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LA’s Capstone Project

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LA’s Capstone Project

A non-binary sophomore sports a rainbow bracelet.

A non-binary sophomore sports a rainbow bracelet.

Sophia Dempsey

A non-binary sophomore sports a rainbow bracelet.

Sophia Dempsey

Sophia Dempsey

A non-binary sophomore sports a rainbow bracelet.

Ashley Sarpong, Writer

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This month, students gathered in the Marillac Room to attend one of the three sessions pertaining to the projects they are preparing for Loyola Academy’s first Solidarity Day on April 1.

Officially known as the Capstone Project, these creations are a requirement of the service-learning classes–taken by seniors, juniors, and sophomores–and serve as an opportunity to further develop the bond between the school and our Arrupe partners, while also showcasing the information collected.

After a semester of dedicated attendance to volunteer after school, students had the chance to collaborate and brainstorm ideas they believed would benefit the communities they had been assisting. After corroborating with Dr. Martin, Loyola’s Director of Ignatian Service Learning, students and their group members are now tasked with manifesting their plans into a visual display that may potentially become a tool to gift our partners for fundraising and marketing purposes. Help is being offered by the leaders of the sessions: Mr. Brown and Mr. Gregg, who specialize in the creation of documentaries and Mr. Hart, whose concentration is data visualization.

Almost two hundred students congregated during one of the lunchtime sessions and were provided with refreshments and pizza. Then, a overview of expectations, examples, and online resources were issued. Students sat for the majority of the period attentively focused on the screens in front of them that displayed a slideshow. There was ample time for questions and concerns to be expressed before dismissal.

Senior, Jessica Vela, an attendee of the data visualization conference, particularly enjoyed the talk, stating, “I think that’s a really valuable skill–how to collect and present data in a clear and creative way.”

The hope is that, with enough resources, Loyola students can put forth a professionally designed creation to be displayed at Solidarity Day. The theme is “Capturing the Power of Technology,” which is why students are being pushed outside of their comfort zones to deal with software and analytics they may have little to no experience with.

Campus Minister, Mr. Knoth, is the coordinator of the day and is excited to see what creations are put together. “It’s an opportunity for students to take ownership of their own education,” he stated, in reference to the fact that the projects are wholly student-driven. There is much emphasis on this factor, which has evoked substantial qualms from many students who have everything, including time management, to worry about. Yet, none are giving up throughout the process because of the notion that these projects are much greater than us is prevalent; the mission is to serve others.

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