3 words that best describe Ogden International:
Unique, family, worldly
A fond memory of your time at Ogden:
I returned to Ogden halfway through my Sophomore year after attending a private
High School. I reconnected with old friends, made new friends, and could not believe the quality of the teaching staff and their caring attitude toward me. They strove to create a comforting environment where I could build self confidence. I was worried it was too small of a school. However, once there, I realized how special a small school really is.
I'd advise someone to go and spend some time at the West Campus. I was able to shadow for one day and after that experience, I could not wait to come back to the High School.
Emma Spring, Class of 2014
Coming from a preppy grade school in Lincoln Park, I did not want to go to Ogden. It was too different and I knew I wasn’t going to fit in. I had planned on staying at Ogden for a couple of months, a year at the most, before transferring to another high school. I had come to Ogden solo from grade school, which made high school even more dreadful. When I first got to Ogden I was looking at the situation "glass half empty", but after my first year I took so much pride in the fact I was independent and did something different than my old peers. After meeting my friends (that I am still connected with today), having teachers that believed in me, and being open to so many life changing experiences, I did not want to leave. Ogden shattered my original thoughts and surpassed my expectations....I turned my situation into "glass half full" because otherwise I don’t think I’d be where I am today.
There are many misconceptions about Ogden International because it’s a new high school still and not a lot of people are aware of it yet. I wrote in my graduation speech, “If there is one thing I would want our class to take away from Ogden International is that you are in control of your own life. We may not be the most privileged school or in the most modern building with state of the art facilities, but, it is a building full of a diverse and open minded student body and athletes that are always willing to take on a challenge any day of the week. Within the walls of Ogden, we not only have a strong sense of others, but we have all developed an even stronger sense of self.” The misconnection is based on looks, but if someone is basing their choice on where to attend high school based on how it appears, they aren't fit to be an Owl anyway.
Giving advice is easy because I was the apprehensive student. Again, I think my graduation speech applies. “A past assistant principal once said, “High School is what you make of it.” Since that day, I have learned that success is self derived; if high school is what you make of it, so is the rest of your life. Sometimes I would think to myself, what type of person I would be if I never came to Ogden, never met the people I did or had the experiences that made me who I am to this very day. And now that it is graduation day and I have the ability to look back on the 4 years I spent here, I genuinely feel that I would never have had all the opportunities that I have received at Ogden if I had chosen to go elsewhere. We have the ability to walk away right now and remember the past 4 years however we want. You can choose to remember your high school years to be the most painful 4 years of your life, or, the best 4 years of your life yearning for 4 more great years, then another 4, and another 4 after that. It is all up to you. You are in control of your life. So as we move forward, not only through the ceremony, but also in life, remember that everything you do, can only be as great as you make it. One person told me that high school is what you make it, and I took that to heart. So hopefully, I am that one person that just inspired you and your outlook on your next adventure in your life.”
So my advice would be to change your attitude and it will change your outlook. I wanted to be negative coming in, but the people made it very hard to remain that way. I think that any student that is apprehensive, I would tell them that it’s normal to be hesitant. That just means you’re being smart and thinking things through. I would reassure that student to just close their eyes and make the decision with their heart and not their eyes. Then I would ask them what they would like to see changed within in the walls of West Campus. A new club they want to run? Go for it. A wider variety of classes to take? Speak up. New sports equipment or computer lab? Fight for it. Because change is good and Ogden International is a community of zealous leaders. West Town, Chicago, and even the world is theirs for the taking if they are up to the challenge. I am proud to be an OIHS alum and would tell them they will be too at the end of their 4 years.
Alumni Parent Spotlight
Connie Anderson, Mother to Marey and Maray, Both Class of 2016
Why We Chose Ogden International
As a parent, we strive to make sure our children receive the best education, we visit schools, talk to administrators, compare school rankings etc. Our number one objective is to make sure our children are prepared for their world and are able to conquer any obstacle in their path.
In 7th grade (the most important/hardest/most dreaded year for students) my daughters were attending a private school and all of the parents were considering a public high school. My daughters knew their standardized test scores were important. They interviewed with many schools and got multiple acceptance letters, but Ogden International stood out.
The culture at Ogden is very diverse. Not only nationally but internationally. My daughter's closest friends are from China, Thailand, Tibet and Africa. All of the girls embrace one another's culture by attending different events, eating different foods and learning the language. This is beautiful! This is added value. It has always been important to me for my children to embrace other cultures and we got that in our four years at Ogden.
And the teachers are simply amazing! Ogden teachers believe if the student fails, we failed that student. As a parent, knowing a teacher cares so much about my children's success makes me want to work even harder to help my children succeed. As high school was winding down, one of my daughters became overwhelmed. When the teachers noticed, they took action right away. There were group meetings discussing what they can do to assure she continues to do exceptionally well. These are the teachers our children need.
Our stay at Ogden International was amazing. We met great people and made great relationships.