Oak Grove Blog
Inquiry, Purpose, and Reflection - The Oak Grove 2012 Senior Graduation
On Wednesday, June 6th, Oak Grove School honored the hard work and perseverance of its graduating senior class. All were invited to attend this annual event, which began at 6:30PM, with a reception that followed.
Oluorisha Ayodele El
After taking a trip with friends this summer to Nicaragua to refine her Spanish and to learn to surf, Oluorisha will attend the San Francisco Art Institute. According to Oluorisha, when she first came to Oak Grove she was very shy. “Now, I feel I know how to be a friend,” she says, “… and I understand myself. I can sing now and display my art publically. I am grateful to have had this experience at Oak Grove, to learn to work with other people, and to be in nature. I would not have wanted to be at any other school."
In the fall, Tohanh will be attending University of California, Berkeley, with a major in English and a minor in either art or in Japanese. She is interested in writing, especially travel writing, and would like to continue the humanitarian work she has been exposed to at Oak Grove in countries around the world. As a boarding student, Tohanh not only attends Oak Grove, she also lives in the family-style boarding home. She explains, “For me, the classes and everything about Oak Grove, including who I live with, has prepared me for adulthood. In the two years that I have been here I have gone through an immense personality shift, and have been pleasantly surprised by how Oak Grove has influenced me.”
After graduation, Matt will work for the summer with his sister in their family business, which is located in the UK. He then intends to travel through Europe. After that, Matt will be attending University of California, Davis. “Oak Grove has encouraged thoughtful communication and meaningful relationships throughout my time here,” explains Matt, “and I expect this to really help me in the future. Especially communicating with different age groups… every student here gets to engage with their teachers on every subject.” Matt concludes that, “I am excited and a little nervous about what is coming, but I feel prepared. I really appreciate the art of communication that is taught here and expect it to benefit me for the rest of my life.”
Noah is planning to move to Santa Barbara with a life-long friend, where they will both attend Santa Barbara City College this fall. He intends to take liberal arts classes as well as focusing on business. “I plan to transfer to a UC after two years or so…” says Noah, “ but I am very open to finding a new subject area I LOVE!” He feels Oak Grove has prepared him for this next phase of his life. “The school get students really interested in what they are learning. This helps a lot with developing a work ethic and getting your assignments done. I don’t feel scared about the future… I feel ready.” Noah concludes, “I had never gone on a camping trip before coming to school here, and now I feel I found my place in nature!”
In the fall, Rachel will attend New York University, in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. With developed interests in music, photography, film, and writing, her focus will be on the visual arts. “Oak Grove has been really flexible with me, and this has made a big difference,” says Rachel. “For example, during an honors English writing assignment I was able to create a screen play, which is right in line with my future goals.” Rachel attended another school during a portion of her high school career but returned to Oak Grove. “This school helps you have self awareness in a way that’s unique, and this has really helped me.”
Over the summer Brynn will be working in town and focusing on her music. She is also preparing to attend a summer theatre camp, designed for recent high school graduates. In the fall, she will be attending Santa Barbara City College, primarily studying theatre. Brynn says that, “When I think about my future I feel ready… not afraid. I feel I have pretty good relationships here at Oak Grove, and the fact that it’s a small school is good and challenging… It’s great to know everyone, and the tough part (or maybe it’s also a good part) is when you get into conflict with someone, you have to work it out because they are in your class everyday.”
With a declared major in nursing, Miguel will begin California State University, Channel Islands this fall. He has wanted to be in the medical field since he began high school. His older sister is also a nurse and he has seen himself in her. “Oak Grove has helped me a lot…” says Miguel. “Being a small school, at Oak Grove I have been able to develop my art and my academics, even sports here have helped me.” Miguel also describes other benefits of being at Oak Grove, “I have learned to get along with everyone, and this has been really great. I have learned to be outgoing here… When I started OGS in 6th grade I was scared and quiet… not now!”
Eric was accepted at University of California, Davis and plans to attend this fall, where he will study communications. He has multiple interests including journalism, history, and law. He is excited about the challenges of furthering his education and living away from home for the first time. “Oak Grove’s teachers really care about us and they are knowledgeable about their subjects and what colleges are expecting from students.” While only attending Oak Grove for the past two years, Eric feels deeply attached to the school. “I feel connected to Oak Grove. I think the most lasting relationships in my life so far have been here… I really respect my teachers and think of them as friends too.”
James is attending New York University, and will work during the summer in Ojai before leaving for the East Coast. He will be in the Liberal Studies program, focusing on journalism, creative writing, and radio. James came to Oak Grove during his senior year. “I have a whole new perspective here at Oak Grove,” James says, “Here, everyone contributes to every conversation, especially in topics like ethics. If you are musical and artistic, Oak Grove is the place to be.” James has had a chance to write more and feels the spirit of the school is going to benefit him in his next adventure on the other side of the country.
Samantha will be attending University of California, Santa Cruz, where she will major in Psychology this fall. Samantha was not able to accompany her peers on the annual senior class trip to India, so she plans to make up for this by going to India during spring break of her freshman year in college, and will work for a women’s empowerment program she found there. She took a break from Oak Grove earlier this year, and then gratefully returned. “After leaving Oak Grove for a little bit, I was able to see how great the school was, and how lucky I was to be here.” She goes further, “The teachers really care about you here and I am really thankful for them. They helped me make up credits I was behind in, and I will always feel I can come back here to be a part of this great community.”
Ready for the next step in her academic career, Ryley will attend Centre College in the fall. A small liberal arts and sciences college, the campus is located in Danville, Kentucky, with great pre-med and pre-vet departments, as well as a strong theatre program… all things that Ryley loves. “Oak Grove has taught me about myself… to really look at myself, to be myself, and to work hard to achieve my goals,” Ryley says about Oak Grove School. “I don’t think I could stay away from Oak Grove very long though… this will always be a home for me. I am excited about this next chapter and happy I had the opportunity to grow up on this campus.”
After her graduation from Oak Grove, Laurel will work during the summer to save as much money as possible for her move to the East Coast in the fall, where she will attend Boston University. She plans to major in film and to perform her work study within her major. “I feel ready for this move… I’m eager for it. Oak Grove has definitely prepared me for the world, both academically and emotionally, ” says Laurel. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to learn, and to strive again. Oak Grove has taught me that, and I’m grateful for it.”
We are very proud of the class of 2012 and wish them success as they begin their next adventure.