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Gridley Herald

Senior Projects Roar!

May 31, 2024 11:53AM ● By Seti Long, photos by Seti Long

Angeles Herrera urges you to “adopt don’t shop!” for your new pet. She became an advocate for pet adoption and started her own rescue for her senior project. 

LIVE OAK, CA (MPG) - Seniors preparing for Graduation from Live Oak High School next week had one final big presentation before commencement – their Senior Projects.

Each year, with the exception of 2020 and a few years after the COVID pandemic ended regular school activities, Live Oak High Seniors participate in a project that demonstrates a learning situation for them. These projects ask the students to dedicate 20 hours toward their completion and 10 hours of community service.

Educators Michael Fredericks and Kayla Lemieux currently oversee the senior projects, with students selecting individual mentors to assist them with their specialized goals where necessary.

On Tuesday, May 21, LOHS invited fellow classmates and their families to the gym for the public presentation of their senior projects. Students prepared displays, answered questions, and handed out take-away goodies.

A wide range of projects were available to view. Some choose vehicles to rebuild or refurbish, such as Izac Ramos who outfitted his father’s truck with a competition-level sound system and lighting.

Izac Ramos is seen here with his flashy new stereo system he installed in his truck. He wanted to refurbish the vehicle with a show-level sound system. 

The Herald caught up with Olivia Traynor, who chose a woodworking project. “I really wanted to do a hands-on skill like woodworking, or metal,” she said.  Traynor shared that she felt it helped her gain independence by working on something outside her skill set. The results of her efforts were a beautiful wood American Flag.

Olivia Traynor (left) learned woodworking for her senior project creating this beautiful American flag. Kelsey Lewis (right) holds up an example of a sensory board, which she made and installed in a local foster family agency. 

Kelsey Lewis would put her skills to work creating sensory boards for children. She took a 2’x 8’ plywood board and installed multiple sensory stations painted in bright colors at the Gridley Children’s Hope Foster Family Agency office so that foster kids could play with them.

“I wanted to choose something that I was able to learn from, as well as be able to help others through it and this was just a great opportunity,” said Lewis. Vicki Smith, who works at Children’s Hope, added that Lewis’s project was phenomenal, and the agency was happy to have them.

Others, like Esteban Alvarado, chose a different path. Alvarado traveled far and wide tasting a variety of food for his food critic project. He created an Instagram page to share his journey and photos of the cuisine he critiqued. The senior even traveled all the way to Chicago to taste an official Chicago deep dish pizza, which he reports does top all other deep-dish pies.

Esteban Alvarado became a food critic and traveled all over the country tasting new cuisine. 

Alvarado shared pictures of the food he had tasted at his display table and also made his own mac n’ cheese, which he provided samples of to guests. He asked only that those tasting his recipe would leave a review before moving on.

Angeles Herrera rolled her community service and project into one, starting her own animal rescue with the goal of adopting out cats and dogs. She began working with an established organization to aid in rehoming pets and her project grew from there. She was able to help over 30 pets, adopting two herself.

Herrera had two tiny little puppies with her at the event and a cat that she had been working with, and offered visitors information on animal adoption, care and even had dog and cat gift baskets to raffle off.

Whether it was building, sewing, cooking, or traveling, it was clear by the wide range of projects that the LOHS senior class of 2024 had broadened their horizons while working on their senior projects.

Lemieux told the Herald, “It’s been really cool to see this group in particular come out of their comfort zone.”

Introducing their projects during a 7-10-minute solo presentation was intimidating for many, let alone interfacing with the public during the presentation on Tuesday, but Lemieux said that the class was able to interact with each other, the world, and be of service, which was the goal.