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Rotary Club

Since the begging I knew that this brenchmark will be specially challenging because our teacher give us options to select from, which was nice but at the same time scary because each option was hard in a way, wasn’t a safe choice. I chose the uncover story to find a good news in the city and show it because sometimes I feel like the people in Philadelphia underestimate the city and think that everything is bad.

For the reason that is a news article I couldn’t stay set in front of my computer and write a paper, I had to research and find people who will support my story in order to show that is real. Rotary Club is the organization that is sponsoring my exchange program and besides that they do a lot of good community service so was a pleasure for me talk about that fantastic people. 

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Capstone 2012-The High School Anthology

A Study of Thematic Evolution

By Michael Dea

Capstone Mentor: Ms. Larissa Pahomov



The goal of this capstone was to examine poetry and short stories over the course of four years to see how, if at all, the themes of the writing change over time.


            During the proposal stages of the capstone process, I looked at what I found interesting and what I enjoyed doing. As a result, I chose a capstone with a creative writing basis, given that I wrote as a hobby previously. Once the plans for what the end goal of the capstone were determined, the process of selecting what works would go into the end product was begun, supplementing some areas with works that were begun within the year. After this step’s completion, the selected works were analyzed for possible connections, the details of which can be seen in the process paper. Throughout this process, given that the works were written, they were reviewed by others for input on things such as themes, revisions (for newer works) etc.

Capstone Section 1: Poetry Notebook 1

Capstone Section 2: Poetry Notebook 2

Capstone Section 3: Poetry Notebook 3

Capstone Section 4: Zombie Apocalypse Novella
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Scuderi's 10 Photos of Globalization in Philly

Globalization In Philadelphia: A Small Photo Gallery 

By: Matthew Scuderi

I found this project to be very challenging in most areas. I found it really hard to think of the different themes of globalization and then when I had my themes ready, I found it hard to find a variety of pictures that represent each of these themes. I often found that the themes all intertwined in the photos that I gathered. From what pictures I collected and what themes I had thought of, my project focuses on the language issues, communication issues, marketing, adjustments that are needed for non-English speakers in America, and the indicators and facts of growing populations in certain cultures. Overall, I felt every aspect of this project was challenging, especially when trying to find photos that I could take around the city that would touch upon everything I wanted to talking about. Last, but not least, finding sources to back up my themes and the arguments that I made or points I was trying to get across was another very difficult aspect of the project. 

I collected my images by simply planning on taking pictures of things that I have seen before in my neighborhood and around the city. Once I had planned what photos I could take, I went out and took them. Some photos happen naturally as I came across certain things that represented globalization such as the picture I took of the group of Middle Eastern kids going to play cricket and the Hispanic bilingual news paper bin. For the images that I had planned to take, I based them around themes that I thought up, though I struggled to think of a wider variety of themes. My favorite image that I took is the one of the grand opening sign posted on the store that opened up across from the fruit stand. That picture holds a lot of significance to me because it represents the growing population of the particular culture in my area. The image also tells a story of how many businesses have become more ethnically diverse in Philadelphia, how much our city is changing due to diversity and the growing population of various cultures, the lack of consideration of many businesses and how they compete, and the racial tensions that are caused because of different cultures competing in business. This picture, for me, holds a lot of depth, that if I could spend more time on the project, I would probably write a whole lot more about. 

Evidence of globalization is so prevalent that it is virtually everywhere and as I found with the pictures I took, the evidence is primarily the various cultural businesses around the city. Every single place you go in Philadelphia, you come across ethnic restaurants and businesses and in some places more of the same ethnic businesses, which indicate that population of that particular ethnicity in that area. Aside from looking at businesses, there are people of all sorts of ethnicities and cultures walking around everywhere each and every day. I would say that globalization in Philadelphia is definitely more obvious than in states in the South and West. In states like Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, etc. there is a lot less diversity as I have observed in both Georgia and Arizona. Larger cities like New York, L.A., and Chicago would likely have globalization evident. In one of my sources that I used, there is mention of how urbanization and globalization tend to go hand in hand as many cultures try to populate urban areas for the resources that they have to offer. 

From this project, I learned mostly about how the various markets all over the Philadelphia area serve as an indicator of cultural diversity and the populations of each of those cultures. While compiling my photos and writing on the themes of each of them, I couldn't help but find myself going in circles with the mention of ethnic businesses and how they indicate so much about globalization. I also learned that we depend on globalization to keep the economy going as do other countries depend on it as well. I never really thought about how America benefits from cheap or less expensive trade from small countries and how they benefit from out trade as well. Another thing that I learned and found very interesting is that America has a higher percentage of exports than imports, but most of the products on the market are either from another country or made here and assembled in another country. The main thing that I learned is that globalization is all around us and affects all of us each and every day as language, marketing, cultural populations, and so on are constantly playing a role in our daily lives. 

*Bibliography included in photo gallery. 


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Shelby Harcher's Globalization 4th Quarter BM

For this project, the most challenging part was coming up with a topic. Living in a large city there are many topics one could choose when working on a project like this. I knew that I wanted to focus on education, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to exactly talk about. At first, I was going to talk about positive stories about individuals who were apart of the Philadelphia School District, however, with lack of time and resources, I decided to talk about extracurriculars in the school district after seeing my little brother's play at his school. In the past few years, there have been many budget cuts and after-school programs and activities have been the first to go, especially those dealing with the arts. 

To be honest, I believe that stories like these go unnoticed because there are so many bad things going on in the city, the media finds it necessary to inform people about those stories before the positive ones. Many people enjoy hearing positive stories about the city, especially those dealing with the youth so I think that more stories like these should be told. However, I don't think that within the next few months this story or any similar one will be told because first off, school will be closing for the summer, and also because this has been going on for awhile now, and it's still not getting noticed by the media or the rest of the city. 

Doing this project made me learn that there are many good things about our school district. A lot of stories you hear about the Philadelphia School District are bad so hearing something good was refreshing. Also, I learned that if there are obstacles thrown at people who are determined to do something, they will find a way to get around it and do what they're passionate about. 

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Unconventional Teacher Fund Raising in Philadelphia

By Marina Stuart and Jason Davis

For this project we worked to tell the untold story of unconventional teacher fund rasing in Philadelphia. From microgrant dinners to parent initiated car washes, people invested in education in Philly and doing a lot to continue financing the school district. One of the most challenging things about the project was choosing which stories to tell because there are so many people doing great things to fund their schools. This kind of story doesn't receive a lot of attention because most people only want to hear about how much the school district is losing and simply the hard numbers. I hope this story and those involved get more attention soon because it is important for the citizens of Philadelphia to know that individuals are doing whatever they can to continue education here. I learned about how much people care about students in the city and has given me some hope for the future.

To read to the full story click here!

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Above The Class – America's Gifted Youth

In this project, I reported on the necessity of Gifted Education in the classroom. This topic has been of much interest to me due to my familiarity with the system and its challenges. To get information about this story, I talked to many friends and family members who are familiar with the successes and challenges of Gifted Education. I think that this issue does not receive very much attention due to the overshadowing counterpart of Special Education. If anything, due to the rising rates of Autism, this topic will become even more overshadowed and will receive even less attention. From this project, I learned about local crisis reporting, understood how current Gifted students view gifted programs, and even had the opportunity to investigate some of my mother's various awards for Gifted Education efforts.

To download the full story, click here.
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My capstone was working to create a mural with a youth group in Pennsauken, NJ called BPSOS Delaware Valley Basement Breakers (B3) on a project called Inside/Out.


The Inside/Out project was started by a French street artist who goes by J.R. He won the TED global prize last year for his idea of using photography to turn the world Inside Out. People from all around the world participate in the project, as they take photos of facial expressions, submit to the website, and receive large black and white copies to paste in a public space. SLA had done similar project under the JFK bridge. Through this project,  participants journal extensively with questions about their identity and hopes. Through exploring questions such as “where is your home? Where do you come from? Have you ever felt like you are the problem?” participants would be able to have a space to start thinking deeply about themselves and the world around them.

Digital Artifacts come soon!!!

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Globalization in Philadelphia - Photo Essay

As I walked through Philadelphia doing my very best to find examples of Globalization, I found myself overwhelmed. Examples of globalization were practically everywhere. Every street corner had a different flavor to it. It's almost as if you can sense a shift in culture as you walk. And for every shift, there were plenty of pictures to be taken. That said, sometimes it was hard to take pictures that had a different feel to them. It almost always felt like the real photo you were taking was an odd juxtaposition, not a true mix of cultures. That said, I particularly liked the photo inside of the Perelman building's chapel, because that was a more true mix of cultures. Islam, Judaism and Christianity all coming together in the same room to remember that we are all humans, and while medicine can do many things it's important to hold onto faith.
There is no doubt in my mind that globalization is prevalent in Philadelphia. How prevalent, well that is up for debate. Philadelphia certainly has it's fair share of evidence showing globalization, but how true might this be in Pittsburgh  which breathes (or used to) American steel and sheer production, leaving very little to be imported. Chances are Philadelphia takes in a bit more foreign culture, but when you compare it to a place like New Orleans, there's no question that New Orleans has more evidence of globalization.
With all that said and done, I learned that globalization can be where you least expect it. Just because your house was made with American materials doesn't necessarily mean it's an American house. Architecture borrows a huge amount across the world. Just because you bought a GM car doesn't mean that the raw materials weren't harvested else where or even assembled else where. Examples of society trying to hide globalization are almost as prevalent as society trying to showcase globalization.

You can read more about my explorations and analysis of globalization in Philadelphia here.
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Uyen Nguyen: High school Blood Drive

For my senior capstone, I am putting myself on a task to host a school blood drive. I will be working with the American Red Cross crew to set up and host a blood drive here at Science Leadership Academy.

My capstone was to participate, get certified by Red Cross to host a Blood Drive and also to recuit donors. My task was to plan out a Blood Drive event and to use my ability to organize everything and getting it into SLA. My partner(Gisela Giolafina) and myself organized multiple meetings and short announcement  to grabs students and teacher's attention to drawn themselves into participating and becoming a blood donor. We also got certified to train volunteers to make sure we have enough helpers and keeping our environment safe for all. We also reserved the drama studio specially for the event and maintain the amount of kiodic to minium level. With the help of students and teachers, we were able to do a run though and complete our project smoothly.
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Co-captain of the Pep Squad Club Creates a show



     Step team performance &

      The “Show your colors” show


Ashley Etheredge

Mr. Bey

Manuel Advisory



I helped create a club (SLA’s fist pep-squad), I put on a show as well as choreographed a step routine that was performed in the show.


My project was a performance that was based around SLA’s new pep-squad; I put on the show; including getting acts, setting up the performance space and setting the date and time but I also choreographed a step routine that was performed in the show. My step team performed in my show the “Show your colors” show, which was originally going to be a Black History Month show however; due to complications (of which I will explain in depth later in this paper) I was unable to meet my deadlines and missed Black History Month. I wanted to create a club that would continue on at the school after I was gone, that girls and boys could continue into college if they wanted to. I felt that this club could bring people together from all grades like other clubs such as SLA capella, Ping pong and the Poetry club but in a different way that people might not have seen before. I wanted to give insecure teenage girls and boys more self-confidence while having a ton of fun and meeting new people.

If you were unable to attend the show, don't worry you can view it here!
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The Transit Navigator – Jeff Kessler's 2012 Capstone Project

Transit Navigator Logo.001

The Transit Navigator uses a website and other web tools to improve the usability of Public Transportation ("make public transit navigation simple").

Capstone Summary:

This capstone project developed and founded the innovative resource known as The Transit Navigator. The service takes two approaches to solving the problem of simplifying transit systems. First, the website provides detailed but simple information about public transit in a variety of cities. This makes it easy to understand the transit options available, how to navigate them, and where to learn more. The other aspect of TransitNav is the use of foursquare tips to facilitate on-the-go information. Users can simply follow transitnav on foursquare for access. When they check-in at a location, the system automatically populates one of The Transit Navigator's numerous tips and displays it on their screen. Foursquare's "Lists" feature allows users to browse these TransitNav suggestions by region and service. There are also a few TransitNav sightseeing guides that make it easy to quickly explore a region. Personal experience (over six years of gathering transit knowledge and working as an Amtrak intern!), mapping tools (such as Google Maps), photographs (from photo-sharing tools) and individual transportation sites acted as references. Plus, thanks to the "live" nature of the Transit Navigator Web Terminal, these resources will continually be updated as new information is required. Check it out online at!
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A Checkers Game written in Java

For my capstone project, I created a Checkers game using the Java language. Creating a checkers game in the Java language requires translating the rules of the board game into something the computer can actually understand. Most of the time was spent on just acquiring a basic knowledge of computer science from my mentor, Mr. Miles. The rest was spent actually developing the game with the assistance of Jobe Naff.

Below are some screenshots of the checkers game and code:
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Q4 BM: Underreported Story - Volunteer Work

This project was a challenge not because the information was hard to find, but because it's the end of senior year.  That's a problem, that's a legitimate problem.  Writing is a thing that comes naturally to me, and my story was local, so obtaining the pictures was simple.  Since the entire project was writing and pictures (with a tiny bit of research), there was admittedly little challenge aside from the challenge of being a senior in my last week of meaningful classes.

As soon as I saw the benchmark, this story seemed like a natural fit.  It's very local - my house is practically right between these two places.  I have previous involvement with both of the groups that I explored: I once attended a Fishtown Neighbors Association meeting (because of a Grade 11 assignment, even!) and not only have I participated in a number of cleanups at the cemetery, the current chairman is a friend of the family and my father is the vice chairman.

This sort of story doesn't receive any attention because, really, so few people would care that some young people and some old people do good things for their community.  No, people are much more interested in hearing about people getting robbed and shot, and it's also what people tend to expect of Philadelphia, seeing as though it's the murder capital.  Why report on, say, some kind folks keeping their neighborhood pretty when a few blocks down there's a guy mugging some other guy and the next block down there's a guy killing some other guy?  These are the sorts of things people would rather hear about.

The Fishtown Neighbors Association has existed for several years now, and outside of local papers, they get very little attention.  The Friends of Palmer Cemetery have also existed for several years and were even less known than the FNA.  Cleanup scheduling generally spread by word-of-mouth and even the local papers barely talked about them.  When Jim Kingsmill took over, he made an effort to get the word out.  Still, these sorts of things will never make the news.

This project was less of a learning session and more revisiting the idea that maybe Philadelphia is a little bit more than the murder capital.  While ranting about how Philadelphia is, in fact, the murder capital, I often forget the good things going on in my neighborhood.  I often forget that there are still lots of people who are worthwhile and not horrible.  I mean, Philadelphia is still the murder capital, but there might be a tiny bit more to it.  In Fishtown, at least.

Can be downloaded both from the thumbnail below and here, I'm still trying to create that neat preview thing but I'm not too sure if I can pull it off.
Lonergan Q4 Globalization BM

PALMER CEMETERY FISHTOWN. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2012. <>.

Fishtown Neighbors Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2012. <>.

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Emma Hersh Quarter 4 Benchmark Reflection

​For the forth quarter I decided to do an option that was not actually on the list, I added a point to Jared Diamond's five point framework (to make it a six point framework). My point was the impact of the government on collapse was never mentioned in any of the chapters and it should have been. So I went in and researched all of the chapters that I thought an explanation of the government at the time would be helpful to completely understanding the collapse of that society. I chose Rwanda, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and China. The most challenging aspect of this project was fully understanding the economic state of the country as well as what type of government was in place and understanding the dynamics. I was also interested in the history of the government and what they are currently doing in their own country and in the global community. Another difficult part for me was analyzing what I had found and making it relevant to the book and the work that Jared Diamond was doing. If I were to do this again I would also analyze one of my countries from the benchmark last quarter like Mali, because as soon as I turned in the benchmark a coup took over the country. 
Here is the link to my final website product. 
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Newon's Capstone

I will be creating my own line of Liberian-Inspired prom dresses. There will be hopefully about six or seven dresses in the collection and I will be having full involvement in in everything that goes one. I plan to study and learn more about fashion design and more in college and it’s practically all I could think about since ninth grade. The product I’m creating is even more appropriate because then I’ll have something to start up on when I head to college and when I create my own business. Like I said before I’ve had this project in mind since ninth grade because I knew it would make applying to colleges much better since I would have my own line already out and doing well.

Here a link to my Capstone blog: 

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Pure Love Capstone 2012

For my Capstone, I planned out what I was going to make, how I was going to make it, how I was going to fund it, who I was going to sell my products to, and much more. I thought about what the design was going to look like, the color scheme, and how I was going to organize the label on the bottle. I went to stores and looked at examples of natural products that people have made and I asked them questions about how they made them. This is my temporary logo and may be my permanent logo depending on how well I can make another one :).
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Blood Brings out the Best

The most challenging part of this benchmark was actually finding a story. My initial idea was to find a super tragic story that nobody paid any mind to but then I got the idea to report on something positive about a teen. I feel live negativity about Philadelphia teenagers are over reported but the accomplishments we make are under reported. I remembered what an exceptional student Shalia Wallace is and saw how good of a deed she was doing by running a blood drive was so I decided to report her story. Not just Shalia but other teens all over the city and their accomplishments are unreported because there are so many teens who are doing wrong and the media just has so much more to say about that. I think this story will get some attention but not a bunch of attention because it isn't a negative or tragic story that captures peoples attention which is sad. It's a shame that people would rather hear about a shooting rather than teens making differences in their communities but that's the reality of it. Overall, I learned that the process of running a blood drive isn't as simple as it may seem and requires time and dedication to ensure that the drive is successful.
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high functioning autism

My topic was how does teens go through High School with having high Functioning Autism. In order to complete the project I had to develop questions to ask the students to help me go through this process. To understand the capstone process it takes a lot of researching, collaboration, Inquiry that are the main components of completing any project at Science leadership.

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322x Productions & Creations - Tariq

My Senior Capstone Project was to take the existing non-profit organization that I co-founded last year, and providing youth with opportunities to showcase their individual talents to large amounts of people. I am collaborating with two close friends to demonstrate 3 different components of running an organization. The section that I am focusing on is the production phase of the organization. This essentially is the execution the projects that we have scheduled and the process that we undergo to make these ambitions a reality.
322x Productions & Creations (Official Logo)
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Fangda Luo: Process of Making an Animation


This is a Performance Project: A short animation movie entitled “The Forgotten”
This choice was deeply rooted in my philosophy of modern life that modern human

beings should enjoy both the convenience of technology and the warmth of art, for

my ideal is to become an artist, not the one in its conventional sense, but the 21st

century artist that is armed with and can take advantage of new fruits of science and

technology. I understand that both art and computer science will play a central role in

this career and I must work hard in both these two fields. So in this sense, the project

I chose to work on offered me a good chance of practicing for my future career.

Furthermore, I strongly believe that interdisciplinary studies/projects like animation

making have become a new approach to innovations. This project will also contribute

much to my sense and competence of innovation and originality.

First of all: This is the settings for characters.
This animation is intended to reveal the corruption and devastating influence of money and

money-worship upon human spirit and human relationship by means of narrating the experiences

and observations of two young people.

Two major characters:

1) The Young Man

The young man is well-educated, and culturally and physically strong, and good at martial arts.

He has been told that he is an orphan and was taken and brought up by his stepfather. In fact, the

stepfather is the young man’s biological father, who, a wealthy businessman, has an illusion that

his son was adopted instead of being his own son just due to his strange psychological disease

which was caused by his great sorrow over the death of his wife, and thus puts his whole heart

onto money-making.

The young man is struggling between two values. On one hand, he is tired of the crazy wealth-

hunting acts and money-dominated values of his father and his father’s business partners. On

the other hand, he believes that he cannot live without money. Driven by such a dilemma, the

young man decided to live away, asking his father to give him the money just enough to support


The young man moves to a small and shabby lane, where poor people of different walks of life


This young man tends to humiliate people by showing them his money purposefully when he

comes to find somebody covets his money but never giving any chance to the latter.

He enjoys this kind of tricks, but in fact he is hurting himself at the same time. The more he

behaves in this way, the more evident the power of money proves, then the more it proves his

father is correct about money, and the more it proves that his values and spirit are twisted. So his

struggle and pain seems to be endless.

2) The Young Girl

The young girl’s father is also a businessman, and a business rival of the young man’s father. He

offends the powerful man over his big investment and later is killed quirkily in a traffic accident,

which the young girl is luckily absent because she is ill and is taken care of by her neighbor. The

father does not leave a will.

The young man’s father takes all measures and takes over the girl’s father’s business. The girl

moves to the home of her uncle, who works with the young man’s father’s company. The latter

cheats the girl’s uncle and usurps the girl’s father’s possessions.

Once the young man intentionally drops off some food and money when he notices the girl might

be seriously in need of money and food, and catches her when she picks them up. Then they


My process of making the animation is not fully finished because of time and difficulties of making animation and I have no way of converting the animation file from producing file into video file. However, Here are the drafts I have for the animation I am making.

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Gina Dukes Capstone2012

Gina Dukes

Mentor: Matthew Kay


Capstone Abstract

Summary: The purpose of my project was to serve as the coach of SLA’s poetry slam team while also creating an online anthology of poetry in celebration of youth poets.


Abstract: Since the start of this year’s poetry club, I’ve been leading the group’s weekly meetings and had been coaching the team in preparation for the slam season. As the leader of the poetry club, I was in charge of developing activities, writing prompts and discussion topics that would inspire conversation and allow the group of students to open up to each other with poetry as the key. During my time leading the club, I’ve witnessed among the students that bonds had formed, confidence in public speaking developed and amazing growth shown in performances. After the end of the slam season, I sent out a call for submissions for the online anthology and was grateful that there were youth out there with a story to tell and were letting me publish it. While helping those who were just beginning to discover their voice, I in turn strengthened mine and learned many valuable lessons about revision, performing and believing in the power of telling your story. 

You can view my capstone below or click on this link to access it full screen.

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Converse! By Alexander Ringgold

When I was told I could do anything that would help me, or others, in the future, it could be my capstone. So I though maybe I could flesh out out a manga and make it my own, because I do want to draw Japanese graphic novels when I grow up. So, I made Converse! a manga about a boy who gets powers and saves the world meeting interesting characters along the way, going through love, hate, death, life, and betrayal. You know, not too original but not too boring. Well, for me. Converse!, like other manga, I had to come up with a storyboard, characters, plot, concept art, and an idea that my peers and I enjoy.

This is my artifact, the official cover to Converse!

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Capstone Artifact blog post

What I did for my capstone is write reflective essay for 9 days out of each of the month (5).  About how I deal with using a c-pap machine each night that allows me to breath continuously throughout the night.  What I learned from this is that I felt more strongly about having this disease then I thought once I had to think about it I realize it had made a bigger impact on my life then I had thought. 

Below is the questionaire I had about 12 people fill out anonymously.

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Emilisa Lopez Capstone


For my senior year I needed to complete a capstone as a final project before I graduate. It could be anything from an event to even writing a book. I chose to create a video that captures what Science Leadership Academy is truly about and other basic information about the school. Working along side your mentor you get one on one help to create the product or event and get the chance to reflect on the whole process and product.

Emilisa Lopez Capstone
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