Completing a Senior Project is a ritual, and a graduation requirement, for every senior at Sonoma Valley High School. As part of the semester-long assignment, students are expected to write a related research paper and present a public presentation about the project. So how’s it going? The Sun’s Sarah Ford checks in.
For my Senior Project, I started a Wellness Club at the High School, and I created an online health, wellness, and lifestyle blog.
I love learning about health and how different foods or actions affect the body. I struggled with an unhealthy relationship with food and accepting myself, which I know so many people experience, and I wanted to share how I am overcoming these societal pressures by creating a mindful, judgment-free, accepting community like The Wellness Club. I became really interested in food and its properties, and in cooking. So I started creating healthy and delicious recipes, which became popular with my friends and family. This is my passion and I knew I wanted to choose a project that I would enjoy doing.
For my research paper, I wrote about the many health misconceptions portrayed in the media and the importance of maintaining health for mood, well-being, physique, and longevity.
My mentor is Leslie Marioni, an alternative medicine practitioner and Transformational Nutritionist. She has over 30 years experience, with a private practice in Sonoma and Napa.
I want to keep learning more about wellness. I created The Wellness Club to teach younger women and men the importance of health and how to maintain it. We discuss easy, quick ways to be healthy, how to shop for healthier food when on a budget, and how to incorporate movement into each day as a busy high school or college student. I hope to learn to be more mindful, and how to share what I’ve learned with those wanting to better their health. The blog contains tips for staying healthy in high school along with quick, healthy, and delicious recipes. I hope to inspire my peers to value their mind and their body by treating themselves with care and mindfulness.
I started a small business called “Trixie’s Treats” in 2017 selling the healthy treats I create. I sold enough delicious desserts last spring to pay for my service trip to Nicaragua. This past holiday season, I catered a 70th birthday party for 200 guests plus sold online orders which enabled me to donate a portion of my profits to local victims of the Sonoma County wildfires.
My Senior Project is tutoring at an El Verano Elementary School program where high school seniors and juniors help elementary school students who need more help in their academic work. There are currently 18 elementary students and only eight high school seniors who were interested. That being said, there are about two elementary students per high school senior. We help them with their reading and mathematics, and help them improve their levels and help them understand the material.
I got the idea by thinking about what I love to do the most, which is helping others. I love to help others because I struggled in elementary school.
I hope to accomplish helping elementary school kids (1st to 4th grade) understand math (learn their multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division) and improve their reading level.
I feel that I’m learning more about the kids and how each of them is different. For example, one might struggle in reading but be good at math, and the second kid is the other way around. I’m also learning about the kids’ habits and what to do in order to help them learn whether it’s testing them, practicing their multiplication, etc.
The topic of my research paper is “Education for Children in Poor Countries” and it focuses on how there’s a lack of education around the world in countries that are struggling and how many children want to go to school and learn and then later become a teacher, doctor, musician, etc. It also talks about how funding schools is really important and how organizations such as UNICEF are making changes around the world that will provide a future for many children.
My mentor is Betzy Chavez, who is director of the La Luz Family Resource Center at El Verano.
I wish more students were interested in being involved in this program to give back to their community and help those who need and want help. I also wish to make a difference in the world and for people.