Jay Oxarart

Friend / Professional Mentor

Jay grew up in southern California but has spent a lot of time in Oregon throughout childhood. He moved to Bend about a decade ago and immediately appreciated the small-town feel. The multitude of recreational opportunities here is unparalleled and lends itself to incredible youth outings. He can take youth from the lake, to the trails, to grab hot cocoa, and to the ice rink all in one afternoon. All the amenities feel right at his fingertips. He brought a wealth of mentoring experience to the role. While he initially set out to become a classroom teacher, pursuing a Masters in Teaching, he quickly realized that 1:1 time with young people was his calling. He has worked with every age group: early childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Across many of his jobs he recognized how critical early intervention was. “If I’d only met them sooner, younger, I could have greater impact. These behaviors are survival strategies and the result of not having their needs met.” He most appreciates the constant check on his own perspective. Working with young kids has taught him to figure out how to communicate and plan his outings with clarity. “Explain this to me like I’m a 5-year-old” is a way of life. Seeing the world through his youth’s eyes has opened him up in ways he didn’t expect. “I’m so happy to be a part of this team and this incredible organization. Our mission is so impressive and everyone I tell about it feels like exactly what our community aches for.”

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