Anyone who says our youth is apathetic should sit through Orcas High School’s senior project presentations.
Passion. Hard work. Going above and beyond. Problem solving. Critical thinking. Tackling social issues.
These are some of the words I wrote down as I watched four seniors talk about their projects. As a volunteer advisor tasked with providing feedback to the students, I took my role seriously. These young people spent all year developing a thesis, overcoming hurdles and seeing their projects to fruition. Although the students are required to spend 30 hours on their subject, some of them doubled that number.
They were nervous to speak in front of their peers, parents and community members, but their spirit and enthusiasm shown through. It takes a lot of courage to speak in front of an audience and they were articulate and well prepared.
The topics ranged far and wide. Their undertakings included: refurbishing a vintage boat for the crew team; holding an HPV clinic at the school; creating prosthetic eyes; fundraising to bring a lecturer on bullying to the school; restoring an old Saab; teaching nutrition and cooking to other students; creating a documentary on Vietnam veterans.
In usual island style, a whole network of volunteers helped the seniors with expertise and donations. Many of the students said, “I couldn’t have done it without ...”
We should all be proud of the work ethic, social awareness and creativity that our island youth possess.