Portfolio tag: Medford High 2020-2021

Medford's Loving Letters

Isabella Duque Munoz, Rayssa Braga, And Leticia Madeira wanted people to write kind, encouraging, and motivational letters to their loved ones. People sent the group an email stating who they wanted to send the letter to, who it was being sent by (it could be anonymous), the address, and what they wanted to write. The group revised them and mailed them. They believe that this has brought smiles to peoples’ faces and helped them throughout these hard times. Being at home most of the time and barely socializing can take a toll on us, as we are social creatures. When you send someone an actual letter it gives a way bigger effect than a text or email. The group believes that the impact this has had on our city has been amazing and something worth thinking about.

College Access Resource and Mentoring Program (CARAMP)

The goal of this project was to help first generation, low-income (FGLI) high school students in professional development and the road to college by connecting them to college readiness resources and a Mentor Team composed of Tufts students from similar backgrounds. Students asked the Mentor Team questions through online communication and virtual meetings and received compilations of resources in the form of lists, graphics, videos, and webinars. 

Painting Positivity

Charlotte Gingo and Emma Maganzini painted a mural promoting body positivity at MHS. Using an Instagram account created for the project, they received submissions of positive messages from students at MHS which were included in the mural. Students were encouraged to post photos of themselves standing with the mural, which they would tag the instagram in and then their photos would be reposted by Charlotte and Emma. The goal of the project was to spread self love and positivity throughout the MHS community, as many young people struggle with body image and often see negative images or messages regarding body image on social media.

Senior Voter Registration

For Sam Cluggish’s Act of Kindness, he worked with Mr. Skorker, Chenine Peloquin, and the administration of Medford High School to help eligible students at Medford High School register to vote for the November 3rd election. Using some aspects of the program When We All Vote, he provided students with the resources necessary to register themselves to vote using Massachusetts’s online voter registration system. The ability to vote is very important to the community because it allows the average citizen to engage in public discourse and change the community directly. Being able to vote during the election was especially important due to the turning point the election created and the issues being decided. Sam was very happy he was able to help the community in this way and he looks forward to future opportunities to benefit the community.

Essential Work

Essential Work was a food drive and donation program that collected food to be distributed to struggling families and individuals across Medford. Andrea Suribory and Daniel Morgante created a social media advertisement to get the word out to Medford residents, and placed donation boxes in hotspots around the city. In addition, the two received a grant and contacted local businesses to donate money that could be used toward the purchase of canned goods, non-perishables, and other essential items that struggling individuals have a hard time getting access to during these testing times. After collecting all of their materials, Suribory and Morgante worked with the Medford Family Network to locate the people that would best benefit from the assistance and distribute the contents to them. The project was created to help fellow Medford residents that are facing food insecurity gain access to materials that they need in order to get through the pandemic happily and healthily.

School Supplies for Students

Cadyn Golisano and Lily Beagan knew that due to the pandemic, kids were no longer able to share school supplies in school and many families could not afford them. This year, they decided to place boxes around the city in local stores and restaurants and asked for people to donate supplies. After a few weeks of collecting donations, they sanitized and then distributed the supplies to the students of the Medford Public Schools. Everyone who came each got one bag of supplies, including all the essential supplies, so that everyone had the chance to get what they needed. For social distancing reasons, they distributed supplies outside of Medford Highschool with two days of distributions.

The Inner Alchemy Project

The Inner Alchemy project started simply as an appearance in Nicholas Yurasko's mind. He had no previous intentions of working on a meditation program designed to teach students and teachers alike how to properly meditate and the various fascinating philosophical and religious traditions for which meditation has been a staple for thousands of years. Now, following this impression on his field of consciousness, he decided to present the project as a possible antidote to the troubling states of mind attending all of us alike in the unique (at least for the twenty first century) experience of the coronavirus. In some traditions, it is opposed to the purpose to speak of meditation as if it had a clearly defined purpose. But that is not very helpful for those who are already skeptical of the value of the practice. Nic will argue that meditation arms the human being with the capacity to be truly human, rather than merely a victim of history, genealogy, and upbringing; He will additionally argue that long-term meditators have formed for themselves the only genuine sense of free will through their practice. If these sound like outlandish or even impossible claims to you, Nic encourages you to try the practice for yourself. And to keep trying.

Seeds To Feed

Naomie Pierre, Baban Gill, Oprah Nkera, and Eleanor Nkera’s project is called Seeds to Feed. The group planted a harvest to donate to the Mystic community market. With these vegetables they wanted to help by planting a variety of different fruits and vegetables, so people have easy access to food. This pandemic left many families to worry about their next meals. Therefore, the group wanted to give them our help, and support during these tough times. This all happened at the garden in MHS, which is run by Mrs. Retta Smith.

Speak for Ourselves

For Charlotte Yamamoto’s project, she collaborated with SEPAC and the Medford Public School’s special education division to run the Speak for Ourselves program. The program consisted of student-run recurring Zoom meetings focused on making connections among neurodivergent students (students with neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD, autism, Tourette’s, dyslexia, etc.) in grades 6-12. Students who joined the meetings talked about their interests, challenges they have faced because of their disorder, and learned more about each other. The goals of this project were to form friendships among the students and to discuss similar experiences with these disorders and solutions to similar problems they face.

Medford CCSR Website

Dan Khoi Nguyen is the CCSR webmaster. The CCSR’s webmaster has the job of keeping the website up to date. Unlike other projects, the webmaster mostly work on this project alone. The website explains what the CCSR is to outsiders, lists the members of the club, and the past and present projects that members have created. Dan Khoi chose to do this project because his older cousin started it when she was part of the club and he is also very interested in technology. Last year, Dan Khoi has made fairly large updates to the website, so be on the lookout for any changes. Please check us out on the Medford Public Schools webpage at: www.MedfordCCSR.org

Virtual Talent Show

Melissa Antoine and Philip Da Silva worked with Mr. Skorker and the CCSR to put together the “Virtual Holiday Talent Show.” The show was held in early December and was a delight for children and parents alike. Students took place in holiday activities and performed holiday songs. Students grades k-12 participated in the talent show, and it was a great way to start off December. The auditions were held in November so students would have time to practice for the talent show.

Beautification of Medford High Chorus

As a continuation of last year's project, Cadyn Golisano and Lily Beagan have decided to build on the Beautification of the MHS Choir Program. This year, Joe Steriti, Rebecca Siegel, and Sabrina Mei have decided to help grow the program. The groups’s plan was to start making the chorus room a more physically pleasing environment to gain attraction and potential new members, as well as make the room a more exciting environment for the current members to enjoy while learning. They collected the correct paint for the walls, cleaning supplies, and decorations for the room. They picked days that suited all members of the project to work on the room. After a few days of painting, cleaning, organizing, and decorating, the group successfully made the Chorus room appealing and welcoming.

Canvas for the Classroom

Juliana Melo wanted to find a way to create artwork for the school classrooms while at home. She decided to paint an image on a canvas for a teacher to hang up in their classroom. Her CCSR project was to finish her project from last year. Last year, Juliana wanted to paint a mural for Mrs.Giordano’s room (C223). The painting is made up of riddles from famous parts of literature, converted them into an image. The riddles included are from: Alice in Wonderland, Samson’s Riddle (the Bible), the Sphinx’s Riddle (Sophocles), Caskets, (Merchant of Venice), and Ulysses. Juliana gave the canvas to Mrs.Giordano when we returned to school.

Pawtrait Fundraiser

August Bengtson worked with Kitty Connection by drawing donors' pets. When someone donates a certain amount of money to a Kitty Connection, they will have their pet drawn by August. This fundraiser will hopefully raise money and awareness for local animal rescue organizations. In addition to this fundraiser, August also used his artistic abilities to try and help homeless shelter dogs get adopted. He found dogs in need of loving homes via Instagram and drew portraits of these dogs. Along with the portraits, he provided the dog’s bio from the shelter and the shelter’s address and contact information. The goal of this was to help share homeless dogs with the hope of them getting adopted.

The Friendly Neighbor

In order to entertain the community during the pandemic, Aniya Crump had created an Instagram called t_f_n_p_ (which stood for The Friendly Neighbor Project) to stream and post videos that showcased various activities that children could watch and recreate at home. The streams were held on Wednesdays and Saturdays for various amounts of time. She posted small DIY crafts and tips and tricks videos and posts. She streamed DIY activities on wednesdays and more chill streams on Saturdays. The goal of this project was to entertain and connect people from across the community and to enjoy time during quarantine.

Mystic River Cleanup

After noticing a great decrease in the quality of the water in the Mystic River, Capland Cho, Ricky Gomez, Justin Curcio, and Gabriel Suhm got together, working alongside the Mystic River Watershed Association, to plan on cleaning up the river and helping the environment. Their goal and purpose was to promote the cleaning and protecting of the environment, as well as to be a big part in restoring the Mystic River’s water quality. River cleanups are ongoing throughout the year and up to 25 people are able to sign up for a cleanup. Even with the ongoing pandemic, everything is socially distant and safety precautions are followed for safe cleanups.

EL Give Back

In collaboration with the EL teachers at Medford High and the help of Medford High students, Khushi Kaur & Naika Loredan created the EL Give Back Program. The EL Give Back Program is a student-led project designed to help new English learning students. Their goal was to help adjust the English learning students to their new school and environment. They created videos that have been translated by Medford High School students into seven different languages. Their videos are in Arabic, Haitian-Creole, Hindi, Portuguese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Some of the topics they have recorded include: graduation requirements, how to get free/reduced lunch, how to get a bus pass, school dress code and there are many videos to come.

Haitian Flag Day

For Keshana Paul and Sagine Magliore’s project, “Haitian Flag Day,” they worked with many MHS students, Mr. Skorker, and Ms. Pierre Paul to plan the annual, district wide, Haitian Flag Day Celebration. This celebration consists of an informational and entertaining video that educates students on the importance of Haitian Flag Day, and how the holiday is celebrated. What makes it a district wide celebration, is that along with multiple students, they go to the other Medford schools, and educate the younger students. This occurs via loudspeaker, or a presentation for the students. After going around to the other schools an assembly (split into small sections) is held for the MHS student body, where the video is played, and we further educate MHS about Haitian culture. At the end of the day all are welcome to a small celebration with music and Haitian food! The goal of this project is to help others further understand the importance of Haitian Flag Day.

Covid Website

Brianna Leccese, Anna Mercina Stefanou, Leticya Souza, and Campbell Tacey worked to design a website aimed at helping Medford community members who were significantly impacted by COVID-19. The project featured helpful information about preventing the spread of the virus, along with a place for community members to share positive and uplifting messages. The goal of this project was to help alleviate the mental health burden that so many are facing, along with combating the misinformation about the virus.

LGBT History in the Classroom

The goal of Lila D’Antonio and Ellie Hunt’s project was to diversify the history taught here at Medford High by including aspects of LGBTQ+ history. LGBTQ+ people have always existed and have always been an important part of history, yet many people still don’t know much about the community’s past. By looking at the curriculums in place for the history classes at Medford High, Lila and Ellie selected events, people, and places from queer history that fit with the topics that are already covered. From there, they met with history teachers and the director of the humanities department to make LGBTQ+ history a permanent part of the curriculum. They hope that by doing this queer teens will be able to see themselves in history and find role models, as well as helping to educate everyone about the rich, beautiful history of the LGBTQ+ community.

City of Medford Scavenger Hunt

Sisters Kate and Abbie Joslin wanted to create a scavenger hunt for citizens of Medford to teach people about their community and what it had to offer. They decided to compile a list of many different objects and places around town that symbolized Medford. In order to maintain social distancing, Kate and Abbie had participants take photos of the things they found and the places they visited. All of these pictures were uploaded to a google doc that everyone had access to. This way everyone involved could see all the different objects people found. This scavenger hunt was a great way to bring the community together. The goal of this scavenger hunt was to create an opportunity for people to go outside and do something fun in their community. In addition to this, the scavenger hunt taught people about Medford and what they could find throughout our very special city.

Crosswalk Painting

Amine Nazih and Zayn Yousuf decided to paint/redo crosswalks across Medford. There are many crosswalks in and around Medford that are fading and becoming hazardous for pedestrians. These crosswalks are hard for drivers to see from far away and these students felt the need to redo the faded crosswalks. Along with redoing crosswalks, their project also consisted of painting over certain crosswalks with bright colors to make them even more visible to passing vehicles. This also helped beautify the surroundings. The students contacted and collaborated with the Mayor’s Office for their project. The Mayor’s office agreed to fund their entire project along with helping them conduct the paintings.

Closing the Age Gap

For Theodora Odvil, Victoria Miller, Sammy Mercauto and Megan Furtado’s CCSR Project, the group wanted to close the gap between the young and elderly once again. The project has a close connection to the group because Theodora works and volunteers with the elderly at a nursing home. Vicki volunteers with children with special needs, and Sammy and Megan volunteer with their younger cousins. The group had children create cards for a holiday and then deliver/mailed the cards to the elderly.

Trash Free Campaign

For this year’s project, Lily Loren and Haley O’Rourke worked in collaboration with the Medford Mayor’s office, the DPW, and the Mystic Watershed Association to organize several different clean-ups around the Mystic River and picked up trash to prevent the water from being polluted. They gathered a group of volunteers and divided into smaller groups to address different areas around the river that needed to be cleaned up (wearing masks and following CDC social distance guidelines). The DPW provided grabbers, gloves, and trash bags to ensure that everything was picked up safely.

Medford Book Drive

For Matteo D’Aveta and Josh Klein’s CCSR project this year, they decided to hold a book drive for the Medford area. They advertised the book drive using virtual flyers. They set up a collection area where people could leave their unwanted books. After they collected a sufficient amount of books, they sorted through them to pick out all the books in good condition and divided them based on whether they were written for adults or for children. Once they had done this, they gave the books to local services/schools where the books could be put to good use.

The Segment with Sam

For Sam Cluggish’s service project for the community, he started a monthly podcast for the CCSR that chronicled the happenings of the CCSR over the month. He also interviewed members of different CCSR projects and interviewed members of the community who either helped out with said projects or are working on their own to help serve the community. Each podcast had a monthly theme which Sam discussed by sharing his own thoughts on the theme as well as through the interviews. Sam did this podcast mainly by himself, without the direct sponsorship of any organization. However, he does want to thank BandLab and Spreaker for making free-to-use recording programs so he could record and edit the podcasts. Sam hopes that the podcast will continue after he graduates from high school and that it will hopefully grow to include more than just one person running the show.

MLK Panel Day

Student leaders Amine Nazih, Liza Lopes, and Zayn Yousuf participated at a Martin Luther King talk panel as CCSR panelists. They spoke about Dr. King's legacy, current issues, and changes they would like to see in their community. The students chose this project because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy was something important to them, and they wanted to do a project related to the current BLM movement. The MLK panel was streamed live on Facebook on January 18th.

Plasticware Project

These eight student leaders have been working on a project to reduce the amount of plastic utensils used by recommending businesses to give plasticware out on a request only basis. This will help small businesses save money in addition to the reduction of plastic pollution and slow down environmental degradation. They conducted a survey with more than 270 people in the community. Through that survey, they found that nearly 70% of people rarely or never use plastic utensils. And that 85% would request to not receive plastic utensils if given the option to do so.