Volunteer to Judge a Senior Project . . .

by | Apr 9, 2021

Above: Will Jackson refurbished the inside of an old VW van under the new skill pathway. 

… and prepared to be bowled over!

Gabriella Weathers learned how to design, construct, and sew a traditional and cultural Japanese Kimono.

It can be easy to feel pessimistic about the state of our youth – too much screen time! weird music! they don’t know the value of a dollar! – but I have found over and over again in recent years that we have far more reason for optimism. As editor of EG News, I’ve had the pleasure of working with 15 or more EG students in recent years who’ve volunteered to write and report for the website. They have been eager, conscientious, willing to take criticism and then show real improvement. 

Another way I’ve gotten to know local teens is through Senior Project, as a mentor and as a judge, and both experiences are really worthwhile. But today I’m writing about judging. Senior Project Coordinator Karen Lockhart has put out the call for judges and you should sign up!

If you’re lucky like I’ve been, you’ll find yourself taking up a new hobby because your student’s enthusiasm was contagious. So it was earlier this year when I was a judge for a young man who decided to learn the piano for his Senior Project. He already played guitar so he had some grounding in music, but piano was a whole different undertaking and his descriptions of his process, including composing a short piece for piano, were inspiring. So inspiring, in fact, that I found myself sitting at our piano, one I’ve left to others to play. As I worked my way through scales, I found my hands were happy and my posture relaxed. I am terrible at piano and probably will never be good, but this young man’s experience showed me that it was possible to undertake something new and really enjoy it.

I have judged other senior projects in the past and been similarly impressed. Having had children who’ve had to prepare a senior project, I know it can be one big pain. But the outcome often surpasses the drudgery and for those of us who get a front row seat (virtual, this year of course!), we are the lucky ones.

Lockhart said all are welcome. You can contact her at [email protected] with any questions. Here’s a signup link with more details here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040a4ca4ad23a5f94-senior1.

Ethan Fain explored the career of finance and marketing under his virtual job shadow at Hasbro Inc. this past summer.

Logan Shunney pursued the community service pathway and was a part of a team that learned how to 3D print face shields in mass quantities during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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