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I change myself, and I change the world.

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Benjamin Figueroa ’16 Participates in Summer Leadership Institute

Benjamin Figueroa ’16 participated in the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) held at UC Davis in July. Encouraged by his O’Dowd counselor to apply for the YLI, Ben was one of roughly 100 students, selected from more than 1,500 applicants, who spent four days focusing on leadership issues in Hispanic college bound youth, college preparedness and overall leadership development. YLI participants worked on case studies, attended lectures, created scenarios and more. Their mentors included young adults from Brown and Yale.

Ben returned home very inspired, more connected to his Latino roots and much more aware of the process of college admittance. Read more…



Will the Pope Change the Vatican? Or Will the Vatican Change the Pope?

When about 7,000 awed strangers first encounter him on the public stage, he is not yet the pope—but like a chrysalis stirring, something astounding is already present in the man. Inside Stadium Luna Park, in downtown Buenos Aires, Argentina, Roman Catholics and evangelical Christians have gathered for an ecumenical event. From the stage, a pastor calls out for the city’s archbishop to come up and say a few words. The audience reacts with surprise, because the man striding to the front had been sitting in the back all this time, for hours, like no one of any importance. Though a cardinal, he is not wearing the traditional pectoral cross around his neck, just a black clerical shirt and a blazer, looking like the simple priest he was decades ago. He is gaunt and elderly with a somber countenance, and at this moment nine years ago it is hard to imagine such an unassuming, funereal Argentine being known one day, in every corner of the world, as a figure of radiance and charisma.

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Summer School at O’Dowd

Debate camp students play the ruthless game of “Ships and Sailors”. Pretty amusing.

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Debate Camp

Basketball Camp

Cheerleading Camp Graduates Perform

Sports Leadership Camp

Drama Camp

Steve Silberman: The forgotten history of autism

Decades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of psychologists with an accepting view, an unexpected pop culture moment and a new clinical test. But to really understand, we have to go back further to an Austrian doctor by the name of Hans Asperger, who published a pioneering paper in 1944. Because it was buried in time, autism has been shrouded in misunderstanding ever since.

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O’Dowd’s First Marketing Director Nicki DeMarais Shaw ’81 Departing

O’Dowd’s first Director of Marketing, Nicki DeMarais Shaw ’81, who played a pivotal role in managing and coordinating the school’s marketing efforts, departed her position this summer.

For the past four years, Shaw has worked to establish a marketing driven approach to communications at O’Dowd. She provided oversight of the school’s “brand” identity, created and implemented a multitude of comprehensive marketing campaigns, supported the Admissions Department in student recruitment and retention efforts and the Advancement Department in increasing funding, and managed the school’s marketing/advertising budget. Read more…

Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection

Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins studies the quirks of human behavior as he steals your watch. In a hilarious demonstration, Robbins samples the buffet of the TEDGlobal 2013 audience, showing how the flaws in our perception make it possible to swipe a wallet and leave it on its owner’s shoulder while they remain clueless.

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel »

Summer Construction in Full Swing

The O’Dowd campus has been the site of much activity this summer, with several major construction projects either completed or fully underway.

An amphitheater, which will be used as a meeting and teaching space, is being constructed in the area in front of the Center for Environmental Studies. This project was made possible due to generous support of the Class of 2015 Gift Campaign, in which more than $57,600 was raised.

Solar panels are being placed to provide much needed shade for the classrooms while generating electricity to offset O’Dowd’s carbon footprint.

Most noticeable is the Quad lawn replacement project. The lawn was replaced with turf as part of O’Dowd’s sustainability effort to minimize our landscape water use.

The area between the library and main classroom building was expanded, resurfaced and realigned to allow for more parking and greater student traffic separation. As part of this project, ADA parking was added near the library.

Other projects underway include sewer system repairs and the installation of sunshade awnings on the main classroom building.

If you happen to be on campus please be extra cautious, remain clear of the construction areas and do not cross over the yellow safety tape.

New Alums Visit Richmond School

Three new alums generously volunteered their time to play a few games of basketball with some very excited kids at Mira Vista School in Richmond today. Ivan Rabb ‘15, Isaiah Thomas ‘15, and Jeevin Sandhu ‘15 arrived on campus to be greeted by a multitude of adoring fans; all standing at least three feet shorter than the three hoops stars. A Q&A session was held in one of the first grade classrooms where the kids asked them questions like, “What’s your shoe size?”, “Can you backwards dunk?”, “Can you eat anything you want?” After responding to these questions with answers that held the kids in disbelief (shoe sizes were 14 and 15!), Ivan, Jeevin, and Isaiah took to the court to play on the staff team in the teachers versus students game. Although there was no score keeping for the game, it was clear that the teachers might have had a slight advantage over the students. However, it was the joy that these new alums brought to the kids that made it an extra special day for everyone.

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O'Dowd at a Glance


We're a complex school with a lot going on. Here is our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels all in one easily scannable location. View our media wall »

TED Talks


Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection

Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins studies the quirks of human behavior as he steals your watch. In a hilarious demonstration, Robbins samples the buffet of the TEDGlobal 2013 audience, showing how the flaws in our perception make it possible to swipe a wallet and leave it on its owner's shoulder while they remain clueless.

View our TED archive »

Social Media



Getting Here

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O'Dowd Phone App


The school calendar, athletics, news updates and staff directory are all part of the newly updated O'Dowd app. Get it now on iTunes or for Android »

The YouTube Channel


With over 700 videos, and constant updates, the O'Dowd YouTube channel is the best way to get highlights of student life on campus.

Finding God in All Things

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