Staff Profile: Olivia Buckel


Colin Bish

Olivia Buckel is currently a junior at Villa Maria Academy. She is a integral part of the staff of The Rambler as Junior Editor and is a proud member of Villa’s National Honors Society.

Before Olivia even enrolled at Villa, she knew that the NHS would be something to look into for her high school years.

“I was introduced to Villa’s honors society during my eighth-grade year,” she said. “When a group of Villa girls came to do a visit at my middle school, it immediately piqued my interest, and I knew I had to find out more about it.”

Olivia also saw a lot of her mother’s characteristics that she replicates.

“My mom inspired me a lot,” she said. “She was a student-athlete as well as a very intelligent young woman. I try to emulate her as much as I can. She was not in NHS, as far as I know, but she definitely was near the top of her class academics-wise and athletics-wise as well.”

Olivia’s friend, Leah Markiewicz, has also noticed her defining determination and leadership attributes.

“Olivia has been super awesome to work with,” Leah said, “She is a natural leader in the projects we have worked on, and she is always willing to help her fellow Villa sisters.”

Olivia also prides herself on excelling in the classroom, which is important in NHS.

“I have always been really studious and taken my grades seriously,” Olivia said. “I felt that would be really good for NHS, and I knew I could work hard to get it. I also have always really enjoyed leadership roles in school and in my family. I felt these qualities of mine would contribute really well.”

Olivia’s desire to excel academically and in the Villa community have highlighted why she became a member of the National Honors Society.

“I chose to apply for NHS because I thought it could make me feel closer to my Villa sisters and it could give me opportunities for my future,” she said. “So far, these expectations have definitely been met, and I am very excited to continue to take part in NHS throughout the rest of this year and my senior year.”

Olivia has prided herself on becoming a bigger leader inside and outside the classroom. She takes on leadership mostly through service opportunities all over Erie.

“In class, I have definitely taken on more leadership roles,” she said, “but I also think it’s important to allow other girls in my classes to do so as well. In character, I have really tried to put others before myself as much as I can and be as friendly as possible. You never know what’s going on in someone’s day. For service, I volunteered at Asbury Woods all summer and weeded their gardens. I also try and do as many volunteer hours as I can for Villa.”

The volunteer events Olivia enjoys most are the blood drive and the Fall Secret Angels, the latter of which she and Leah are running this year.

“For Fall Secret Angels, we will be giving the teachers a small gift every day for a week,” Leah said, “To prepare, we spent some time talking through emails and in person. We counted how many teachers are in our building, along with coming up with ideas for gifts that would fit the budget. Olivia’s creativity really came in handy when it came to deciding on the gifts.”

Olivia added, “Giving back to the teachers is something I really enjoy doing.”

The merger between Cathedral Prep and Villa will definitely have an effect on the National Honors Society since both schools have separate clubs for NHS. Olivia has faith that the merger of both schools’ clubs will lead to more inclusion for NHS.

“I hope to bring as much inclusivity and positivity as I can to NHS,” she said, “I love how welcoming it is already, but I want to continue to strive for perfection in that sense. I think it’s something that will only improve when the consolidation takes place.”

Since NHS is so big in working with the community, Olivia hopes that whatever college she chooses to enroll in will have opportunities for her to make an impact on the community she goes to.

“I definitely think that what a college does for its community around it is very important,” she said, “Service projects or clean-up days are so needed in our society today. That’s something I have started looking for, for sure.”

During Olivia’s time at Villa and with National Honors Society, she has learned and grown in so many ways to become an example of leadership with those close to her.

“I hope to make an impact from what I’ve learned about leadership,” she said, “As a young woman still trying to figure out her life, I have learned that confidence in yourself and forging ahead is so necessary for accomplishing goals. You cannot let fear stop your bravery. I hope this can make an impact on the people around me as I mature and travel outside of Erie.”