In our latest installment of Feature Friday, we shine the spotlight on Union Catholic's Marcella Oliviero and Adela Rakoski.
Oliviero, who lives in Springfield, was recently named the Editor-In-Chief of The Prophet, UC's student-run on-line magazine. Rakoski, who lives in Cranford, was named the Assistant Editor.
Here is our Q and A with Oliviero and Rakoski -
First off, congrats again on being named the Editor-In-Chief of The Prophet. What does it mean to you to be named Editor-In-Chief, Marcella. You must be so honored.
Marcella: To be named editor-in-chief is a huge blessing. It means everything to me! I think it’s great that I can use my voice and my writing skills to talk about the positives in life. I think most news channels and sources tend to focus on the negatives, and I want to do the opposite with The Prophet.
Congrats on being named the assistant editor of The Prophet. What does it mean to you to be named assistant editor, Adela. You must be so honored and proud.
Adela: Yes! Working on a newspaper/magazine has always been something I wanted to do in high school, and I feel very blessed and grateful for the opportunity to express my love for writing with others.
What are you and most excited about as far as what The Prophet will offer the students of Union Catholic this school year? What is your vision for The Prophet for this school year?
Marcella: Adela and I are most excited to discuss positive things occurring in and outside of the Union Catholic community. We know this year in particular is rough for everyone, so we want to bring them a little motivation and positivity to keep them going! My vision for The Prophet is to have it talk about things students will engage in, and things to keep them wanting to read more.
Adela: Marcella and I are currently working on new ideas to update The Prophet, giving it a whole new look. We are brainstorming ideas as we speak on how we will be able to reach more people with current events, school happenings, and latest stories.
What do you love the most about being a staff member on The Prophet?
Marcella: I love the communication between the reporters and the staff members on The Prophet. We all get along very well. I did not get the opportunity to work on The Prophet last year.
Adela: I love being able to share my passion for writing with large groups of people at a time. The staff was very welcoming.
Can you list any awards/honors you have received at UC? Honor Roll, academic awards etc. or anything else?
Marcella: I made honor roll for each marking period thus far. I received a math award in freshman year for getting the highest score in the class on an important (not standardized) test. I am the co-president of the C.R.A.Y.O.N. Club.
Adela: I recently transferred to UC two weeks ago, so I need a little more time to do something worth receiving an award.
What do you love the most about being a student at Union Catholic?
Marcella: I love the camaraderie between the students and staff here at Union Catholic.
Adela: The community! There are many clubs here, and everyone here is very friendly and welcoming.
Why and how did you decide that UC was the place for you to be? What was it about UC that made you want to be a student here?
Marcella: I decided that UC was the place for me to be because it felt like a community I truly wanted to be a part of. That truly stuck out to me. Coming here for Freshman-For-A-Day made me realize that this was my first choice for a high school.
Adela: The staff went above and beyond to make me feel at home here, so big shout out to them. My peers/ the friends I made here are very friendly and help me grow as a student everyday.
What advice would you give to younger students who are considering attending UC? Why should they come to UC and what will UC give them that they won’t be able to find at other schools?
Marcella: To the younger students considering attending UC, I would definitely say do it. The school gives you great education and academic success, well as room for creative freedom. In other schools, you don't get the same welcoming vibe/message UC gives you. The school gives you so many ways to get involved and do great things!
Adela: From my short time here, I have learned that even if you stumble, someone will always pick you back up. Whether it be a friend, an acquaintance, teacher, or maybe even God perhaps, someone will have your back.
Have you thought about your future as far as what you’d like to major in when you get into college, what type of career you’d like to pursue?
Marcella: I want to major in Creative Writing, so my goal is to be an author.
Adela: I would love to major in either journalism or creative writing in the future. I am a huge words person, I can't get enough of them. I aspire to be a writer someday down the line, whether it be in news, or writing the latest best seller, I am excited for what my future holds!
What is something about yourself that most people don’t know? Maybe a hidden talent or hobby?
Marcella: Something about me that people don't know is that one of my hobbies is doing makeup!
Adela: I am a Squishmallow collector! My collection is roughly 40 of them to the point where I barely have room on my bed.
Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Marcella: My favorite thing to do in my spare time is writing or listening to music.
Adela: I have a huge passion for playing basketball.
Favorite class and teacher at UC?
Marcella: My favorite class at UC is Italian, and my favorite teacher is Mr. Zeigler.
Adela: At the moment, I have a tie for my favorite classes between Religion and English class. Mrs. Caffrey was the first teacher to make me feel welcome at this school, and makes learning about different perspectives of Catholicism interesting. If you have the chance to be a peer minister, I highly recommend taking up the opportunity, everyone there is friendly. In addition, I enjoy Mr. Rotondo's class and teaching style.
Favorite UC Moment Event?
Marcella: My favorite UC Moment/Event was when we got to walk in the St. Patrick's day Parade in 2019!
Adela: I haven't been here long enough to experience anything besides the first day of school mass, and the ice cream social!
Favorite UC Core Value and why?
Marcella: My favorite UC Core Value is community. I think it's so important to know the people you will graduate with. These are the people who will help shape you and your experience here at UC.
Adela: I feel as though Community is my favorite core value, due to the sheer fact that I am very social. I enjoy being connected to other people, whether it be through school, sports, or clubs.
Marcella: Your story isn't over.
Adela: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." (Colossians 3:23)
One word to describe your UC experience?
Share one tip for members of UC’s Class of 2025:
Marcella: Enjoy every moment here at UC! Don't take a single second for granted.
Adela: Push yourself, you're capable of things more than you could possibly imagine.