Students work on passion projects to bring community together


As the school year comes to an end, many students are preparing for their final assignments. This year, the bilingual community service class introduced a new project called the Passion Project, that blends together student interests and their local community. Traditionally, students in this class create their own lesson plans before visiting local elementary schools and working with the students. Due to COVID-19 this year, students were unable to visit elementary schools as they might have done in the past, thus, creating a new project to work on. 

“The purpose is for the students to do something they are [of course] passionate about that they might not otherwise get to do without this support, and to find ways to connect their passion to their culture and community,” BCSL teacher Michael Spencer said.

Students began working on their passion projects at the beginning of January and will continue to work on them till the end of the school year. This project gives students the creative freedom to present their project in the form of a slideshow, website, blog, or video.

 “As students explore their passions and plan their projects, we find ways for them to incorporate aspects of bilingual community service learning,” Spencer said. “Every student has had to learn through research, interviewing experts, and by doing in the process of completing their project.”

The projects range from a variety of different topics such as baking, music, sports, and the environment. All of the students’ work including planning sheets and interviews must be submitted in their target language such as Spanish or Marshallese. 

“We had to make the projects relate to community service in a way,” senior Jacqueline Sanchez said. “My goal was to plant vegetables and bring them to class to share them with my classmates. In that way, I would be giving back to the community.”

Sanchez’s lifelong passion for the environment has influenced her and her project. Along with the help of her father, Sanchez is creating her very own garden at home growing tomatoes, cilantro, cucumbers, and a variety of other produce.

“The BCSL class has allowed me to explore my interests further all while expanding my networking,” Sanchez said.