Development

Gratitude

04/30/20

I have seen first-hand the positive transformation that can happen in a young person’s life as a result of the Oxbow experience. Before Oxbow my daughter lacked self-confidence; she was shy and uncomfortable around her peers and adults. Her grades and peer group began to slip as her self-confidence waned. After attending the Oxbow summer camp she was at a crossroads in her life and knew spending a semester at Oxbow was where she needed to be. Being shy, stepping outside of our small town was challenging but she was determined to try something new. Although it was hard for her to open up to new people, she found a warm and welcoming community among the students and staff from different backgrounds. For the first time in her life she could be exactly who she is. She felt accepted and was truly joyful. She returned from her Oxbow semester a poised, self-reliant person and resolute student. As a result of this new-found confidence her grades improved and she became a leader in her community.

When I first told my now 25 year-old that I was joining the team at The Oxbow School her reaction was, “Oxbow changed my life!” While attending her semester at Oxbow she gained a sense of self-worth and the realization that she was “enough.” She went on to major in art from a prestigious university, followed by earning a master's degree in education and receiving a California teaching certificate. She is now a 5th grade teacher in Oakland, CA. The positive impact Oxbow had creating a path in her teenage years has carried through to her adult life and will always be a part of her. For this I express my gratitude.

I started as Director of Advancement and Communications for The Oxbow School in January of this year. Little did anyone know that the world would be thrown into such chaos one month later.

Historically, the Oxbow School holds two major fundraising initiatives, an Annual Fund campaign; and a celebratory gala to conclude the school year. This year we planned a series of small intimate fundraising events "Oxbow on the Go," in cities where many families, friends and supporters of Oxbow reside -- Seattle, New York City, Atlanta and the Bay Area.

When we asked for help in planning these events, the supportive response was overwhelming. Alumni parents, alumni, friends and local vintners graciously agreed to donate their time, open up their homes or provide delicious food and wine, in celebration of the Oxbow program and in support of future Oxbow students. While these receptions have been temporarily suspended because of COVID-19, I look forward to meeting up with our extended Oxbow family to raise a glass of Napa Valley wine in support of The Oxbow School! For this, I express my gratitude.

I have watched the incredible staff and faculty step-up to continue the program excellence that is Oxbow. As OS42 students departed campus, the faculty quickly re-calibrated into distance learning mode. They continue to teach and mentor students across the country, keeping solid educational and artistic lessons in place. I have watched Head of School Jennifer Jordan’s strength and leadership steer the Oxbow community through this unprecedented chapter in the school’s history. Her calm demeanor and grace through this situation gives me confidence that The Oxbow School will not only survive this pandemic but it will come out stronger and bolder than ever! For this, I express my gratitude.

I hope you will consider making a donation to The Oxbow School as an expression of your own gratitude. As a small non-profit organization, we need your help to continue offering a transformative experience for our students. As an alum parent, I personally know what The Oxbow School can do for students and families and ask you to join me in supporting the school during this challenging time.

You can donate to the school by clicking on the link here or going to the Oxbow website at www.oxbowschool.org. You can also send a check to 440 Third Street, Napa CA 94559. All donations are tax deductible. Please contact me at kbitzer@oxbowschool.org if you have any questions or need further information.

Together, we are grateful.

Kelly Bitzer,

Director of Advancement and Communications

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