Senior Studies class offers alternative education through student run projects


Senior Olivea Frischer practices her artistic skills in preperation for her project on Senior James Ogunbola.

Mac Stone, Feature Editor

While many seniors continue with normal schedules in the second semester, Senior Studies students get a unique experience like no other.

For the first semester, the class is all about a community-based learning of English and History. Some unit topics in the first semester include education, crime and punishment, and the history of Evanston. Students take a variety of field trips and do community service weekly.

In the second semester, students begin to work on and develop their own independent projects, and many have stuck around for a long time.

“There are plenty of projects that have withstood the test of time,” Seniors Studies teacher Toly Walker says. “Kweku Collins did a music project, documentaries have been made about their respective subjects, there are plenty of memorable projects that have happened here.”

This year, that is no different. On the first day of second semester, students began working on their second semester projects.

Whether it be focused on athletics or career exploration…

Zack Begly has decided to create his own sports podcast based around ETHS sports. It will also focus on controversial topics such as hazing, competition within sports teams, and many other ideas.

“I chose to do this because I’m planning on going to study broadcast journalism in college, I wanted to take the first steps to pursuing that,” Begly explains. “I don’t want to go into it blind so I really want to see if I enjoy or not in high school.”

Begly hopes to bring on various ETHS athletes to be guest hosts on his show.

Or maybe it’s a topic that’s personal to the student…

            James Ogunbola is finding a way to address the negative connotations of Africa, such as starving children and acts of violence.

“I’m Nigerian, and I’m very proud to be Nigerian,” Ogunbola says. “I wanted to shine more light on other countries besides Nigeria, I wanted to talk about the entire continent. I feel like the accomplishments and beauty that Africa has is covered by negative connotations.”

Ogunbola hopes that through his project, our community and many others will become more informed about the continent of Africa and how it really is versus how it is shown.

The project could be on a pressing topic in society today…

            Cecilia Kearney is helping undocumented immigrants learn about scholarships and opportunities for them. She will be fundraising and selling art for the Dreamers Club scholarships.

“It’s become very clear lately how unfair the college acceptance process is, especially for undocumented students,” Kearney says. “Seeing the financial state some of these families are in got me involved, as well as really being involved in Dreamers Club.”

Kearney hopes to bring awareness to the undocumented students in Evanston and to bring awareness to the Dreamers scholarships.

The project could be something you want to help others with…

            Olivia Lemmenes is actively helping people with depression by compiling student work about overcoming depression and sharing self love within the book to help people feel better.

“I first chose to do this project because I was once able to overcome depression,” Lemmenes states. “After that time, I realized that there are plenty of people who don’t overcome that and still struggle with it. I wanted to make the book to show people they can move on from it and stay strong throughout it.”

Lemmenes wants to eventually publish the book of student work and hopes she can reduce the negative stigma around depression.

While many other schools have similar programs to Senior Studies, the class itself is unique to ETHS. Many believe that it can soon be taught to more than just ETHS students in the upcoming years, and they have high hopes that it will help students become more independent and better prepared for their futures.