Senior projects are an opportunity for LCA seniors to explore an interest area in order to gain further insight into the area as a potential hobby or career. Students shadow a mentor in the area of interest and learn what it takes to be successful within the chosen field.
The program is designed to provide the students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in an area of personal interest and extend their thinking beyond the classroom. In the process they develop independent learning techniques as well as self-direction, self-reliance, and self-confidence.
The opportunity comes in the form of a project that includes one or more of the following areas:
o Creative Side – e.g., art, music, writing, and photography
o Career Exploration – e.g., job shadowing
o Academic Exploration – e.g., exploring an academic question
o Service Project – e.g., provides service for the community
Mr. Mark Davis oversees the projects and said, “This year students examined many different areas from agriculture, woodworking, various medical fields, advertising, the legal profession, and many, many others. The students presented their findings to a panel that consists of LCA administration and staff.” At the end of the presentations, the administration members ask the students questions about their projects.
One example of a project was Jolie Sewell who shadowed a speech therapist. Jolie was able to observe the founder of Kidspeech, Mrs. Lisa Gentry, who provides speech therapy and occupational therapy. She was able to observe a girl who had extremely slurred speech but was making progress. She met a boy with cerebral palsy who was perfectly articulate but was unable to chew, so he comes into the office to learn how to eat more solid foods.
Jolie said, “Through my senior project I was able to learn so much about the person who I want to be in the future. Children make me so happy and being able to help them learn how to speak is something that you truly cannot put a price on. This experience taught me so much, and I am so thankful for Mrs. Gentry and LCA for setting me on my path for the future.” Jolie is excited about how she will be able to make a difference in children’s lives, and she is looking forward to preparing in college.
Another example of a project was Maya Forrest who plans to major in psychology and be a therapist but thought she might enjoy cooking as a hobby. She was inspired by watching the show “Chop” and wanted to learn to make her dad’s authentic Jamaican chicken. For the cooking project, she researched and pointed out the benefits of chocolate (yay!) and experimented with recipes that added chocolate to the appetizer, entree, and dessert. The administration got to try mac & cheese with Ghirardelli white chocolate, turkey burger sliders with turkey bacon dipped in chocolate, and chocolate strawberry balls with strawberry cream cheese and gnocchi.
The students all presented wonderful experiences and endless opportunities that they explored over the course of their senior year. The topics covered ranged from photography and writing to becoming an ENT surgeon or IT professional. The experience really serves as a capstone of their educational experience at LCA and can serve as a catalyst in college planning and life. Here is what a couple of other students had to say about the senior project experience in general.
“My senior project experience really helped me get a stronger understanding of what I want to do as a profession. It was so awesome being able to shadow a nurse and to see what she does on a day-to-day basis. It really secured my dream of becoming a nurse practitioner! I would definitely do it again if provided the chance!” —Annabel Beckett
“Yes! The senior project was a good experience, it let me learn for a day what it actually takes to get into a business, start a company, and be successful at what you are doing in life. I recommend that all schools use this opportunity.” —Dylan Garmon
LCA will continue this tradition—in fact, the rising seniors have already received their information packets for next year’s projects so that they can select their areas of interest and begin their research over the summer months into the fall. LCA exists to prepare students academically, spiritually, and socially for God’s call on their lives.