Alumni of The Oaks: Extended Content
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The Oaks Academy Difference: Responsibility
I started at The Oaks Academy in 6th grade; before that I went to Jewel Christian Academy. A few other students from JCA came to The Oaks with me in 6th grade, and it was a culture shock because it seemed everyone in the class started here in Pre-K. Otherwise it was really nice because we were all very social people and open to meeting everyone, and the other students were open to meeting us too!
The biggest thing that I remember being different about The Oaks for middle schoolers was the transition from walking in line to being able to just go to class. We knew we still had to go to class, but you didn’t have to be in a line with everyone and you could go to your locker. That was really weird for me at first, because I was so used to the teacher instructing us ‘Alright, let’s line up at the door, we’re going to walk down together.’ And I think that first day at The Oaks when my teacher told us ‘Alright, you’re going to science class, that’s on the second floor,’ we were confused. ‘We just go? Okay, I guess that’s cool.’
The Oaks Academy Difference: Diversity
At The Oaks, it felt like I was learning something from everyone. You not only had students of color but you also had students that were adopted and from different types of families. Before I came here, I had never met different types of people and families, or heard differences spoken about freely. We bonded over how different we were because we were intrigued by our differences and were open to learning and sharing them. This definitely helped me grow more as a person and adapt to high school.
Being at The Oaks helped me know that everyone has their own story. It doesn’t matter what it is, where it started, or where it’s going as long as you know you are all still connected and all still humans. It doesn’t matter what you have or what you don’t have. I’m a very open-minded person and I try to model this for my sister too. No matter who her friends are or who she hangs out with, I try to help her understand not to expect one thing or another, but just to expect to have a good time, expect a good friend, and just be a good friend.
So that mentality from The Oaks helped me a lot. I feel like if I didn’t have that mentality, especially going into Cathedral, it would have been tough, or it would have been a lot tougher to adjust. I always ask people ‘What’s going on? What are you going through?’ because I’m trying to get to know them for who they are, not their background or where they come from.
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