12th Graders Speak about their Senior Projects

This spring, members of the Class of 2021 completed a broad range of Senior Projects, engaging in an impressive array of internships as well as at-home “passion projects.” On Wednesday, June 9, the seniors gave formal reports on Zoom about their experiences.

The students completed their Senior Projects in a variety of fields including law, engineering, journalism, and marketing. Some of the capstone experiences also included coding a video game, launching a community service project, and learning more about robotics.

Senior Ava Lafer ’21 explored her interest in engineering by working with The Walsh Group, a firm that specializes in building tunnels and bridges. During the three-week internship, she spent time on-site where a tunnel is being constructed between the PATH train platforms at Exchange Place in Jersey City. “The most rewarding part was talking to the engineers about their career path and their past projects,” she said. 

Sarah Karbachinskiy ’21 learned about personal finance by working at PF Compass, a small financial planning firm. In addition to handling routine office work, she was able to sit in on a number of client meetings and discovered just how meaningful and impactful the field can be. “I learned that your career is not only about happiness, but fulfillment,” she said. “I also saw that running your own business is a lifestyle commitment.”

Grace Barnett ’21 explored her love of nutrition by putting together a series of videos that underscored the importance of healthy eating, meditation, and exercise. Ben Opont ’21 also focused on wellness, studying the spike in depression rates during the pandemic and looking at ways to improve well-being by increasing people’s exposure to sunlight. 

Branden Hawks ’21 and Cam Fernandez ’21 took the opportunity to learn more about engines and automotive technology by building their own gasoline-powered GoKart with some help from Cam’s father. “Mr. Fernandez is a master mechanic; he’s so talented. So, to be able to shadow him was amazing,” said Branden Hawks. “I learned so much from him and I’m super proud of the work we did.”

The Senior Project gave Kim Magnotta ’21 a chance to experiment with soap-making, a genuine interest where she could apply her creativity and think outside the box. “This project allowed me to have fun, explore, and be OK with failure,” she said. “In the future, I could definitely see myself doing this for fun on the side.”

Tim Schietroma ’21 said that his Senior Project with FC Motown — a local semi-professional soccer team – was a very rewarding experience. He spent a lot of his time keeping the game highlights on the team’s YouTube channel up-to-date, and he also handled a variety of jobs at the team’s games including ticket sales, statistics, and organizing kids’ contests.

"The work that I did was valuable for the team and they really needed me,” he said. “I will actually continue working with them throughout the summer.”


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