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Our Students

  • We serve over 380 students who speak more than 32 languages.
  • 100% of our students are English language learners, nearly all of whom immigrated to the US during the last 4 years.
  • OIHS students come from 35 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bhutan, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, China, Congo-Domincan Republic, El Salvador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Liberia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Thailand, Togo, Vietnam, Yemen.
  • 22% of our students are refugees who have escaped some of the world’s most violent and protracted conflicts.
  • Approximately 33% of our students arrive with limited or large gaps in their formal education.

Student Profile

Sharchana & Puhan Mapchan

Gate Millennum Scholars!

Sisters Pujan & Sharchana Mapchan knew only a handful of English words when they first took their seats at OIHS in 2008. Born in a refugee camp in Nepal, they were used to attending a school house built with mud and straw. The sisters and their family were the first in a wave of Bhutanese refugees to come to Oakland. Without strong English skills or an extensive community, they felt isolated. But at OIHS they began to make friends across cultures, and to give guidance to the dozens of other Bhutanese students who joined OIHS. In their four years of high school, the sisters have become strong leaders—each with her individual assets and talents to offer—in the OIHS community, participating on the school soccer team, the school leadership team, and the peer tutoring program. “Sometimes I feel unlucky to be a refugee, but I am also fortunate because I learned how to not give up,” says Pujan. “I want to become a social worker so I can help others feel safe, unlike how I felt growing up. In this country, many things are possible and I have acquired hope.”

In the spring of 2013, both sisters were accepted into the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship program. (Only 1,000 students are selected nation wide.) As Gates Scholars, they will receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice, along with personal and professional development throughout their college career.

In 2016, Pujan graduated from Notre Dame de Namur with a dual degree in Social Welfare and Psychology, and her sister, Sharchana, graduated in 2017 with a degree in Psychology. Pujan has spent the last two years working in the field of public health in Haiti, where she is working with medical professionals and community members to raise funds, educate, and bring greater access to healthcare in rural communities around the country. We're so incredibly proud of how much they have both achieved and how hard they work to improve the world around them!