Seniors end year in month-long projects


Orion Kim

PROJECT DISTRIBUTION. Students participate in a wide variety of senior project categories. The largest percent of students chose art related projects.

For the month of May, senior Hobbs Lillygreen begins his day “at a cute café in the North Loop,” where his interior design internship is located. Some days, he’ll organize material samples; other days, he will go to International Market Square to return samples to showrooms.
In order to graduate, seniors are required to complete a senior project, in which they are free to do whatever they’d like and take a step into the real world. The project allows for seniors to discover new interests, expand upon previous ones, and leave SPA with a feel for what to expect after high school. The senior project takes place over the course of May, and seniors are required to journal about their experiences each day, leading to timelines unique to each student.
Senior Roberto Velez’s project involves creating a video game with a few others that they can enjoy, while a project such as Ivy Raya’s requires her to shadow others. Because Velez’s project is more similar to freelance work, a day of his senior project allows him more flexibility: “A day of my senior project starts with a meeting [to] see what everyone did yesterday and say what our goals are for the day,” he said. “Then the day is mostly working individually with meetings to flesh out ideas and for questions.”
Seniors have the opportunity to exercise their creativity and explore potential career paths when given the freedom to choose any project. For Lillygreen, choosing to intern focusing on interior design allowed him to continue something he had fun in: “The goal of my senior project was to get working experience and do something I enjoy and I decided on that goal when I made the decision to pursue interior design as a career,” Lillygreen said.

The goal of my senior project was to get working experience and do something I enjoy and I decided on that goal when I made the decision to pursue interior design as a career.

— Hobbs Lillygreen

Additionally, the project’s general structure, both in the calendar and journal logging, has given seniors the ability to try a variety of new things while doing the project. “It’s hard to give a timeline because each day has been different,” Lillygreen said.
Raya has chosen to shadow at Gillette’s Children’s Hospital to discover what medical specialty she is most interested in. Similarly to Lillygreen, she described being able to experience various fields of medicine each day as part of the loose schedule. “My goal of my senior project is to figure out which medical specialty I am interested in because I plan to major in biochemistry and go on the pre-med track.”
As the senior projects continue, excitement fills the air whilst each senior moves closer to achieving their end result. “My favorite thing is when I finish a goal. It is so satisfying to see the game develop and evolve with our ideas and I can’t wait for the finished product,” Velez said.