By Marie Gourdet

About three or four years ago an idea was introduced to William Penn, which was mostly for the seniors.  This project, which became the Senior Legacy Project, was to help seniors strive for success in the future.

These projects urge students to work with their communities.  It gives students the chance to create a successful path for them at Penn. It is important for students to do because these seniors represent William Penn. It’s important for seniors to start somewhere which will get them ready for the next challenge in life beyond high school.

These students have more opportunities given to them and it’s up to them to grasp every one of them. Students tends to think that they’re not old enough to leave a mark so they could be well remembered. They believe that they still have time pursue their dreams, either going to college or with them graduating and being in the “real world.” Honestly, isn’t this the real world? Ever since we became a high schooler we were in the real world. This high school experience is an eye opening experience that should push us to the edge where we create and learn so much about ourselves.

With the project being presented, many wonder who was the one that found this living idea? Daniel Becker, a senior English teacher at William Penn High school, was one of the teachers responsible for bringing the project that each senior has to do every year before they graduate.

The senior legacy project is about being productive and helping the community however they can. Teachers want to help students to leave Penn with a legacy whether they will stay in Delaware or not. It’s not guarantee that kids will be remembered forever because of the community service hours they did maybe a day or two, but it’s about continuing influencing the community they live in.

Becker stated, “I don’t want say guarantee but it [the senior legacy project] would increase the likelihood that kids pursue endeavors that could become legacies, be it an actual project that gets picked up in later years or maybe some kid does a project they end up pursuing for their whole life because they love it so much or they decide to open a non-profit these are viable routes to success, and I think we increased the likelihood that a student pursue something that could lead to a true legacy now versus years ago.”

Becker stated that not all students wanted to complete this project and this is something he usually tell them to convince each one that it’s worth doing.

He said, “One it’s for grades, that’s usually pretty convincing for most kids. But any kids that actually tell me that they want to do it just for a grade, I try to explain to them It’s an opportunity beyond than just a grade, it’s a resume write-off. I had a girl wrote a Paws for people project last year by herself and she was able to put it on her resume for both college and job applications. That’s just one example. The personal gains are tremendous. Gaining confidence and speaking with adults, just confidence in yourself. There’s so much potential for this project to help a student grow.”

This project also helps improve people’s perspective of Penn.

“At this point, with pushing kids into the community to do things and assert themselves, we’re hopefully creating more positive impact, more positive opportunities and examples for community members to see William Penn students at work as opposed to before which was happenstance. Now we actually have a project that pushes them to be that positive role model in the community,” Becker said.

Overall, this project is tied to Penn’s own legacy, especially in it’s 50th anniversary.  nonetheless and Becker explained how the project connects with Penn’s legacy over the 50th anniversary. William Penn has continued to create more opportunities for students over the years and that’s what makes William Penn successful.