Write a play, hike the Pacific Crest Trail, teach at an elementary school, produce a documentary—the opportunities for inquiry, creativity and discovery are virtually endless during Senior Projects at Crossroads.
Participating in a cherished School tradition, this year’s graduating students spent their last three weeks pursuing passions, learning new skills and exploring exciting opportunities individually or in small groups. Then, on May 21, they returned to campus for Senior Projects Presentation Day to share their experiences with the Crossroads community.
From animation to environmental sustainability and beyond, Senior Projects give outgoing students an opportunity to work independently, take risks, connect with mentors, learn self-advocacy skills and challenge themselves.
“It was a lot hard work,” said Hugo Budd, an incoming Stanford student who learned about train mechanics while working at a 1:8-scale model railroad museum in Griffith Park. “I’m really thankful that Crossroads gave me the opportunity to do it.”
Lila Gilliam produced a visual album by filming scenes to accompany her original music, a feat she said she would not have been able to accomplish without a designated time window and deadline.
Drew Feinman and Kate Kenny developed a street-inspired, all-white clothing collection called O’range Juice, which includes a kimono and multi-hemmed pants. While Kate is an experienced sewer who will attend Parsons School of Design in the fall, Drew was a novice who had to learn the skill from scratch with the help of peer and faculty mentors. He found value in persevering despite “being uncomfortable and hating something while putting it together,” surprising himself with what he was able to achieve through his commitment.
Dante Perez-Mendoza and Chris Jones learned how to surf, partaking in an element of Southern California culture they had never experienced previously. They learned not only about techniques but also about resilience, endurance and goal-setting.
Katie Shapiro studied the differences between orca whales in the wild and captivity, kayaking near the San Juan Islands in Washington before visiting SeaWorld in San Diego. The project has made her more interested in marine biology as she prepares to attend the University of Washington.