Seniors begin presenting early bird capstones

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Seniors who are graduating early or taking dual credit English have presented their Senior Capstones.

The Senior Capstone is a project that all seniors have to complete in order to graduate. It has been a part of Greenwood for years and has become a rite of passage for seniors. The capstone involves finding a mentor in a professional field that interests them and completing a 15 hour job shadow.

“For my Senior Capstone, I chose to job shadow a neuroscientist because I’ve always had an interest in neuroscience and the research for neurological diseases, such as Alzheimers. My aunt works at a research lab in Wake Forest’s School of Medicine, and I was able to contact her professor and job shadow him,” senior Doga Karakus, said.

Another option is to complete 15 hours of volunteer work.

“Most people did job shadows, but I was more interested in volunteering. I volunteered at a food pantry because I’m considering pursuing something in human services in the future, so it was a really good learning experience for me,” senior Chaeli Fletcher said.

After completing the job shadow or volunteer hours, a student has to create a product to show what they have learned.

“I job shadowed an interior designer, so for my product, I created a design plan. The product was definitely my favorite part because I had a lot of freedom and could be creative with it,” senior Kiera Snow said.

The purpose of the job shadow is to allow students to explore their futures and focus on doing a project that is almost entirely independent.

“There was a lot of freedom with everything, which I enjoyed. It was stressful not having a teacher to guide me every step of the way, but I’m happy with how my project turned out and the experience I got,” Snow said.

While most seniors complete their capstones second semester, seniors who choose to graduate early or take AP English are required to complete it first semester.

“I would tell juniors to do early bird. Getting my hours over the summer made things a lot easier and less stressful than if I had also been balancing the rest of my schoolwork,” Fletcher said.

While the capstone is a rewarding experience for seniors, it also comes with its own set of challenges.

“The research lab I went to is in a hospital building, and I was not able to go to some parts of it due to COVID. A professor in the lab had to sneak me in to see a patient so I could observe how research participants were tested,” Karakus said.

Since the early bird students completed their capstones, it is time for the rest of the seniors to start preparing theirs.

“I would tell people that the capstone is not as difficult or stressful as people make it out to be, so focus on getting your hours done and making sure you do not wait until the day before to complete your portfolio,” Karakus said.