Seniors complete wide variety of project pieces to graduate


Every year at Freedom Area High School, seniors are set out with the task to complete their senior projects. These projects are composed of several sections, but first, students pick between the Post-Secondary Education Pathway or the Workforce Career Pathway. They are then given a teacher advisor, who is then their senior project advisor, aiding them in the process of getting each section done and finishing the project on time. As the senior project is required to graduate, it is not optional for students. Students differ on their idea of the project and opinions on each section.

For the Post-Secondary Education pathway, students must complete four sections. The first is made up of a Job Shadow, Post-Secondary visits (college tours) and Financial Aid Night or compilation of financial aid, evidence of scholarships and cover letters and resumes. Digging deeper into the job shadows, students are to seek out a job of interest and shadow a professional in the field for at least eight hours. This also requires students to interview their professional and learn more about the career they are interested in. 

The second section of the Post-Secondary pathway is community service. Students have the choice between completing 10 hours of community service or completing a fundraiser or service project. This year, there was a wide variety of Fundraisers, like senior Ana Shipman’s and senior Janey Parks’ March Madness volleyball tournament, which was broken up between classes and supported the Women’s Shelter in Beaver.

“We chose the Women’s Shelter because it’s local, and we felt like it would make a bigger impact there than if we were to donate to a bigger organization… I enjoyed conducting the whole thing and participating in it as well. It was a huge accomplishment and a lot of good came from it,” Parks said. 

Other fundraisers this year included Kendall Komara’s fundraiser collecting bottle tabs and cans for the Ronald McDonald House, Hailey McClain’s shirt fundraiser to support the Women’s Shelter in Beaver, Journey Welling’s Teacher vs. Student Volleyball tournament to support the MakeAWish Foundation and Luke Snavely and Katrina Adams’ Alzheimer’s Awareness t-shirt fundraiser, where they donated the money from their hand-made and designed shirts to the Alzheimer’s Association chapter in Pittsburgh. 

“My father was diagnosed about six years ago, and Luke also has family members who have been affected. There are always shirts about breast cancer awareness, but there isn’t a whole lot for anything else. Breast cancer awareness is important, but we wanted to base our project on another disease that affects a lot of people in the world and local area,”  Adams said. 

There were many other fundraisers completed, as well as community service, providing seniors with an outlet in their community and showing support for said community. 

The last two parts of the Post-Secondary Education pathway are the government meeting and artifacts.  Students are required to attend a government meeting, take notes and write a reflection. As for the high school artifacts, students are required to take samples of work from each four years in high school. 

Students can also choose the Workforce Career Pathway for their senior project. This pathway is for students looking into joining the workforce as soon as they graduate. The pathway is broken down into four sections, very similar to the Post-Secondary sections. Students must still complete a job shadow , but also a career outlook and letter guaranteeing full-time employment. Students must also complete community service or hold a fundraiser, like the previous pathway. A government meeting and high school artifacts are also required; both pathways are similar, but tweaked in order to accommodate students’ future aspirations. 

“I chose the Workforce Career path because I don’t know exactly what I want to do after graduation, and I don’t feel like going into debt right after high school,” Kyler Brown said. 

Overall, the senior project can be beneficial to students. It allows them to get a taste of their future after high school, while staying organized and giving them a chance to make an impact. It can also be reminiscent for students, while looking through past work or obtaining letters of recommendation for the two scholarships that must be completed if completing the Post-Secondary Pathway. Students will present their senior projects to a panel of teachers on May 20, to share the insight gained when completing the service, attending the government meeting, and completing the career pathway components. Students will also talk about their personal growth as an individual and a student, as well as share their future plans, according to the rubrics given to students.