Back-to-school 2019

Once again the Dartmouth East office will be collecting back to school supplies on behalf of the Olivia Jollota Memorial Trust.

Olivia was a wonderful young person full of dreams. She loved the anticipation of back-to-school and enjoyed helping other. Olivia’s kindness lives on through her good deeds. Help Olivia continue to do “great things!”

Let’s honour Olivia by donating school supplies in her name. You can drop off your donated items at my office 73 Tacoma Dr suite 204, Mon – Fri 9 to 4

2019 Scholarship Recipient

The Olivia Jollota Memorial Trust Scholarship is not an academic achievement based award. It is based on the quality of your character and the good you have done for your school and community through inclusion. It is about what is in your heart. And what a heart our 2019 recipient has!

Congratulations to Brody Boudreau of Prince Andrew High School for being the sole recipient of our 2019 Scholarship!

The essay Brody wrote touched our hearts so deeply that we did something unprecedented. In the past each scholarship award has been $1,000.00. Due to Brody’s incredible spirit, will to achieve, and determination to overcome every obstacle that comes his way Brody will receive $2,000.00 to help him continue his story.

Congratulations Brody as you go on your next journey. You are exactly who Olivia would have wanted in a friend. We look forward to hearing of your future success 😊

#oliviajollotamemorialtrust #oliviajollota #olivia #livstrust #scholarship #congratulations

Back-to-school Donation 2018

The Olivia Jollota Memorial Trust is so very happy to be able to donate 8 backpacks filled to the brim with school supplies to the Woodlawn United Church.

Each student will receive a backpack, zippered binder, 2 packs of loose leaf, graph paper, report cover, 4 duo-tangs, single subject and 3-subject notebooks, page dividers, scientific calculator, 16 GB USB, pens, pencils, liquid paper and a pencil case along with a custom “Olivia’s Signature Tree” water bottle. We are also supplying bus tickets to help kids in need get back and forth to school.

Olivia would be thrilled to know she is helping kids go back to school in style so they can have a great new school year!

Thank you to every single person who supports us through our fundraising efforts so we can continue to do “great things!” in Olivia’s memory. Her kindness and compassion lives on in each of us 💜

Olivia’s Trust acknowledged in the Nova Scotia Legislature – House of Assembly

MLA for Dartmouth East, Tim Halman acknowledged the work of the Olivia Jollota Memorial Trust in the Nova Scotia Legislature on September 27, 2017.  Thank you Tim for your very kind words.  We truly appreciate it!

 

 

Olivia’s Legacy

As we prepare for our annual Bowling Tournament and Silent Auction fundraiser on May 27th I started to feel like I was letting Olivia down.  I began to sit with this, to try to understand where this feeling was coming from. Here is what I realized. 

There have been very few opportunities to share “Olivia’s Story” with the people I want to reach the most, our youth. (I know Olivia would want others to learn from her mistake, not repeat it). The main way this happens is by being invited in to schools to share her story. I get asked by parents all the time if I would be willing to come to their child’s school and of course I say YES!!!  

However, it is not that easy. It is always a challenge to get administrators to allow “Olivia’s Story” to be heard. My personal belief being they are afraid if students hear her story they will get scared or worse, they will go out do the same…  The fact is, hearing her story will not “make” anyone abuse drugs. This is a very antiquated way of thinking!  This same reason was used when Sex Education was being proposed – if we talk about it, they will do it…  I believe, if we give our youth the correct information to help them develop their critical thinking skills and make safe choices we can only help them, and society as a whole, in the long run. 

As far as being scared, there is no easy, gentle or happy way to tell “Olivia’s Story”. Kids will also be upset they will be sad and they may even cry. And that’s okay. Every parent and educator I have spoken to would rather the kids hear the truth then sugar coat it. 

The fact is kids as young as Grade 5 are experimenting with prescription pain pills. These kids are getting their “facts” from their friends or the Internet!  The dangers of experimenting with pills is not being taught to our students even though there is curriculum in place to assist teachers. However, the new curriculum that addresses prescription pain pills is not an outcome so it does not have to be taught!

So, even though I have not been able to share her story with our students through school presentations I know “Olivia’s Story” has been shared many times in many ways since our last bowling tournament: 

June 2016, CBC News at 6 had a segment which covered the scholarship presentation at Prince Andrew High School which in turn gave me the chance to share why the work of The Trust in memory of Olivia. 

Around Christmas a couple of newspaper articles fr m Wast Hants mentioned The Trust and “Olivia’s Story” which in turn caused increased traffic to our site. 

In March, a short documentary titled “Live On” was created by two wonderful Kings College students, Jess Hirtle and Delaney MacKay. “Live On” was viewed during a documentary showcase on March 24 and will be submitted to the Atlantic Film Festival for a chance to be screened (link will follow at a letter date). 

And over the last several months, coming up to the 5 year remembrance of Olivia’s death, people have been sharing her story via social media either directly or by copying the link to her story from our website while commenting on other stories. I have also spoken directly to many people who have popped in to my workplace. These curious individuals who asked what the items with Olivia’s Signature Tree are for likely got more than they bargained for when I shared the work of The Trust along with “Olivia’s Story” on a very personal level. These wonderful people have then gone home and shared her story with the youth in their lives!  How remarkable is all this?  

Looking back now, having put all that happened in perspective, I can’t believe I ever felt like I was letting my girl down 💗