Students present final projects |

Students present final projects

Teri Vance
Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealCarson High School senior Bailey Valente applies makeup to her model, Sarah Lushina, during her senior project presentation on Wednesday.

While hiking with friends last summer near Davis Creek, Elizabeth Swezey, now 18, found herself too fatigued to finish the seven-mile climb.

“I was the only one who didn’t make it to the top,” she recalled.

She resolved to improve her physical fitness, and turned that resolution into her senior project at Carson High School.

She researched fitness plans and created her own, which included jump roping, hula hooping and playing dance games with her family.

Increasing her cardiovascular activity has already made a noticeable difference.

“Already with the exercise, I’m not as tired throughout the day,” she said. “I have a lot more energy.”

This summer, she hopes to go back and complete her hike.

From the practical to the supernatural and everything in between, Carson High School seniors presented their final projects to panels of community members Wednesday and Thursday.

To fulfill the senior project, students must write a research paper on a topic of their choice, complete a related project then present the portfolio from the project to a panel of community judges.

Yesinia Hua, 17, plans to attend Johnson & Whales Culinary Institute next year with the goal of one day opening her own restaurant.

For her senior project, she created a business plan for a bakery and baked a three-tiered German chocolate, red velvet and carrot cake.

“I love cooking, and baking was a different side of cooking,” she said. “It gave me a different perspective. It was actually a lot of fun.”

Through organizing a free health fair at the Ross Clinic, Andrew Jones is more committed to pursuing a medical degree.

“It really opened my eyes to the struggle some people go through every day,” the 18-year-old said. “It affirmed this is what I want to do. I want to help people to the best of my ability.”

Kelsey Penrose, 18, plans to study psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, next year. She used the senior project to develop her hobby in photography, but realized it led to some job opportunities.

“I have some photography gigs scheduled because of it,” she said. “I’ll probably use it during college to make some side money.”

Community judge Hazel Ellington said she was impressed with all the projects she reviewed. However, she was most intrigued by the student who investigated ghost hunting in Virginia City.

“He took a picture and there was some light in it they thought might be a ghost,” she said. “It was trippy. You kind of got chills looking at it.”

Eugene Keberlein volunteered to judge for the second year in a row. He said he gets as much out of it as the students.

“I’m retired,” he said. “I’m 75 years old and don’t get out much. When I do, I like to have fun. This is a lot of fun.”