The North Carolina Department of Education has mandated that schools be in compliance with the requirements so Lakewood began a pilot program this year, meaning that Lakewood would begin making graduation projects requirements for seniors in order to graduate.
First and second semester seniors had to do their graduation projects in order to receive their exam grade for English IV.
One example of a graduation project completed by one of Lakewood’s students, Iesha Kerr, was on breast cancer awareness. Kerr organized a balloon release during one school day break in memory of those who passed away or have suffered from cancer. A humorous and inventive detail noticed by others during her presentation was that Kerr wore a pink dress with pink shoes to honor the national color for breast cancer awareness.
Now that the last presentations of the year are finished, several seniors gave hints on how to manage and develop a successful graduation project. Some tips are to:
• Accept the inevitable, you’re going to do the project whether you like it or not.
• Keep up with all forms and paperwork that may need signatures that are required to go in your portfolio.
• Check in with your mentor regularly and do not rely on them to do all your work, especially if you wait until the last minute.
• If you follow the timeline, you'll be less stressed and more organized in the end.
Several seniors also mentioned that by going to the student/parent meeting about the graduation project helped a lot.
Stacey Dudley, top ten in her graduating class, suggested, “Remember to stick with the four P’s - paper, product, portfolio and presentation — and I cannot stress enough, do not procrastinate!”
Three out of four seniors said that after finishing their project that they not only felt a sense of accomplishment and success, but were exposed to the skills that will help prepare them for real-life college experiences they'll have to face in the upcoming years.