club and consistent dedication. I put a lot of my time and effort in and I consider myself to be very hardworking. I believe that was the reason I was chosen, just because of my diligence. Our first year in school after COVID has been much better and I think my other members on the board and I have just really worked so hard to make it a great year for the students that are coming in. It’s great to see that the staff is recognizing that we really worked hard just to get this club going this year.
All that hard work clearly makes you more than deserving of this award! To continue on, let’s discuss more details about your club involvement! –
– So I’ve been part of this club since my sophomore year. I’d say my biggest regret is not joining this club sooner. I love JSA so much – I wish I would have started my freshman year, but it worked out well for me anyway. In my junior year, I was late onto the board but I really got more involved with the club through holding a leadership position. This year, I am Vice-President, so I am very honored to have that position. I didn’t believe I would be able to achieve it so I am beyond honored to be chosen as vice-president and to run for that position. I am really appreciative that my peers placed their trust in me to serve in this role. I think overall my role this year has really just been getting to know a lot of the younger JSA members and guiding them through the levels of our chapter of JSA and the JSA regional and national scale. It brings me joy to get more people involved in the club and help them to understand what it really means to be a part of JSA. Therefore, I think just teaching them how to have a positive conversation has been such an important part of my job. I make sure that everyone’s having a really good time and JSA has been a learning experience but so much of it also has been about coordination and consistency. We had our regional convention for JSA, WinterCon. That’s short for Winter Congress, a simulation of U.S. legislation through debating student-written bills. This had been our first in person convention for maybe two years, so that was a lot of work for us to be able to coordinate all that as well as increasing interest in the event. Despite the workload of preparing all our members for this, we had an incredible time and it really worked out so well! For that, I’m so proud of the work that we did in order to get that place of coordination, as well as encouraging students to join JSA.
It’s great to see your involvement in our school’s grounds! Now specifically regarding JSA , what would you say was your rationale towards joining this club?–
– I think it began in Global Studies. A lot of my friends were a part of JSA. They were always talking about how fun and interesting it was. After that, I realized that it was a club I wanted to join. This decision personally was very beneficial because I was never really comfortable with talking in front of a group and that had been something I wanted to improve on, so JSA is really great because you get to learn how to speak in front of a crowd. The environment itself is so relaxed and so motivational for personal growth. I never felt pressured to do anything and was always encouraged by the people around me to speak and share my opinion. I think overall, JSA just expanded my desire to grow in my leadership abilities and really gave me so many opportunities and such a positive environment where I can learn how to speak well and articulate my thoughts clearly. I think I just saw that everyone else was able to grow personally while having a great time during it. I just really wanted to be a part of a club that was so positive and supportive, talking about world issues, with so many different perspectives on the same subject. This has really been something that really meant a lot to me and I think that’s what brought me to become a part of JSA.
What kind of responsibilities do you have as a JSA member?
– I think being a part of this club is really learning how to respect other people’s opinions and I think it’s learning how to share your opinions in a way that’s respectful to everyone around you. That itself is a big responsibility of being a part of JSA. It is learning how this is still a discussion where everyone is getting a lot out of the conversation and nobody’s sharing their feelings in a way that’s negative or degrading of other people’s ideas and I think that’s what major responsibility is. Our goal is to make the environment really positive and really constructive alongside creating a place where people can learn and not be ashamed of any of their personal beliefs.
It’s great to hear your dedication to this club! To continue this discussion, what would you say is the overall motive of this club? And why do you believe it’s a good club to be a part of?-
– I feel like the main motive of JSA is just learning how to communicate your thoughts in a positive way. I have met some of my closest friends in JSA and absolutely love our meeting discussions. JSA isn’t just about learning to speak in front of crowds, but also promotes positive response from other people’s perspective which I think I always gain a lot from. Overall, I believe the goal of the club is to be able to talk about really cynical issues in an engaging way. We also have a lot of fun when we talk about things that are serious and I think it’s really important to learn how to be a good speaker and a good listener who can consider a lot of different perspectives. I believe people say that the main goal is to be able to look at a lot of issues in a different way and be able to interact with people while thinking about every single side to it.
This club seems very action-packed! Now, do you personally feel that this club has given you certain skills or qualities in yourself?
– Yes 100%! I think that like I said before, JSA has really made me a great speaker. Originally, I was very nervous to share some of my thoughts when I was a younger student, so I feel like now I’m very confident in my thoughts and I’m always able to communicate my thoughts clearly and in a way that is impactful to people’s thinking. JSA has taught me so much about leadership, which is so important and I think leadership is so much about not telling people what to do but showing them what to do, and I think I am a great leader because I show people how to act and how to be a positive role model. These mindset changes occur through your actions and I think I never would have gotten to that point without JSA. I have had so many great leaders around me when I was younger and I really learned how to be a positive influence on people and how much encouragement means to people. I was so encouraged by my past JSA leaders and I think that’s what I want to give back while being a positive person in their life, as well as to inspire them to keep coming back to JSA meetings, sharing their ideas, and to keep really working hard to achieve all their goals. I hope that’s the kind of leader that I would become during my involvement in this club.
Now, to divert from the original topic, how do you personally manage your time between school work, clubs, and sports alongside leaving time for personal hobbies?-
– It’s definitely not the easiest task to manage these activities! I think time management is a common struggle amongst busy students. I know many people who are involved in multiple activities and I can definitely say the same for myself. I’m part of the newspaper in addition to JSA. Regarding school assignments, work is very important to me. I think the best thing that I have learned is just to stay organized. With that being said, I am the type of person who likes to make lists. I love my planner and it’s my go to tool to use every single day. Planning has been the most beneficial guide for improving my time management. What’s most important in that moment is having good organizational skills, so I think it’s just prioritizing each of your events equally. Overall planning has been something I have always been naturally good at. I like to plan out my schedules just to keep my day in order, so I think in that way I am very lucky to be naturally good at this. Planning in general has really helped me to keep track of everything and be able to still partake in many different clubs to enhance my involvement in the school.
Before we part ways, is there anything you would like to say to your fellow colleagues and staff here at FTHS?
– I’m so honored to be a part of JSA as well as have an opportunity in the leadership board. I want to thank my advisors for nominating me. I’m very appreciative that they would think about me and think about all the work that I’ve done. I’m beyond grateful to be a part of this club and I feel very thankful for my other leaders, especially Brett Berlin, the president of the club, who has done such an incredible job this year in that role. There’s so many great people involved in JSA! They have all become such an important people in my life. I think it’s also so special to be able to be a leader of a club like JSA. I’m so happy to be surrounded by so many amazing people who are incredibly smart, kind and really just want to grow personally beyond their high school careers.
Here’s what Ms. Costa and Ms. Krause, FTHS JSA’s advisors, had to say about Olivia:
“Olivia is the Vice President of JSA and is an integral part of keeping our club successful. She is organized and has been a huge part in facilitating all aspects of JSA including conventions, meetings and communicating with other members. At our March meeting, Olivia brought up a debate about current events that many students did not know about and she took the time to educate club members with resources she found and provided. She then helped students facilitate a conversation and come to their own opinions. She is a strong leader and a great role model, especially for the other young women in the room.”
Kayla, a senior editor for the school yearbook, was nominated for her work on this year’s edition, which recently was submitted for print. Along with the rest of the yearbook staff, Kayla was credited for her knowledge about the layout software and being a mentor to younger students. Congratulations Kayla!
Here’s what Ms. Danza, the yearbook advisor, had to say about Kayla:
“Kayla has been a member of Yearbook Club since her freshman year. Kayla has put in countless hours of work, dedication and passion into a total of four completed yearbooks. She attends every meeting regardless of other commitments and is a role model to new club members as she teaches them how to use the software and edits all work to catch mistakes and improve each page. She is an exemplary student who puts forth 100% effort.”