Minarets High School seniors making their mark

It’s that time of the year again and this year Minarets Seniors have been working hard all year long on their Senior Legacy Experiences (SLE). In the three years that the SLE’s have been extremely successful in presenting students with a challenge that utilizes the skills and experiences the students have built on in their time at Minarets. As a project based school, the SLE represents everything that Minarets pushes its students to become.

In the past, students have worked on SLEs that have extended into their life beyond Minarets. For example, Albert Ellis, who is now a Freshman at UC Santa Cruz, worked to promote the fight against hunger in the Central Valley by organizing events, volunteering, and hosting a panel of professors to discuss the topic. Now, Albert has become involved in efforts just like this at UC Santa Cruz and continues to be interested in how he can help.

This year there are some incredible experiences happening on and off campus. Senior Wayne Hatfield is writing an interactive textbook using iBooks Author that teaches young students how to speak the Mono Indian Language. Wayne is North Fork Mono and wants to leave a legacy that helps to preserve his people’s endangered language. The book that he has written includes voice over, text, pictures, and videos to help students learn everything from numbers, to animals, to conversational vocabulary in the Mono Language.

Sakoya Hart is a Senior who wants to work in the zoology or wildlife conservation field. Sakoya is deciding between CSU Humboldt, UC Santa Cruz and UC Santa Barbara for her college education. Sakoya has been an intern at Project Survival's Cat Haven Project Survival's Cat Haven is a non profit organization that focuses on the education and conservation of exotic cats worldwide and houses over 14 different cat species. Sakoya says, “I am proud to say that every month I educate hundreds of people about all aspects of the cats that call it home and the conservation efforts supported by the organization. Having volunteered at the Cat Haven for almost two years, working an average of over 20 hours a month, I have discovered my passion for these animals and the need to ensure their survival in the wild.”

For her Senior Legacy Experience she is fundraising to donate money to Cat Haven, along with hosting an off site demonstration at my school. This off site program includes a presentation of the cats of the world, information about the conservation work that is being done to save them, hands on material, along with a visit from one of their live cat ambassadors. “If I reach my minimum goal of $1,500 I will have educated and affected my entire school on the conservation of exotic cats and in addition, put money towards Cat Havens facility along with different conservation organizations and efforts that are currently in action all around the world.”

Other SLEs include, A “Wreaths Across America” project that brought in thousands of dollars, construction of a Chawanakee Unified School District sign that will be placed on Highway 41, the Minarets Special Olympics Event, the Blood Drive and much more. There are many other projects that have already made a huge impact on the community. Our students are working with professionals, developing websites, putting on huge events, composing full concerts and more. The SLE continues to provide our students with the success that they have worked so hard to achieve.

- Minarets Correspondent