By Steve Svetovich
When you talk to Dunmore High School senior Gia Occhipinti, her humble and gentle nature stands out.
And it is not hard to notice how much she loves her fellow students and teachers.
Daughter of Ron and Christal (Costanzo) Occhipinti, Dunmore, Gia, 18, with all her humility, is quite an accomplished student at Dunmore High School.
And she has evolved into quite a leader.
Presently, she is ranked number one in her senior class. She has a 99.4 academic average, including a grade of 100 so far in all four years studying French.
She has earned many awards in the National French Exam and completed the Leadership Lackawanna’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Today program.
Gia was chosen as a counselor for RYLA youth leadership program. She is the Dunmore High School president of the National Honor Society. She is a varsity football cheerleader co-captain. She is editor of the Dunmore High School yearbook.
Gia’s mom said her daughter’s work as a counselor for the RYLA youth leadership program was life changing.
“The Dunmore Rotary Club sent me to Keystone College for two summers in 2017 and 2018 as part of the youth leadership awards program. I was a counselor for high school sophomores. I was in charge of the Art group. Being a counselor for those two summers really taught me a lot.
“It really was a very influential part of my life. I was kind of shy growing up. By taking on a leadership role, it changed the way I conduct myself and gave me confidence.”
Gia is unsure about where she will attend college, but wants to study biology and pre dentistry in hope of eventually becoming an orthodontist.
Her favorite academic subject is French.
“I hope to pursue French as a minor in college. My French teacher at Dunmore, Mr. Lucas, has served as a mentor for me. He gives me great advice about life and opportunities.”
Gia, polite and well spoken, said her parents have been huge influences. “My parents teach me to be a good person in life. They gave my brother Justin and I a great set of morals and values. Their code of ethics helped make me a good student and friend.”
Gia has truly loved her experience at Dunmore. “It has been so great here at Dunmore. I wouldn’t change anything about it. I have such a close knit group of friends. I love them all.
“And I have to give a shout out to all my amazing teachers. They are all like extra mothers and fathers to me. I have learned so much from them.”
Gia talked about what it takes to be a good cheerleader. “It is very necessary to be punctual for practice. You need to get to practice on time to focus on your skills.
“Most of all you need to show a lot of school spirit. You need to get your school pumped up.”
Gia enjoys listening to music in her spare time. She would love to see Khalid, an R and B Rap artist, in concert.
In the meantime, Gia will focus on her final six months at Dunmore. “It is such a great school. We are all very close here.”