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Abby McLelland, a Bixby alumni asked this great question at a small gathering of alumni and parents of alumni,hosted by the Pizzi family. It is such a powerful question because it captures perfectly what most commonly defines Bixby students and alumni. Prospective (and current) families often ask -will Bixby prepare my child for what is next? It is a natural question and one that we should be held responsible for being able to answer in the affirmative. What has been powerful for me is the realization that what Bixby kids do is not just transition smoothly to middle school. They do. It is that they chart a path for their livesthat is driven by self-awareness, passion and a desire to make an impacton the world around them. Bixby kids understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them. They understand that they have a role to play in that broader world. There are indeed Bixby alumni at Stanford and with big jobs(like Pixar, or lawyers, doctors and engineers); but equally important are the people who have gone on to create music, follow a passion for math in unusual ways or create an entirely new business. What so many of them have in common is that they know themselves enough to follow their own curiosity. This is not a “certain kind of kid”. Sometimes it is the “quiet” compliant child who comes to Bixby and discovers their voice and passions. Sometimes it may be the child who has so much in their head that they are literally jumping out of their seat. Their enthusiasm is seen, honored and cultivated, even as they learn how to navigate that enthusiasm in a community. I believe that every child has within them a creative, independent and unique spark. The difference is simply whether kids find themselves in an environment that sees and cultivates that spark within them, or whether they try to keep that flame alive, despite their environment. What questions have guided your pathway in life?
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