Spotlight On


Eagle Hill News caught up with alumnus Kevin Oxer, 20, a senior at Adelphi University, just as he was preparing to move halfway around the world to Queensland, Australia to study at Bond University for the fall semester.

What brought you to Eagle Hill?

When I arrived at Eagle Hill at the age of 12, I was reading at a third-grade level, my executive function and time management skills were terrible, and I lacked confidence and had low self-esteem. My biggest issue, though, was that I didn't know how to learn.

What did you learn at Eagle Hill that helped you manage those challenges?

Eagle Hill taught me how to learn. It taught me how to study, take notes, how to outline and organize myself. I also learned how to self-advocate, and how to position myself for success.

I lived in the dorm all three years, which really helped me learn how to manage my time. The experience also built up my self-esteem and improved my social skills. Joy (Eagle Hill's Residential Director) got me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things - countless things - whether it was new foods, activities, or sports. She really pushed me to be independent and to advocate for myself, and she got me to come out of my shell.

Speaking of sports, I played ice hockey my second and third year. Mr. Moore and Mr. Leonard really encouraged me to do that. Mr. Leonard took me under his wing and showed me how to play. Then he convinced me to play soccer, which I never would have done. Mr. Moore convinced me to play baseball. Before going to Eagle Hill, I never thought I'd play a sport.

Tell us about your educational journey after Eagle Hill.

After graduating from Eagle Hill, I went to Winston Prep for a year and then moved on to Forman for my last two years of high school. Eagle Hill really prepped me for high school and college. To this day, Ms. Smolak's Language Arts class was the hardest academic challenge I've ever had to face. In fact, everything has been a piece of cake compared to Eagle Hill.

I'm currently a senior at Adelphi, where I'm majoring in business management with a concentration in finance. In the fall, I'm going to Australia's Gold Coast to study at Bond University. This will be the first time I'll be completely alone in a foreign country. I wouldn't be independent if it wasn't for Eagle Hill. It is definitely the reason I even considered going to Australia.

Does Adelphi offer any academic support for students with learning differences?

At Adelphi, there's a learning resource program for students with language-based learning disabilities. I meet with an educator twice a week for 45 minutes, more if I need it. She helps me create a plan for big projects and papers. I also have a math educator who reinforces what I learn in the classroom.

What about Bond University?

I won't have academic support at Bond, so it will be new for me to be without it. I can email my educator at Adelphi to talk to her on the phone if I need it. That said, I think I'll be able to manage my schoolwork indepdently.

Any words of advice for current Eagle Hill students?

I would encourage them to take full advantage of what Eagle Hill has to offer. They should really practive their study skills and try new things - whether that's a new sport, or a new activity - because it's a safe environment. Eagle Hill is a place where you can figure out how to be the best you. Nothing's like it, but you will leave with all the skills you need to be successful outside of Eagle Hill.