Community on The Hill
Spiritual growth is a foundational tenet of Oak Hill Academy’s mission. Since we joined the Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, community in 1878, community members have warmly welcomed our students at Sunday service each week. While our student body has changed since those early days, our mission hasn’t. And this consistency and steadfastness is a beautiful thing to see in practice in an ever-changing world.
Most students stepping foot onto The Hill for the first time don’t list “spiritual growth” as one of their top three goals. But we’ve found that for many of our students, spiritual growth is a palpable and appreciable benefit of joining our community.
Our student body hails from more than 18 nations and 24 U.S. states. With such an incredibly diverse group of students, we are proud of our economic, racial, political, and, yes, religious diversity. And so our approach to spiritual growth is inclusive in nature—not exclusive, or with a doctrine-specific lead-in.
We all attend church together—Muslim students, Jewish students, side by side with those raised in Catholic and Protestant Christian churches, and those students who have never regularly attended services of any kind. The message is clear: We are all children of God, created by God and loved by God. With that consistent message of hope and responsibility, we are planting seeds and building community.
Oak Hill provides an annual scholarship to a female student from Ricks Institute, our Baptist boarding school partner in Liberia. While OHA provides tuition, room and board, Young’s Chapel Baptist Church covers student expenses for these scholarship recipients. By living together and supporting one another in community, our students participate daily in the lives of our classmates from Africa.
Serving others is a central component of adolescent development, and here at Oak Hill we provide many opportunities for students to “give back.” Volunteer programs include:
- Campus service projects
- Students may assist an administrator in upgrading a particular component of our campus
- Local missions opportunities
- Students assist the less fortunate in our local Mouth of Wilson/Gray community
- Regularly offered through Young’s Chapel Baptist Church and the Oak Hill Academy Youth Group to assist the less fortunate of the Mouth of Wilson/Grayson County community–like the “Backpack Ministry,” and “Feeding America.”
- Supporting philanthropic causes such as Breast Cancer Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention
- Hosting Blood Mobiles
We encourage our students to “think globally, but act locally.” Our recent record support of the local Angel Tree Project and our Youth Group’s involvement with sponsoring two children through World Vision demonstrate this ideal.
Oak Hill has a comprehensive student leadership program consistent with our school’s philosophy and objectives. The program promotes responsibility to fellow students and fosters an appreciation for the democratic process. It also develops responsible, creative, and learned citizens, and encourages students to function in leadership roles.
The program also helps maximize student potential by encouraging students to discover their abilities to lead. When students decide they’d like to step up as campus and community leaders, there are many leadership opportunities available.
Dorm Leaders are veteran students who assist with daily life within their dormitories. Their primary responsibility is to serve as a positive role model and mentor for fellow students. They participate in a variety of tasks, including leading dorm meetings, and they work closely with their Resident Managers to create a welcoming, supportive atmosphere and a positive dormitory community.
Members of the A-Team Leadership group discuss and develop initiatives to foster a positive community climate at Oak Hill Academy. Working closely with the school administrators, these students choose an area of focus (e.g. respect, mental health, engagement, school spirit) and develop projects and methods to better their campus community.
Honor Court Membership
Members of the student Honor Court are hand-selected on the basis of their character and citizenship. The Honor Court addresses issues of potential honor code violations of lying, cheating, and stealing. Student Honor Court members review each incident and work with academy administrators to uphold the honor of the community and to provide steps towards reconciliation if needed.
Peer Mentors are experienced students who receive training in how to support their peers in need of academic or personal support, who might feel more comfortable reaching out to a fellow student. These mentors work closely with our Director of Counseling, and they receive guidance from our Director of Student Affairs in assisting their classmates academically.
Emerging Leaders are students with an interest in developing their leadership potential in the context of life at Oak Hill. Participants in this seminar often go on to serve in a variety of leadership roles.
Student Ambassadors are passionate about life at Oak Hill and embrace the opportunity to share their experience with others. Students interested in becoming Student Ambassadors complete an application process, and accepted students receive training to welcome visitors to campus and share their Oak Hill story.