Oak View Education Center held its fourth Women’s Day Celebration “Dream Big!” on March 13. The special day celebrated girls who attend OVHS and Ed Center.
This year 50 female students attended the event that began with an inspirational speech by Faye Kitariev, an Olympic figure-skating coach. The day culminated in an elegant afternoon tea spearheaded by Oak View English teacher Cathy Schmidt.
“I am honored to host Oak View High School's Women's Day celebration,” said Schmidt, who begins preparations a year in advance. “This year's theme of Dream Big! was designed so that our young women could experience and understand that they must believe in their dreams. Their dreams are the windows to their future that they are meant to fulfill; they just have to take one step at a time towards those dreams.”
Faye Kitariev, bestselling author, Olympic figure skater and life mastery coach was the guest speaker.
Students gathered in a classroom as Kitariev spoke from the heart.
She spoke about her passion and dream of becoming a becoming an Olympic figure skating coach.
“My dream came from my 19 year-old self,” said Kitariev. “I was nothing special growing up. I was late all the time, not an ‘A’ student and not a role model. I saw myself as not good enough and not worthy. But my 19 year old had a brilliant vision and the courage to do what she did. “
She said her mother was not very supportive and along with a nasty figure skating coach called her lazy and made her feel inferior.
“I chose to believe them,” she said. But you guys are so amazing because you have the power of today to decide what kind of life you will have.”
She said dreams may seem impossible to achieve but once you start believing they can come true, you inch towards making them a reality. She asked students what their dreams were. One girl said a marine biologist and another said a photographer.
“You want it,” she said. “You have to ask for it and be bold. Listen to your heart because you know what’s best for you.”
Kitariev told girls to do what is best for them and not for their parents, friends or another adult. The audience recited, “This is my life and I’m gonna live it for me.”
She told the girls they “are powerful without measure. Let your light shine. We’re here to love a life of excellence no matter where we are or where we come from. We all have potential within us.”
Student Jennifer Zorn said, “I think it inspires young ladies who don’t come from wealthy families.”
Each student received a copy of Kitariev’s book and many of them were autographed.
The students were then escorted to an elaborately decorated tea room complete with flowers, balloons, table linens and elegance. Schmidt and husband Kevin designed the room. Teacher Alyson Harper designed the floral centerpiece.
Oak View Principal Sam Spencer said, “As young women you have so much potential and I am glad you get a chance to have your special day but it does not end here today. You need to look back on this day from time to time and remember what it was all about. You are all so special, not only you girls but each woman in here that worked to put this together and the special guests who came in support of this.”
Board of Trustee Sharon Bannister said she was impressed with the afternoon activities.
“It’s awesome that teachers and students go to this tremendous effort for these girls because it does make a difference. And nobody can truly know how it will effect these girls down the road.”
Some of the students began taking pictures with their cell phones.
“Wow,” said student Samantha Green. “I’m in awe. I’m grateful for the wonderful staff and this day.”
In addition to the tea, special baskets and other gifts were presented to the girls.