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Way to Go! East Islip student is making a splash in Sea Cadet Corps

Olivia Zhang.

Olivia Zhang. Credit: East Islip School District

An East Islip student was recently recognized for her leadership in everything from extracurricular activities to the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps.

Olivia Zhang, a junior, was named this spring to the rank of petty officer first class in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps and helped build research buoys to be deployed in the Arctic Circle through the organization's Arctic Buoy STEM Program. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

Zhang was also part of the first all-female sailing crew in Sea Cadet history and authored a full-page article about her experiences for Sea Cadet Quarterly, a magazine, in 2018.

Her various efforts led to her selection this spring as the recipient of the Town of Islip's Student Achievement Award for Leadership.

"I was really grateful," Zhang, 16, said of receiving the award. "All the wonderful opportunities offered at East Islip High School have helped to build my self-confidence and leadership qualities."

Zhang, who is president of her school's Student Government, is also a member of the Interact Club, Academic Team, tennis and track teams, and the Math, Foreign Language and Tri-M Music honor societies. In addition, she is a facilitator for the Rotary Youth Leadership Association's District 7255.

"Olivia is a natural leader who uses her leadership role to help boost morale and increase student pride," Interact Club adviser Lisa Rapiejko said.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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