Senior Issue: Olivia Pinocci-Wrightsman

Photo+courtesy+of+DiMattia+Photography.

Photo courtesy of DiMattia Photography.

Keira Davies, Deputy Opinion Editor

This previously ran in our 2022 June Senior Issue.

Olivia Pinocci-Wrightsman filled her four years of high school with activism; her biggest hope is to have a more equal environment for students. As president of the Young Democrats Club, she urges people to use their voices for good. On several occasions, she has spoken up against injustices that she has seen around our school community. 

She will be attending the University of Pittsburgh to major in political science. 

Stinger: Do you think the progress you envisioned was made? 

Pinocci-Wrightsman: I think that the progress that I envisioned is continuous. So I think that we’ve started taking strides in the right direction, but I think that there’s a lot more work to be done in order for all students to feel welcomed, supported, and uplifted in our school environment. So it needs to continue with the future generations or students beyond. 

Stinger: What was the one event that you felt was the most impactful for you? 

Pinocci-Wrightsman: We have put together, through the help of administration, a few different student groups that are meeting with building-level administration, as well as district-level administration. I think that that has probably been what I consider to be the most impactful because my goal throughout all of this has been to ensure that other voices are elevated. Creating an opportunity for student voices to be heard by the people who have immense influence over what goes on in our district was something that I wasn’t sure I’d see before I graduated, but I was very glad to see [it] come to fruition because I think it means that students will have the opportunity to express themselves. So I do think that those opportunities need to grow and expand because every student should be able to have access to the people who make the defining decisions in their daily school lives. 

Stinger: Was there someone who influenced you the most to start speaking more and speaking out? 

Pinocci-Wrightsman: Yeah. I would say by far my parents, I have two dads, and so LGBTQ community work has always been at the forefront of my life. Because when I was younger, [the work] was fighting for my parents’ right to marry, and other rights that still aren’t guaranteed, as far as civil rights go. But the concept of equality and equity, and treating people with kindness and empathy and respect, was what I had seen from day one, because that’s how they fought for their rights: with compassion and understanding for others. So they inspired me to continue using compassion as a means of advocacy. And I would not be anywhere without the two of them. They’re by far the strongest people I know.