Camp O’Connor Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute has been awarded a generous $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities for Camp O’Connor, a civics program for middle school students. Camp O’Connor is a free, merit-based week-long summer program providing interactive civics education and leadership development for 7th and 8th graders.

Now in its third year, Camp O’Connor takes place in downtown Phoenix at the Beus Center for Law and Society, home of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute and the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. With a large Arizona contingent, an increased focus on outreach to rural communities resulted in participation by students from Bullhead City, Yuma, Chino Valley, Sahuarita, Tucson, Hereford, Clifton, Florence, and Nogales, in addition to Maricopa County.

Camp O’Connor works to educate, inspire and encourage the next generation of leaders to develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for our democracy and their important role as citizens.  Campers develop leadership skills, greater knowledge of our nation’s democracy and experience civics in action, enhanced by field trips to the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of Arizona’s government.

O’Connor Institute Board Chair Matt Feeney, added, “Through its generous grant to the O’Connor Institute, the Thunderbirds have once again demonstrated their remarkable civic leadership and philanthropy, spanning over several decades. The O’Connor Institute’s focus on civics education, civic engagement, and civil discourse complements well the Thunderbirds’ mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona communities.”

“Providing civics education and leadership development is something we’re very proud of,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re honored to support Camp O’Connor and their hands-on approach to developing our next leaders.”

“The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute is grateful to the Thunderbirds who not only helped to launch Camp O’Connor through its initial funding, but have sustained our innovative civics education program for 7th and 8th grade students,” noted Sarah Suggs, President of the O’Connor Institute.  “Justice O’Connor helped to conceive Camp O’Connor several years ago following feedback from our interns who expressed the need for a summer interactive civics camp and Camp O’Connor is the meaningful result,” she added.

Thunderbirds Charities has funded Camp O’Connor since its inception in 2016. The O’Connor Institute extends its deepest gratitude to Thunderbirds Charities for their continued support of Camp O’Connor and their commitment to children’s education in Arizona. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities.

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