The first time I visited OES was January of last year. It was raining as usual for Portland weather; I didn’t mind the rain because I was so distracted by how the people here are so welcoming. All the students at OES were very friendly and treated me like I was already part of the OES community. I realized that I wanted to stay and go to school at OES.
I am from Philadelphia and the main reason why I chose to fly across the country to attend boarding school is for the amazing fencing program OES offers. My goal is to be in the Olympics when I’m older, and to achieve that goal I had to pack up my clothes and attend the OES boarding program. I am very thankful that my parents are letting me go here because if it wasn’t for them I would not be able to have a chance at standing on that medal podium.
I miss my family a lot, but once I arrived at OES everybody was really nice and I made a lot of new friends. The dorm parents at OES are almost like my “replacement” parents. They treat me like I am their own daughter. They always check up on me and make sure I am doing my homework and behaving like I should be. OES is my new home and I love it here. Leaving Philadelphia wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be thanks to the community I have here.
More on Fencing: The Oregon Fencing Alliance, located on our campus, is home to two-time Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis and US Women's Olympic Saber Coach Ed Korfanty.