Sadly, today was the last full day of the 2018 Oxbridge at UCLA program. We are all grateful to have spent the summer with our amazing students, faculty, and staff. This has been a summer to remember. All of us here at Oxbridge at UCLA know that we had some incredible students on our program. Our students were enthusiastic about school, about activities, and about life. These high schoolers were mature beyond their years and showed that each and every one of them will go on to have great, great achievements.
For our final night, we surprised the students by taking them to Dockweiler Beach and having a bonfire, complete with pizza, s’mores, glow sticks, and lots of photos. It was bittersweet for everyone though, as it was the last big hurrah before departure day tomorrow. Our students laughed, cried, and laughed some more on one of the best trips of the entire program. A few courageous kids even went into the water! Needless to say, it was a special evening with a stellar group of students. It was a truly fitting way to cap off an awesome summer!
Tonight was a night full of big bets, big losses, and even bigger wins! Poker night was a massive success! The students were so excited to be playing with real poker chips, playing games such as roulette, blackjack, and Texas hold ’em. Some of the braver and more experienced Oxbridge students were our dealers. There was snacks, cookies, Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider, and lots of fun. Our big winner of the night ended up with $4,595 in poker chips, giving him a special prize. Everyone there was dressed in cocktail attire as well, adding to the atmosphere of the entire event. What an incredible way to enjoy our second-to-last night of Oxbridge at UCLA! Today was one of the best days of the program and we are so glad everyone had so much fun! We’re all in!!
Although we do have fun and spend time exploring LA, Oxbridge is still about learning and education. Our students have the valuable opportunity to gain knowledge in a field they are interested in, picking up important skills along the way. Today was a day dedicated towards classes. As the students gear up for their final project presentations tomorrow, all of them were hard at work in preparation. The business major even had a professional panel come in to discuss student ideas, as well as the struggles and successes of student-led projects. Students from all major and minor classes gathered together to put the finishing touches on their projects. Tomorrow will be a day of educational celebration, as the students will find out what each other have learned. Each Oxbridge participant will have a chance to tell their peers about their experiences in the classroom, and we honestly can’t wait!
A day at Venice Beach? Why not! Our last beach day of the program was a rousing success as almost our entire student body headed to the beautiful sandy shores. It was a full day in the sun, complete with soccer, football, volleyball, and even some swimming! It was also a way to relax and spend valuable time with the friends that each student has made during the Oxbridge program. The Boardwalk was in full swing as well, showing off the many vendors, performers, and athletes that Venice has to offer. A few of the kids even did some minor digging in the sand!
The rest of the group went to the Melrose Flea Market for the second time, a huge hit with our students. It started in 1997 and features over 300 local vendors! Whoa!
Our last Sunday was something special. Happy to have spent it under the sun!
Yesterday was a day for the arts. It was a day to see art, hear art, and experience some incredible art that Los Angeles can offer. It started with a group of students travelling to the Broad Museum in downtown LA. The Broad is one of the newest museums in Los Angeles, opening three years ago after a benefactor gave 140 million dollars to start the museum. Our kids were one of the 750,000 visitors that the Broad will be seeing this year.
Afterwards, we decided to check out LA’s most beloved music venue, the famed Hollywood Bowl. This outdoor theater seats 17,500 people and opened almost 100 years ago in 1922. We were lucky enough to see the movie Jaws with a special twist. All of the music from the movie was played by the incredible Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Talk about a way to experience one of the best music scores of all time!
The city of Los Angeles is home to many sports teams, including the Dodgers, the Kings, and the Clippers. Tonight, we decided to watch another one of LA’s greatest teams, the Los Angeles Sparks. Most of us made our way over to the famous Staples Center and settled into our box seats to watch one of the WNBA’s winningest franchises.
After three quarters, the Sparks were down big to the Indiana Fever. Suddenly, there was a furious comeback and our students were at the heart of it. We were screaming and shouting “Let’s go” chants like we’ve been lifelong fans. It was an amazing experience. Unfortunately, the Sparks lost by two points but it was still a special day for dozens of the Oxbridge students. All we can say is that this day was definitely a slam dunk!
The iconic Universal Studios has made hundreds of blockbuster films including Jurassic Park, the Fast and Furious franchise, Jaws, E.T., and so many more. Today, the entire Oxbridge program were given the chance to experience the power and magic of filmmaking firsthand. You guessed it! We spent the day at Universal Studios, folks!
The students absolutely loved this trip. They got to go on rollercoasters, see some of the film sets of famous movies, and even experience a miniature Harry Potter universe within the theme park. It was one of the best days of the program. Every single kid had a great experience throughout the day and we really can’t ask for more than that. Today was top notch. There’s no other way to put it!
P.S. Our program director Caswell even found his own director’s chair!