Olivia Sharkey, a Theology major with a minor in Spanish, attended Nazareth Academy High School in Philadelphia, is an active member of student government, was elected class president during her freshman year, has been an SGA senator for four years, served as a member of the Student Faculty Administration Benedictine Committee and Educational Policies Committee and is chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. She has been a Prefect for three years and is active in Campus Ministry, where she serves as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist. “Personally, I find nothing more humbling, though encouraging, than being an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist,” said Sharkey. “As a Catholic, I understand my vocation in life as a disciple. What better way is there to grow in my relationship with Christ than to experience Him so closely in the Eucharist, and then share Him with others by assisting the priest in administering the Blessed Sacrament? That, in my opinion, is what we as humans were created to do—to recognize the presence of our God and be a light for Him to others.” Sharkey has also been named to Who’s Who among Students in American Colleges and Universities twice and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Theta Alpha Kappa, Phi Sigma Iota and Alpha Chi. She is a volunteer with International Samaritan, tutor for the Theology department, office assistant in the Seminary Development Office and has made numerous service learning trips including Taiwan/China, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Furthermore, she is the founder of The Banana Project, a project meant to combat student malnutrition at Francisco Coll Elementary School in Guatemala. “In the destitute circumstances of a poverty-stricken community that sustains itself by scavenging the city’s garbage dump,” said Sharkey, “the school does not merely seek to provide students with an education, but with emotional, spiritual and physical nourishment as well. Thus, The Banana Project strives to assist in the elimination of malnutrition by aiming to provide more bananas on a weekly basis to the students. So far The Banana Project has raised over $7,000. The support for The Banana Project from the Saint Vincent community has mirrored the living Body of Christ.” Sharkey commented, “The true honor is sharing the nomination with the four other finalists. These incredible individuals use their respective gifts to better our community. To be nominated with these remarkable individuals demonstrates that our college community reflects the Body of Christ, a Body that can only function through the use of its diverse set of gifts. I thank the four other finalists for their service to the Saint Vincent community.” After graduation, Sharkey plans to join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps to teach theology and work as service program coordinator at Christ the King Cristo Rey High School in Newark, New Jersey.
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