From drama club to breeding rabbits, Olivia Dybing’s interests and know-how spans across the board. Dybing, a senior at La Lumiere High School In La Porte, gives color to the saying, “wears many hats.”
Exercising her love for writing, Dybing began working for Ideas in Motion Media in October as student writer after being recommended by La Lumiere High School English teacher, Mr. Buchanan. Dybing writes about anything from sports and special events at La Lumiere High School to interesting profiles on students and teachers.
“I love getting to learn more about the people I talk to every day,” Dybing said.
While her day is mostly filled with classes, she finds plenty of extracurricular activities to put her creativity into. Dybing enjoys after-school practices for drama and improv group, being a member of the high school rowing team, and participating in the Academic Decathlon. She is also a part of the National Honor Society and Latin National Honor Society.
In addition, throughout the week, Dybing meets up with her local 4-H Club and church youth group. Within Dybing’s 4-H Club, she is a member of the Junior Leaders, Electric, Rabbits, Rabbit Ambassador and Judging Team, Horse and Dog Club groups.
One of Dybing’s favorite traditions is to go to the La Porte County Fair and the Indiana State Fair and represent the organization proudly alongside her 4-H Club friends.
“I do 4-H, so I basically live there and get to be in all the activities,” Dybing said. “It is always the highlight of my summer. I have already started prepping projects for next year’s fair.”
Beyond academics and clubs, Dybing is also an animal lover and especially enjoys one small garden-dwelling creature in particular. She’s won a crown for the Rabbit Ambassador contest at the state level twice at the Indiana State Fair.
“I enjoy getting to be with my rabbits,” she said. “I raise them for meat and show, so breeding to get better stock is a hobby of sorts. Additionally, I like tinkering around with writing, especially plays and novels, as well as messing with wiring and electricity.”
Dybing has so far successfully built and wired two walls.
After Dybing graduates in 2018, she plans to set off to college with the goals of studying biology and chemistry. Ultimately, she plans on building a career in dentistry, however is also open to more artistic pursuits.
“However, I am toying with the idea of throwing away my book smarts for writing and theater, since those are my two favorite hobbies,” she said.
Dybing lives with her mom, dad and older sister in La Porte, where she was born and raised, and enjoys her close-knit community.
“I love the people here,” Dybing said. “It’s easy to get anywhere, you always know where you are, and everyone is always kind to one another.”
She describes her family as hard working, which motivates her to push herself academically. She said Saint Zita, a Catholic saint known for her good deeds, inspires Dybing’s service oriented goals.
“My biggest mentor is my sister, Grace,” Dybing said. “I always go to her when I do not know what I am doing or I am struggling. She also is older than me, so I can follow in her footsteps for many things, which is both a blessing and a curse.”
Faith is important to Dybing, who began a bible study on campus as the Sacristan Prefect, a person who is in charge of all faith related activities. She also helps plan retreats and works with improving the youth ministry on the Diocesan Youth Council for the Diocese of Gary
Last spring break, Dybing went on a service trip to Nicaragua with her school for two weeks. While she didn't know much of the language, the time she spent with the locals made for many happy memories.
“It was incredible, we got to move a mountain, go to an active volcano, go cliff diving, go zip-lining off a mountain, but, most importantly, we got to hang out and play with the kids there, which was awesome,” Dybing said. “They were super sweet and happy, and it was wonderful to be around them, even though I do not know a single word in Spanish.”
The future holds many possibilities for Dybing, but she definitely sees herself serving the groups that have impacted her life for the better.
“Additionally, I hope to be able to give back to those who have given to me,” Dybing said. “Helping run a 4-H group, and working closely with my church.”