We have collected hundreds of personal narratives from students, alumni, faculty, and staff that explain the merits and strengths of Oberlin through the eyes of those who have experienced it firsthand.
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On experiential learning

Aaron Appel ’16
“What I chose to do while at The Philadelphia Center would have been inconceivable had I not spent the last two and a half years living in this small-town Ohio community.”

On tutoring at Head Start

Leah Awkward-Rich ’17
“I witnessed the kids I spent several hours a week with mature emotionally and personally, and I was given the opportunity to participate as they learned brand new concepts.”

On writing Nicaraguan women’s history

Victoria González-Rivera ’90
“I became a feminist and started to focus on an overarching question that would absorb much of my time over the next two decades: why assume that only white women fought back against sexism before...

On the Oberlin College Dialogue Center

Amanda Medress ’09
“We handle conflict through a social justice lens, which means acknowledging that differences in power and privilege inherently affect human interaction.”

On the lasting effects of her time at Oberlin

Martha J. Tenney ’83
“Years later I have a career in public health and the things I love are the things I loved that helped create the squiggly route to NOW. ”

On the ethos of Obies

Wendell Russell, Jr. ’71
“My Oberlin was very much a time and place of social ferment and activism, and while the issues may be different today, I know that Oberlin students will always be deeply involved in cutting edge...

On fighting back

Amanda Turley ’10
“My freshman year, I joined the planning committee for Oberlin’s first ever Relay for Life. For the event, I started my own team: the Pirates Dueling Cancer, decked out in black and red pirate attire...

On working with the Oberlin Action for Civil Rights

Matthew Rinaldi ’69
“Oberlin played a major role in the student civil rights movement... Not just one person, but many people, linked arm and arm together, ended the reign of white supremacy in the Deep South.”

On succeeding through adversity

Yolanda Walker ’09
“Oberlin takes those with ambition and provides them with a world of opportunities. I entered Oberlin as a housekeeper and graduated four years later with a degree in economics.”

On changing the world, one book at a time

Anita Fahrni ’65
“After returning, I started to collect, sort and send books. Within 10 years, over 220,000 books would find their way from my garage to libraries throughout Mongolia!”

On venturing outside the Oberlin bubble

Mitchell Herrmann ’17
“The trips I took to the city of Akron during the cold of Ohio’s winter months introduced me to an entirely new world—a world in which my political and social assumptions were challenged in entirely...

On preparation

Yvette Chen ’16
“Three years into college, I can say with confidence that my experiences inside and outside of the classroom have equipped me with the skills to fight for what I believe in.”

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