Bayport-Blue Point H.S. salutatorian Olivia Ingrassia: Keeping her principles
BAYPORT-BLUE POINT—Last September, Olivia Ingrassia found out she would be graduating second in her class, a major achievement.
“I was surprised and excited,” she said. In addition to her high GPA, she has excelled in a number of other areas as well.
Ingrassia is the treasurer of the school’s National Honor Society and president of the Tri-M Honor Society. She’s been a member of the community service-based Interact Club, was a member of the varsity tennis team and played violin in the school’s symphony, pit and chamber orchestras. She has All-Eastern Orchestra honors under her belt as well as All-State and All National Orchestra, playing in the latter competition last November.
Come fall, Ingrassia will head to Fordham University to major in political science. However, she’ll minor in music, noting that the violin “is a passion of mine. It’s become part of who I am.”
Although she is looking forward to her new life in college, she said Fordham wasn’t her first choice; she’d been waitlisted at a number of Ivy League schools. Still, she had a good reason to go there; since her older brother had just graduated from Fordham, she was familiar with the college.
Ingrassia said she hopes her degree from Fordham will be a good foundation to eventually go on to law school. “I’ve enjoyed my history and government classes,” she said. She noted that her brother has been a role model and law school is a path he is taking as well. “He’s been someone I’ve looked up to. He’s intelligent, hard-working and dedicated. He helped pave the way for me.”
In college, Ingrassia said she hopes to experience more independence from the day-to-day regimen of high school. “I won’t miss the redundancy of school, even though I’ve enjoyed my time there.
“I will miss the bonds I formed with teachers at school, though. And I will miss my friends and the community, too.”
With a couple of months off before hitting the books again, Ingrassia said she expects to enjoy the free time to hang out with friends, play tennis and of course, play her violin. And who is her favorite composer? “Tchaikovsky,” she said. “I enjoy his Romantic style.”
While Ingrassia said she has not quite finished her graduation speech, she has a pretty good idea of what the theme would be. “Stand up for what you think is right,” she said would be the message she’d like to impart to fellow graduates. A situation at the beginning of one school year set the stage for those convictions.
Ingrassia explained that when a particular course was taken off of the school schedule because of lack of interest, she and the four other students who were planning on it kept appealing to the principal until it was finally put back into the schedule. She said since that time, that particular course has grown in popularity.
“If we didn’t put up that fight, we [and others] wouldn’t have been able to take that class,” she said. “So when you face adversity, it’s important to stay strong and stay true to your beliefs.”
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