O’Sullivan represents Illinois in D.A.R.E. program


Photo by Emily Manning

Delaney O’Sullivan collects rocks from her worldwide travels and names them after popular politicians in the United States. O’Sullivan also takes a mix of honors and regular courses, believing the mentality of students complements her own energy. O’Sullivan is also the D.A.R.E. representative for Illinois.

Abigail Adams, Tammy Duckworth, and Kamala Harris – these are not only the names of female politicians, but they are also the names of sophomore Delaney O’Sullivan’s pet rocks that she has been collecting on her many worldwide travels. Her recently acquired rock, Madeleine Albright, was gathered last month on her D.A.R.E. funded trip to Hawaii.
At the end of January, an article, by district office Linda Taylor, was released mentioning her involvement on the Youth Advocacy Board.
O’Sullivan started her DARE journey back in elementary school and then moved on to being a part of the Youth Advocacy Board as a state representative. She was nominated by D.A.R.E. teacher Kimberley Giugler.
“I was nominated by Officer Giugler and then I applied. I found out in study hall that I got the position last year. I couldn’t believe it at first and I got really emotional,” O’Sullivan said.
The DARE program allows teens to start learning how to network with others with similar aspirations.
“The fact that I’ve met a lot of kids my age who have goals. The people that I’ve met and the fact that I get to see all these really cool places and be around really amazing teens,” O’Sullivan said.
O’Sullivan’s say she is determined and compassionate when it comes to those around her.
“She has very strong morals and her values are what make her such a good friend and person,” Katie Drain, sophomore, said.
When it comes to classes, O’Sullivan takes a mix of honors and regular courses.
“I like honors classes more, I like the mentality of honors students. They have more enthusiasm for their work,” O’Sullivan said.
Some of O’Sullivan’s teachers see that she belongs in honors classes as well.
“She is self-motivated, which is rare in a student that young, but she was like that since the first day,” Kaitlin Mahoney, English 1 Honors ad English 3 teacher, said.
Along with her classes, O’Sullivan participates in a multitude of different extracurricular activities.
“I am one of the founders and leaders of the environmental club, I go to politics club, I’m in the beYOUty club, I go to youth group every Wednesday, I caddy during the summer, and I am the state representative in the DARE program,” O’Sullivan said.
O’Sullivan demonstrates her leadership abilities within the creation and leading of the environmental club.
“She comes up with really great ideas for things that we can do in the club. She is enthusiastic. She displays environmentalism in her actions, so I think that that really helps her in her leadership role,” Jennifer Woods, Biology Honors and Anatomy and Physiology Honors teacher, said.
O’Sullivan takes journalism one and helps work on the school newspaper during study hall as well. She is currently one of the four staff selected anchors for Cougar News Network, which will air on Wednesdays during second hour.
As for where she gets her inspiration. O’Sullivan attributes women at the top of her list.
“Strong powerful women inspire me especially when they’re in a male dominated field such as politics and my rock collection is an omage,” O’Sullivan.
Mahoney has seen O’Sullivan’s talent and knows that she will be able to make a name for herself in the future.
“She’s rare in the sense that it’s not very often you have a student who is as mature and capable as Delaney is in so many aspects at such a young age. She is somebody who I think will take those talents and really make something of herself. She seems like someone who’s not going to let challenges stop her,” Mahoney said.
On March 7th, O’Sullivan will be leaving for Ireland and coming back on March 12th. She is going to a Conference Global Alcohol Policy Conference.
“I am excited to be seeing the beautiful country of Ireland and my fellow board members,” O’Sullivan said.
To learn more about O’Sullivan, visit her website at dare.org/delaney-osullivan/