Shorecrest junior Olivia Olson is one of three St. Petersburg area students selected to be a Goodwill Ambassador to Takamatsu, Japan on behalf of the City of St. Pete. She will travel to Takamatsu in July to experience typical Japanese family life, culture, and customs, before returning home to host a Japanese student at her family’s home in St. Pete. The program is a part of an annual exchange between sister cities St. Petersburg, FL, and Takamatsu, Japan.
The Student Ambassador program is sponsored by the City of St. Petersburg’s International Relations Committee in collaboration with the St. Petersburg International Folk Fair Society. According to the selection committee, “A Student Ambassador is a dedicated, energetic and positive St. Petersburg student that resides in the city and demonstrates civic pride in his/her community.”
Deeply interested in global studies, Olivia is pursuing the Global Scholars Initiative, a rigorous international studies academic track at Shorecrest. She is an annual competitor at Model UN and at National History Fair, and has traveled internationally for the school’s annual Service Week. At the same time, she is a passionate advocate for the community of St. Petersburg, interning at Preserve the ‘Burg, serving on the Ryan Nece Student Service Foundation, and co-chairing Relay For Life at Shorecrest, one of the Tampa Bay Area’s largest fundraisers for the American Cancer Society. Olivia is also a gifted performer and communicator, dedicated to the intensive musical theatre program at Shorecrest and acting as a student social media manager.
In her essay to the Ambassador selection committee, Olivia wrote, “I’ve always seen myself having two sides. One part of me wants to spend my time learning all that St. Pete has to offer: exploring the old open door post office, strolling the Dalí, or studying all buildings. The other part of me wants to get out and see everything the world has to offer in person such as the world’s greatest wonders, new languages, fascinating and foreign cultures. It wasn’t until high school that I realized that I could combine these two sides to become a global citizen that can share all my hometown has to offer. For that reason, I want to be involved in this exchange program. I would love to share my love for St. Pete and also experience another culture.”
The U.S. sister city program was initiated in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who proposed a system of people-to-people citizen diplomacy. St. Petersburg and Takamatsu became sister cities in 1961. St. Petersburg launched the Goodwill Ambassador program in 1984, when its first cohort of students traveled to Takamatsu.
Founded in 1923, Shorecrest Preparatory School is a PK(3) through 12th grade independent school located in Tampa Bay. By offering its families choice, support, and balance, Shorecrest graduates empathetic, independent thinkers who succeed at the university level, pursue their passions, and lead purposeful lives. Learn more at www.shorecrest.org.
Shorecrest Preparatory School
5101 1st St. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33703
Contact: Rachel Barrett, Director of Marketing & Communications
Office: (727) 522-2111 ext. 223 or (727) 456-7509
Cell: (912) 667-2016