Why I Give

Why I Give: Ellen McAleavy (Sean O'Connor '21 and Gabe O'Connor '24)

We have always felt that the greatest gifts you can give a child are love, time, and an incredible education. Sonoma Academy has, year after year, graduated thoughtful, engaged young adults, well equipped to be lifelong learners.

We think the secret sauce of SA is the emphasis on community. Of course there are teams and clubs to join, but there are so many other rich opportunities in which to explore, stretch and grow: Exploratory, Intersession, Senior Speeches, lunch in the GAC, Retreats, and Advisory, to name a few. These opportunities for students to express themselves, to be vulnerable, to reflect on and learn from mistakes are what completes a well rounded education.

We also appreciate the SA culture that gives space and time for creativity—not just the fabulous Visual Art, Theater, Music programs, but also the silly fun of events like “Anything but a Backpack” Day!

Last week, we noticed that Sean (‘21), who has taken a few months of break between school and college, is reading four different books. They are filled with yellow sticky notes inserted in important pages. Those yellow sticky notes are “so SA,” something Sean learned during his various Humanities classes. The books are: The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek, The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes, The I Ching or Book of Changes Richard Wilhelm Translation, Richard Wilhelm Translation, and The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus.

Seeing all of these books scattered around the living room made me stop and give thanks for all that SA has given to us. How fortunate we are to benefit from the legacy of giving that came before us! To the founders who gave so much of their time and money to bring SA to life, and to all the past parents, teachers, staff, and board members: a huge thank you for all that you have done so that our children can benefit from your giving.

Giving to SA with both our time and money is our way to contribute to this amazing community of parents and staff who share our view that an incredible education is the ultimate gift that lasts a lifetime.

Every Gift Matters

Behind every gift to Sonoma Academy is a story. Some give because they were inspired by our brilliant faculty. Some give because they believe that education is the best investment there is. Some give because they know that a caring, community-oriented culture paired with academic rigor is the recipe for a school than can foster a new generation of creative critical thinkers and responsible, passionate leaders. 

Learn a little more about why our community gives to the Sonoma Academy Fund.
2500 Farmers Lane 
Santa Rosa, CA 95404 
(707) 545-1770

Sonoma Academy Is...

...the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.

Sonoma Academy admits students of any race, color, religion, ethnicity or national origin, citizenship, gender or gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, or disability, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity or national origin, citizenship, gender or gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and tuition assistance programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.