Phoebe Hearst Sixth-Grader Wins Distinguished Student Award

Press release

(Sacramento) – A sixth grade student at Phoebe Hearst Elementary School is the California winner of the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award, sponsored by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).

Olivia Sison was honored for her achievements in dance, excellence in academics and her demonstrated leadership abilities. Olivia is president of the Phoebe Hearst Student Council, a Girl Scout, a skilled ballerina, a member of the Middle School Speech and Debate League and is taking algebra at Kit Carson Middle School as a sixth grader.

She is one of only 50 children nationally (one per state) selected for the award and will receive a $500 US savings bond.

Olivia has been taking ballet lessons since she was 3. Her favorite subjects are math and science and she hopes to become a ballerina and a heart surgeon when she grows up. In a composition written for California Association for the Gifted, which selected Olivia for the award, she wrote:
“I thought I would get pointe shoes at my first ballet class. I didn’t realize that I would have to work for over seven years until I would earn those breathtaking pointe shoes and feel the immense satisfaction of being en pointe…Dancing has taught me that things that are important require hard work, determination and passion.”

The Nicholas Green Foundation was established by Maggie and Reg Green to honor the memory of their 7-year-old son, Nicholas, who was killed in a drive-by shooting while visiting Italy in 1994. The Greens paired with NAGC to start the Distinguished Student Awards because they wanted to recognize young people who are “working hard to make the most of their lives to develop their unique gifts and talents and around the age of Nicholas at the time of his death.”

Phoebe Hearst Principal Andrea Egan says the school is very proud of Olivia. “In addition to her many talents, she is a wonderfully kind and generous person – a true inspiration to the Phoebe Hearst community.”