'The DJDS Experience'- Mia Wexler's speech from the C5C Breakfast

'The DJDS Experience'- Mia Wexler's speech from the C5C Breakfast
  • Outside the Classroom
Mia Wexler


By Mia Wexler, DJDS Senior (Class of 2024)



"Good Morning! 


It is an honor to share my thoughts about DJDS with you. 


As a high school Senior who has been going to Denver Jewish Day School since kindergarten, it seems that I am uniquely positioned to share what I love about this school and how my experiences here can help me have an impact to be the change that the world needs. 


With almost 13 years of experience here, these are my three key DJDS differentiators.


First, DJDS helps us find our Jewish identity and connect with our Jewish roots. 


In eighth grade, a class called "Jewish Denver" taught by Channa Schweid became a turning point in my understanding of what it means to be Jewish. We dove deep into Denver's Jewish history, spanning back to the 1800s. While sifting through this rich tapestry, I made a personal discovery: my maternal grandfather once led a local Jewish society dedicated to helping others. Remarkably, this very society was the setting where my paternal great-grandparents met upon their arrival in Denver. Recognizing this legacy of Tikkun Olam in my family, right here in the Denver Jewish community, was profound. It was a reminder of the power of doing good for others and laid a foundation for my ambition to make a positive impact.


Classes like Jewish Ethical Philosophy, Tzedek Capstone, and Jewish American Comedy broadened my understanding of our religion and identity. It provided a sense of pride and purpose that extended beyond the classroom. This knowledge drives my involvement in Jewish organizations such as BBYO, Rose Youth Foundation, and the JCC. DJDS taught me our history and the importance of pride in our religion and also how to translate that learning into impactful actions beyond the school walls.


Second, DJDS truly champions our passions. 


Take last year as an example: several of us were really into law and political science, but there wasn't an extracurricular club that fit our interests. We took the initiative and pitched the idea of a Moot Court club to Dr. GT. He immediately got on board, even helping us collaborate with a law student from CU. Through this, we immersed ourselves in mock trials, sharpening our argumentative and writing skills, as well as our social skills. This experience solidified my passion for law so much that I'm applying to colleges planning to major in political science.


And there are so many similar stories. The new Wednesday schedule offers electives for everyone. A friend of mine, into auto-mechanics, started a 'Car Club' where we are fixing a broken down car (hint: it’s one that has been sitting in our parking lot for some time!). The cool thing is, no matter the interest - be it law, mechanics, movies, business, psychology, or tech - the DJDS faculty ensures we have a platform to explore and they always back us up.




Finally, and this gets talked about all of the time, because it is so true:  The real gem of DJDS is our community. 


This community, including you. A community I'm proud to be part of now and forever. 


DJDS is a place where everyone roots for you, genuinely cares, and knows you personally. I still remember the thrill in middle school when older students greeted me by name or involved me in school activities. It showed me that we’re one big family, regardless of age differences. My friends who go to public school can’t relate to this at all, yet this amazing feeling and environment is what we experience here every day. 


Now, being in high school, I cherish every part of this tight-knit community – from sports to traditions. Playing volleyball and basketball isn’t just about the game; it’s the camaraderie, the bus rides with blasting music, and the unparalleled team spirit. Each season, I'm amazed at how our bonds strengthen. Our school traditions, be it making pancakes for faculty or participating in Color War, are more than just events; they’re about creating connections with each other, creating lasting memories, and celebrating our unique community.


Reflecting on my time here, DJDS has been more than just a school. It’s a place that has molded me, teaching me to be proud of my Jewish identity, to explore and chase new experiences, to value our traditions and our community, and to use my voice because it matters. 


My grandfather loved the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in which Judy Garland sings “And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” I am proud to say that DJDS has taught me to dream and has given me the skills to make my dreams come true. 


Thank you to the entire DJDS team for helping me become the person I am today. And thanks to all of you for allowing me to share my thoughts."


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