When senior Olivia Young auditioned for the Adrenaline Dance Team at the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland, when she was a freshman, she admitted she was terrified. Now, as a captain of the dance team and dance performer at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center outside of school, she said the decision to join the team despite her initial fear was one of her best decisions. 

“I really found that was my first Holy Cross family,” she said. “That’s where I got to meet girls from other grades, and I realized how much the community at Holy Cross is really welcoming outside of your grade.” 

Young, a member of the class of 2019 at the Academy of the Holy Cross, will attend Georgetown University in the fall. She is the daughter of Jennifer and John Young and has an older sister Emily, who also attended Holy Cross. The family attends St. Jane de Chantal Parish in Bethesda. 

As a captain, Young was able to lead the team, an audition-required troop of the academy’s top dancers who perform in areas of ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and hip-hop, to complete its 16th show this year. She said being able to choreograph and highlight the different strengths of each team member “was really rewarding.” 

Her interest in dance and performing arts found a perfect pairing in her classes, particularly her science classes like AP biology and anatomy and physiology. 

“AP biology… showed me how much I love learning about how the human body works, because I have to think about it so much during dance,” she said. 

Young served as president of the academy’s science club, which she helped found last year, and as a member of the Science National Honors Society, and was a participant in the National Dance Honors Society.  

For her senior project - in which seniors get off school early to pursue a three-week internship in a career field of their interest -- Young shadowed a neurosurgeon, a neurologist, a neuroanesthesiologist and an anesthesiologist in order to explore her love for science and medicine. 

After attending Catholic schools for grade school, Young said she knew she wanted to continue Catholic education in high school, especially after seeing how much her older sister enjoyed Holy Cross. She is able to see now, she said, how the Catholic traditions at Holy Cross - such as attending all-school Masses and participating in Kairos retreats - influenced her life and experiences. 

“I did want to go to a Catholic school in high school, but I didn’t really know how much of an impact it would have on me,” she said. “What I like about Holy Cross is they always add the piece of becoming a better person and citizen in the community.” 

This complementarity of the humanities and the sciences in Young’s activities and studies reflects the thorough education Holy Cross provides, she said. 

“The rounded aspect of the education is good, because I feel like it helps me, when I think about what I want to study in college, I don’t think about just my major,” Young said. “I think about who I want to be in college and after that. It really encourages me to think about how you can develop all aspects of yourself.”