ODA students spend much of their time exploring the world around them; equally important is discerning their place within it. As a part of that growth, ODA has begun a Friday lecture series that allows students to explore their place in the world beyond traditional academics. This covers everything from organizational skills, to college and career exploration, to passion projects, and guest speakers. 

Last month, ODA students were able to engage with author and Rhodes Scholar Caylin Moore, who recently appeared on Good Morning America (click here to watch!) to talk about his new book, A Dream Too Big. Students read the book as a part of their summer development, and had the exciting opportunity to engage with Mr. Moore in a group discussion and book signing. Read below for a few of their reflections!

Derek, 11th Grade

Caylin Moore’s story was inspiring for me. As someone that has always gotten what they wanted, it was hard to hear about Mr. Moore’s struggles during adolescence. Mr. Moore grew up in a household where beds had to be shared. Even after his family was split, he still worked hard to achieve his goals. When faced with difficulty in transportation, he found new ways to get to school, even waking up incredibly early just so that he wouldn’t have to put up with gang violence. Listening to Mr. Moore’s speech made me feel ungrateful for all the luxuries that I’ve been given, from having a bed to myself to always having a ride to school. He made me realize that I’ve been lazy when it comes to doing my work as well as not taking advantage of my learning opportunities. There are many others who would love to be in my position, and who would take advantage of the life I have. Mr. Moore’s story gave me much needed perspective and has inspired me to really try to better myself and to push for the best education I can attain.


Chyanne, 11th Grade

As I read Mr. Moore’s book over the summer, it moved me not only as a student but as a young African American woman. While reading the book, he brought up some important topics that needed to be shared not only within the community of Oxford Day Academy, but also the city of East Palo Alto. As it came time for the Junior panel with Mr. Moore, I couldn’t wait because there were so many questions I wanted to ask that sped through my mind (like the Bay drivers do when they’re about to miss an exit). When Mr. Moore was guided to the room, I was ready to start asking the questions that my peers wrote, but it took a minute to get the first question out. My classmate, Esme, got the panel going, and the conversation began. Our conversation topics ranged from his personal life to him giving us advice on how handling school and life takes a lot of dedication and self-drive. Those two particular themes hit my heart deeply because I made a personal connection, and I couldn’t help but cry. My peers and I were immensely captivated and intrigued by Mr. Moore’s story; our panel ran into lunch and we didn’t care! The more wisdom he imparted on us, the more inquisitive we became. At last, the panel came to an end; even though the panel was over, everyone in the room knew that his words would never be forgotten. If I were to get another chance to speak with him I would. There was so much more I wanted to ask and other subjects I would’ve liked to touch base on. From this experience, I have tried to see school as an opportunity, not a punishment.


Salvador, 9th Grade

My thoughts on Mr. Caylin Moore is that he is kind because when he was at his college everyone was complaining that the cafeteria food wasn’t good because they prefer a home cooked meal. But Caylin Moore always had little to no food at his home in Compton so for him it was delicious. He asked the lunch lady, “Can I get some more food?” and the lunch lady started started to cry and said, “It’s all you can eat baby.”  He inspired me to be kinder to others and appreciate what I have.


Caylin, Speaker

Dear Oxford Day Academy Family,

Thank you for welcoming me into your school. It was great to see so many brights minds in one place. When I looked into the crowd, I saw myself. I remember when I was sitting in your exact seat, listening attentively, not even knowing what I had the potential to become. Let this be a reminder that your potential is unlimited, and that you need not limit your dreams by other people’s expectations. Most importantly, know how important it is that you take this educational opportunity seriously. You never know what may be on the other side when you fully apply yourself. Why not find out?

With Humility,

Caylin Louis Moore