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The Talon

The Student News Site of Severna Park High School

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Senior Leaders

A look at the seniors projects in the Leadership Three class at SPHS.
The door to Mrs. Barnstead’s room in the business hallway at SPHS. This semester, Mrs. Barnstead is teaching Leadership One and Three but next semester, she will teach Leadership Two and Entrepreneurship. “In Leadership One, Leadership Two, you go do these presentations where each group presents a project, what their goals are and there you choose your top two groups and you’ll get put in one of those two groups. And then Leadership Three you’ll create a group and with a nonprofit organization and you can choose whatever organization you want that interests you.” senior Alejandro Almodovar-Vives said.

A popular program at SPHS is the leadership program. While you do projects through each leadership class, Leadership one, two, and three, it is the seniors turn to run their own project in Leadership Three. 

In Leadership Two we hosted Wish Week which took a majority of the semester. And in the end last year, we raised over 30,000 dollars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” senior Galen Richardson said. In Leadership Three, Richardson is doing a project about oysters and the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay. “And this year in Leadership Three I’m leading with my partner, Jason Chang, a project called Oysters Today for a Better Bay where we are working with Oyster Recovery Partnership to raise money and volunteer to help increase the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay.”

Each senior gets to choose the project they want to do in Leadership. The other Leadership classes participate as well.

“Yeah, for Leadership Three  you can choose whatever project you want to do. It’s completely up to you and you can choose who you want to work with and eventually, you will lead a group of either sophomores or juniors, which you don’t necessarily get to choose.” Richardson said.

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 The projects can be a continuation of work did in previous Leadership classes or simply an interest. But for some, the connection to the project can be personal.

“Actually my uncle and my aunt started it so that made me see the meaning of it and how it actually affects people because I see what he goes through every day and how it’s so hard for him to get treatment so I wanted to give back to everyone going through the struggle,” senior Caitlyn Boucher said about her Leadership Three project. “My project is Axe and Advocate, we fundraise and spread awareness and advocate for an organization called axeALS for patients with ALS to fundraise for research and just advocate for them because they are not getting the treatment they need.”

The process and how each person completes their project can depend on the person and the project.

“Well, it depends on each one but we had to contact the organization and he gave us information on what we should do and so with that information my partner and I, we have to go find location sites for the blood drives. And then with our group, we’re making posters and promoting it in social media.” senior Grace Min said. Min’s project is about blood donation and she and her partner are working with the American Red Cross Association to complete this project. 

And for some, a good portion of the project making process is planning. And then in the final stage, presentations.

“Most of the project is planning and then you execute the project for a few days or in a week. It’s just planning, building up to that, getting everything ready, just make sure you can be successful and when it’s time to do it, you do everything and with everything that you’ve planned, you complete your project,” senior Alejandro Almodovar-Vives said. Almodovar-Vives and their partner, Liam Cooney are completing a project called Seize the Day which focuses on epilepsy. Projects are due in the first semester. 

“It’s not a strict due date,” senior Liam Cooney said. “There’s meeting deadlines where you have to have a meeting with your group by a certain time so that you guys can be productive and figure out the path you’re going in. But due dates are mostly for individual given tasks, they can be determined by Leadership Three students.”

With the projects, the senior leaders have to create a set of goals to help them achieve what they want for their project.

“Our goals are to raise 300 dollars which hopefully we’ll exceed, we’re also going to write 40 advocacy letters to the FDA and congress members and we’re going to host bingo and probably do a restaurant night and our last one is we’re going to sell bracelets that will spread awareness for ASL and help us fundraise,” Boucher said. 

And you do not have to be a part of Leadership to contribute to the program. Everyone can help out. 

“What they can do is come to all of our events like our restaurant nights, our bingos, we’ll post them on social media, and the best thing they can do is just come and support us,” Boucher said.

 For those interested in the program, you can apply to Leadership midway through your freshman year. 

  “I think they came into our advisories and we saw a presentation on it and we got to see the past projects and they looked super meaningful and fun and I wanted to give back to my community that way. And then in Leadership One we actually got to participate in one and that was really exciting and I loved giving back and it made me want to keep continuing to go through the Leadership program,” Boucher said. 

There is more to the Leadership program than just the senior Leadership projects. Students in the program can contribute each year to the program. 

“The leadership institute is just a great way to learn how to be a leader but then also to give back to your community. Because both Leadership Two and Leadership Three we’ve done these giant projects that have really benefited people across the community and even though there is a personal benefit like becoming a better public speaker, being better at organizing, just learning how to be a leader and what it takes to be a leader. The benefit to the community is just undeniable really.” Richardson said. 

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Elsa Webster
Elsa Webster, Opinions Editor
Elsa Webster; She is a sophomore and this is her second year writing for the Talon. She likes writing about her opinions on media such as shows and writing about what is happening at SPHS and around the area. Some of her favorite activities are screenwriting, watching tv and musicals, and spending time with her friends and family.

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