Oxford Day Academy knows that students benefit from real-world learning experiences that are integrated with academic content. This week began with all students attending Camp LEAD, a three-day leadership retreat. After 20 years of operations in Southern California, this program selected ODA as the first partner for their expansion to Northern California. Our students had this to say:

When I first came to Camp Lead, I thought that this place was not going to change me at all and that it was just another sell out camp. On the first day of this camp, it really hit me hard when I saw all my friends and the people I care about all in tears. I never really knew all the pain they had gone through in their lives and it made me think about things I may have said to them that could have added to their pain based on me judging or stereotyping them. Now, I really think twice about what I say to people because I may not know about all the pain and suffering they have been through. So, what I really want to say to people is to think about what you say before you say it.

– Anthony Rutiaga, ODA 9th Grader

Camp Lead offered us the chance to embark on a journey of clarity as they emphasized self-reflection. We individually transitioned from the perspective of “self” into a community of diverse perspectives and collective action. We participated in exercises that pushed us to confront our own personal truths and deep secrets that we have suppressed over the years. It was refreshing to see my co-hearts be able to express themselves openly. Because of this, I can truthfully engage with my classmates and even consider them close family.

– Jahkim Steward-Hendrix, ODA 9th Grader

Only a few hours after students returned from Camp LEAD, three of our budding entrepreneurs travelled to San Francisco to attend The San Francisco Business Times’  Secrets of the Fastest Growing Private Companies at the invitation of Mr. Maurice Brewster, one of the event panelists. Our students used the opportunity to network with local leaders while learning important business lessons. In their words:

Today, a few of my peers and I went to “Secrets of the Fastest Growing Private Companies.” We went into the space completely unaware of what we were going to learn, but we left with an abundance of information that we didn’t even know we needed. I learned that the worst time to ask for money is when you need money.  I also learned that entrepreneurship is a serious field, but while doing it, “we must remember to have fun, love and GRIT!”

– Deshaun Jordan, ODA 9th Grader

The “Secrets of the Fastest Growing Private Companies” event was an amazing experience. Listening to great advice from CEOs like Mac Harmon, and Maurice Brewster of Global Transportation really made me think about what I need to do when considering starting my own company. The opportunity to exchange business information with multiple CEO executives including Christina Stembel (Farmgirl Flowers) and Andrew Paradise, Founder/ CEO of Skillz and much more, was very exciting and well-remembered.  Thank You Mr. Brewster, for giving us a seat at the table.

– Jules Thomas, ODA 9th Grader

We are so proud of our young leaders, and of all the growth they are making academically, socially, and professionally. Congratulations to the entire ODA family on another incredible week, and for the many exciting new developments still to come!