Milton Rodriguez, 18, hopes to become an architect one day. And before even graduating from high school, he’s already designed a home.
“This is good experience,” he said. “It’s actually pretty hard, but you just have to keep your head up.”
Rodriguez worked with a local architect as part of his senior project, a requirement to pass most English classes at Carson High School. Students pick a topic, then create a portfolio of a research paper and project. They presented those portfolios to panels of community judges Monday.
“It went better than I expected,” said Yesenia Garcia, 17, who said her nerves calmed once she started her presentation. Although she plans to pursue a degree in elementary education, Garcia focused her project on radio.
She hosted a guest segment on Wild 102.9 talking about celebrities.
“I learned a lot and I’m really glad I got to experience it,” she said. “I would definitely go back and do it again if I had the chance to.”
English teacher Jason Macy, who is in charge of the senior projects, said the program was instituted more than a decade ago.
“We hand the learning over to them,” Macy said. “Instead of us teaching to them, they go our and find what they’re interested in. And it keeps them engaged through the end of the year.”
He said some students focus on potential career interests, while others develop hobbies or learn new skills.
“There’s always the standards,” he said, “but there always seems to be somebody who finds something completely new.”
Marlenne Quirarte, 18, set her sights on philanthropy, designing and selling T-shirts and organizing a fun run to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which raises awareness about breast cancer.
“A family friend suffered from it, so I wanted to help,” Quirarte said. What she learned, however, was beyond academia.
“You should just appreciate all that you have,” she said. “That’s what this taught me.”
Throughout the hallways, seniors breathed a collective sigh of relief as they concluded their presentations.
“I’m like stress free now,” said Josilyn Daggs, 17.