“What are you doing when you feel most beautiful/successful?”
“What are your superpowers?”
What did you really enjoy when you were 10 years old?
Looking back at your life, 20 – 30 years from now, what do you want to say you’ve accomplished.”
These were just a few of the questions that Grade 12 students at Edmonton Christian High pondered in November to begin planning their senior Passion Project. At that time they also received feedback from three trusted adults in their life to help them identify which of the ten Biblical throughlines, integral to learning at Edmonton Christian, were expressed in their passions.
Identifying a real need related to their gifts and passions, the Grade 12’s then set out to design and carry out their Passion Project by doing at least 25 hours of real work to meet this real need for real people. This project was punctuated with the students reflecting on their role in God’s story, and it culminated, May 31, in an evening of celebrating and sharing the work they did and how it impacted themselves and others.
Each student was interviewed by their staff advisor. Here is some of what they said: (photos that are included are not necessarily connected to the student quotes):
“I love kids. I found that out through coaching. The kids had an impact on me.” Gordon –coached youth football.
“I have a greater understanding of empathy. My willingness to help has grown through this experience.” Gabby –worked with children’s groups in her church.
“I learned that acts of compassion are a powerful way to make positive impacts in our society.” Brayan –did a compassionate acts project.
“I can bless others with the gifts God has given me.” Kurt –tutored a fellow student in Social Studies.
“[I learned to] just not worry about yourself; sometime put yourself second instead of first.” Joel –gave assistance in a variety of tasks and made a real, lasting connection to a neighbour.
“I learned that I want to have a career with physically disabled children and help them through their day-to-day lives.” Ashley –worked at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding.
“I got to be around what I liked.” Kyle –did “backline” work for the bands at YC this year.
“Food brings everyone together.” Zach –cooked for his family for a month.
“You really need other people to help you get through mental illness.” Maddie –advocated for understanding of mental illness with videos and materials under the slogan “Stand Together”
“I will continue to coach in the future.” Julia –coached 4 and 5 year olds in ringette.
“It wasn’t just decorations; it was bringing something to the [church] service.” Ilse –created visuals and “decorated” her church for Lent and Easter.
“It doesn’t take a lot to make a difference. I’ve always had a passion for it, so I want to keep doing that.” Brooke–filled backpacks with basic supplies for people who are homeless or between homes. (raw video interview HERE)
Everyone at one point in their lives has asked themselves, “What am I good for? Why am I here? What purpose does my life have?” With joy and dedication we have pursued those questions with our grade 12’s for as long as they have been here at Edmonton Christian Schools. In so many of their passion projects, we witnessed our students’ confidence, skills and strength of character that will enable them to be the the people God intended them to be in the world beyond the doors of ECHS! They know what they are good for! It’s an amazing measure of God’s grace and we are deeply grateful!
by Brian Doornenbal
A few pictures and quotes here can’t capture the story of more than 60 passion projects. If you know someone from the Class of 2017, ask them about their project and about how they see their role in God’s story.