Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Senior Project

I graduate in 10 days. I have been to at least eight graduations (I have three older sisters out of college and parents who like to go back to school) but I have never once put on a cap and gown myself. This time it's for me. This is the time of year that most high school seniors skip class more than they attend, and homework is almost laughable. I choose a different path for the conclusion of my high school career...and sometimes I question why.

I have chosen to participate in something known as 'Senior Project'. It's an out of the classroom learning experience where seniors either intern somewhere, or design a project they would like to do during the month of May. There is lots of paper work and outside sources to consult in the planning and executing of any senior project but I thought there was lots of potential so I gave it a whirl. Most kids just shadow a profession in the occupation they hope to enter, but I don't know what I want to do exactly so I took my project a different route. I do know that whatever job I end up in I want to be focused on social justice so I planned a project around that concept.

For my senior project I am planning a fundraiser at my school for The Daughter Project (a nonprofit organization in NE Ohio that is building a safe house for minors who are survivors of sex trafficking). I wanted to meet a very practical need of TDP-funds. I also organized several bands and musicians from my school to play and local food establishments donated food-it should be a bang up time! I wanted to create a fun opportunity for high school kids to be involved in something bigger than themselves. Most people's reactions when I tell them about my One Dress Campaign is "Wow, but you're in high school!?" or "That's so brave for a high schooler!" This assumption that high schoolers would not do something they were not required to do, or care about something more than themselves is largely untrue. I'm a big believer that people will live into the perceptions people have of them, even if those perceptions are untrue so I'm trying to break that misconception a little bit. High schoolers can make a difference in their schools and communities.

Planning this fundraiser has a lot of extremely time consuming aspects to it. I joined a group called Bound For Freedom in their fundraising efforts. They make journals out of old books. By removing the pages from the old book and folding, cutting and sewing new pages they make really sweet looking journals. My sister's boy friend Teddy heads up the Bound For Freedom effort at Bowling Green so he taught me the tricks of the trade. I'm attempting to make 100 of these journals for sale for 10 dollars each. I'm also hand sewing 30 headbands to sell. I've had several 'Journal Making Parties' at my house where other students come over and help me fold cut and sew! At these parties we've made 43 complete journals...and the fundraiser is this friday.. I have 5 days to make 57 journals and 25 head bands! Yikes!

I have learned through this whole process that maybe I'm not the best planner. I did not enjoy the emailing and phone calling involved. The excessive number of bureaucratic hoops to jump through made my head spin. But I loved the one-on-one conversations that my project brought about. I enjoyed teaching people how to do the crafts and I loved actually doing the crafts (which is good cause that's what I'll be doing this week day and night!) I also learned so much about myself emotionally, but that's for another time and another blog.

The fundraiser is this friday night, and though it is hosted at my school (Worthington Kilbourne) it is ope in the community, so if anyones in the Columbus area at 6:30 this friday come on by and help support an important abolitionist organization! And could everyone pray for me and the success of the event.

                                   The advertisement for the event! These are hanging all over my school

                                                     Journal making with a few friends

                                                    More journal making in the grey dress!