For my capstone, my very first idea was that I wanted to give back to my community. I wasn’t aware of what this was yet until the end of my junior year. When I gained knowledge about the global refugee crisis and what was going on in Syria, Yemen, and Myanmar, I wanted to make a greater impact. I reached out to a refugee resettlement program here in Philly, HIAS Pennsylvania. I contacted the director and set up various meetings with the education coordinator to set up my capstone project. Over the course of nine months, I spent over 90 hours preparing and completing this project. I worked one-on-one with a group of young refugee children between the ages of 5-13 at Gilbert Spruance Elementary. Throughout this time, I got to know each and every one of them, built bonds and relationships, was a mentor and helped build their English and homework skills. I learned about their journey here to America and their difficulties back home.
As I gained all this knowledge, I decided to create a documentary but after many technical difficulties, the content I collected was not of good quality so I decided to take another route and take excerpts of their stories and include it in my awareness presentation. Along with the volunteering I completed, I was apart of the Braskem Accelerator program and pitched to the company so I could get funding to give back supplies to the refugees at Spruance Elementary. I was among three individuals who received full funding and additional funding. I ordered books of all ages, basketballs, soccer balls, and jump ropes, to send home to the kids. I filled book caddies of various books to each family so they could build a mini-library of their own. The last component of my project was to raise awareness about the global refugee crisis so I created a 30-minute presentation on Prezi breaking down the various crisis’, the resettlement process, and the interviews I had of the refugees. I presented to all grades and also recruited students to volunteer at HIAS Pennsylvania next year for their ILPs/capstones. Overall, I am very proud of how my capstone turned out and educating others about what is happening around the world that need to be addressed.
Annotated Bibliography Public Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YvKp7OnmKiXj_Qf-pgDs3T77lqk8s03oN6DxMnYVt6E/edit?usp=sharing
Global Refugee Crisis Presentation: