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Seniors demonstrate the "Parish Way" during expo for Academy of Global Studies and Leadership Institute.

Seniors involved in Parish Episcopal School's Leadership Institute and its Academy of Global Studies (AGS) presented their final projects during an expo on Wednesday, April 18. The event showcased their leadership skills, dedication, determination and service to others. The passion and purpose of each student was clearly evident as each presented their ideas on how to effect change and improve the world around them. (Hear from Leadership Institute and AGS students as they talk about their projects with Dave Monaco, Allen Meyer Head of School, on his podcast From My Angle.) (List of AGS & Leadership Graduates)

The LEAD projects and AGS topics were wide ranging. One senior published a book while another collected lanterns to help people in Chinchoti, India. Others focused on helping animals, local charities and launching businesses.

The Leadership Institute, a program of ParishLeads that allows Upper students to take a deeper dive into the study of leadership. Students begin planning their LEAD projects during junior year and present their work during the expo at the end of senior year. The projects focus on social or business entrepreneurship ideas based on needs in the community.

"The LEAD project is where their passions and skill sets align," said Vanessa Fuquay, Director of Community Service & Leadership Institute. "They find a need within a non-profit in our community or they start their own business or expand on an entrepreneurial idea. This is where they present what they've done and discuss the impact they've made through their LEAD projects."

Matthew Bowman '18 decided to put his love of animals at the center of his Leadership project which benefitted the animal shelter Take Me Home.

"It's one of my passions," added Bowman. "My family has been fostering pets there for about two years, so I hosted an adoption event for cats."

The event was successful. He was able to secure loving homes for five cats and signed up new foster families so the shelter could take in more animals. Additionally, he helped implement a new volunteer page for the shelter.

"The new system as a whole got an average rating of 4.2 and the old one got a 2.8, so it's going very well," remarked Bowman. "It's helping them keep track of all of their hours and what their volunteers are doing on a day-to-day basis."

AGS is a four year signature program at Parish for 9th-12th grade. Students who are accepted during freshman year go on to research and write a 20-page paper on a major global issue that is of concern to them. Their work is published in the annual Capstone book sold in the PAWS store. This year, eight seniors presented the second part of their project which highlighted their website design and featured their topic. The capstone paper takes three years of research, writing, edits and perseverance. Despite the challenging task, it hasn't been hard to get students to commit to the work since the program started eight years ago.

"The key is to allow them to self-select their topic," noted Frederick Hotz, Ph.D., Director of Academy of Global Studies. "You find that these kids really are passionate about some particular aspect or idea in global issues. They come up with some fabulous topics."

AGS student, Avery Lackner '18, titled her Capstone project: The Causes and Effects of High Maternal Mortality Rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. Not only did she learn more about her topic and educate others, she also discovered something new about herself.

"No problem is too big. You can break everything down into smaller, more manageable parts; that way, even when it feels like it's too big to be solved, it really never is. There's always an answer."

Through their passion projects, students in Leadership Institute and AGS learn about commitment and service to others; they build character and a strong work ethic; they develop fundamental life skills needed to be successful after they graduate from Parish.

"They don't know how it's going to turn out; they're not really sure what the answer is going to be or if they can find a solution," noted Hotz. "They learn to be persistent. They're going to take with them some very formal research, writing, thinking and analytic skills."

"I hope the experience stays with them," added Fuquay. "They're aware of the impact they've made already. I hope that when they move on to college or whatever the next step is past Parish that they hold on to knowing who they are and knowing how they can make an impact in our society."

The class of 2018 is the fourth graduating class to take part in the AGS Capstone project. The program has 61 students this year, 25 of which are freshmen. Former AGS students report back that the program gives them an advantage when it comes to writing papers, essays and applying for advanced degrees. Similarly, Leadership students report they know how to conduct themselves in a professional manner and interact with adults in an interview setting; advocate for themselves and others. They also develop a better understanding of the different roles of leaders and how to be a more effective leader. There are more than 70 students in 9th-12th grade in the Leadership Institute, 19 of which are seniors. This is the third cohort for the Leadership Institute.

Juniors are already working on their final presentations for the 2019 AGS and Leadership Institute Expo. AGS students continue to research and rewrite their capstone projects. There are a variety of topics: Poverty, Illness and Illiteracy in Niger; Women's Rights in Middle Eastern Countries; Europe's Banking and Debt Crisis. The Leadership Institute projects are varied as well. For example, Hunter Wartell '19 has already launched Wartell Liquidation Enterprises, an electronic recycling business that helps companies and individuals get rid of old equipment in an environmentally friendly way. A portion of the proceeds generated by the business will go to a local charity. Aidan Jacoby '19 is planning and executing a convention for more than 3,000 Jewish teens from more than 40 countries through BBYO, a Jewish organization. He'll be coordinating the convention which will be held in Denver next year. (Learn more about their projects – Tech Liquidation & BBYO Convention)

Congratulations to the AGS and Leadership Institute graduates. Your hard work, passion and dedication are examples of the "Parish Way" and our School's tenets of Wisdom, Honor and Service.
 

Parish Reading Buddies at Cigarroa Elementary

Each month a 6th grade advisory travels to Cigarroa elementary where they are paired with a 3rd grader to help them with reading comprehension. Toward the end of the day, the 3rd graders then help our students with their Spanish. To lead, you sometimes have to follow!

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Seniors demonstrate the "Parish Way" during expo for Academy of Global Studies and Leadership Institute.

Seniors involved in Parish Episcopal School's Leadership Institute and its Academy of Global Studies (AGS) presented their final projects during an expo on Wednesday, April 18. The event showcased their leadership skills, dedication, determination and service to others. The passion and purpose of each student was clearly evident as each presented their ideas on how to effect change and improve the world around them. (Hear from Leadership Institute and AGS students as they talk about their projects with Dave Monaco, Allen Meyer Head of School, on his podcast From My Angle.) (List of AGS & Leadership Graduates)

The LEAD projects and AGS topics were wide ranging. One senior published a book while another collected lanterns to help people in Chinchoti, India. Others focused on helping animals, local charities and launching businesses.

The Leadership Institute, a program of ParishLeads that allows Upper students to take a deeper dive into the study of leadership. Students begin planning their LEAD projects during junior year and present their work during the expo at the end of senior year. The projects focus on social or business entrepreneurship ideas based on needs in the community.

"The LEAD project is where their passions and skill sets align," said Vanessa Fuquay, Director of Community Service & Leadership Institute. "They find a need within a non-profit in our community or they start their own business or expand on an entrepreneurial idea. This is where they present what they've done and discuss the impact they've made through their LEAD projects."

Matthew Bowman '18 decided to put his love of animals at the center of his Leadership project which benefitted the animal shelter Take Me Home.

"It's one of my passions," added Bowman. "My family has been fostering pets there for about two years, so I hosted an adoption event for cats."

The event was successful. He was able to secure loving homes for five cats and signed up new foster families so the shelter could take in more animals. Additionally, he helped implement a new volunteer page for the shelter.

"The new system as a whole got an average rating of 4.2 and the old one got a 2.8, so it's going very well," remarked Bowman. "It's helping them keep track of all of their hours and what their volunteers are doing on a day-to-day basis."

AGS is a four year signature program at Parish for 9th-12th grade. Students who are accepted during freshman year go on to research and write a 20-page paper on a major global issue that is of concern to them. Their work is published in the annual Capstone book sold in the PAWS store. This year, eight seniors presented the second part of their project which highlighted their website design and featured their topic. The capstone paper takes three years of research, writing, edits and perseverance. Despite the challenging task, it hasn't been hard to get students to commit to the work since the program started eight years ago.

"The key is to allow them to self-select their topic," noted Frederick Hotz, Ph.D., Director of Academy of Global Studies. "You find that these kids really are passionate about some particular aspect or idea in global issues. They come up with some fabulous topics."

AGS student, Avery Lackner '18, titled her Capstone project: The Causes and Effects of High Maternal Mortality Rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. Not only did she learn more about her topic and educate others, she also discovered something new about herself.

"No problem is too big. You can break everything down into smaller, more manageable parts; that way, even when it feels like it's too big to be solved, it really never is. There's always an answer."

Through their passion projects, students in Leadership Institute and AGS learn about commitment and service to others; they build character and a strong work ethic; they develop fundamental life skills needed to be successful after they graduate from Parish.

"They don't know how it's going to turn out; they're not really sure what the answer is going to be or if they can find a solution," noted Hotz. "They learn to be persistent. They're going to take with them some very formal research, writing, thinking and analytic skills."

"I hope the experience stays with them," added Fuquay. "They're aware of the impact they've made already. I hope that when they move on to college or whatever the next step is past Parish that they hold on to knowing who they are and knowing how they can make an impact in our society."

The class of 2018 is the fourth graduating class to take part in the AGS Capstone project. The program has 61 students this year, 25 of which are freshmen. Former AGS students report back that the program gives them an advantage when it comes to writing papers, essays and applying for advanced degrees. Similarly, Leadership students report they know how to conduct themselves in a professional manner and interact with adults in an interview setting; advocate for themselves and others. They also develop a better understanding of the different roles of leaders and how to be a more effective leader. There are more than 70 students in 9th-12th grade in the Leadership Institute, 19 of which are seniors. This is the third cohort for the Leadership Institute.

Juniors are already working on their final presentations for the 2019 AGS and Leadership Institute Expo. AGS students continue to research and rewrite their capstone projects. There are a variety of topics: Poverty, Illness and Illiteracy in Niger; Women's Rights in Middle Eastern Countries; Europe's Banking and Debt Crisis. The Leadership Institute projects are varied as well. For example, Hunter Wartell '19 has already launched Wartell Liquidation Enterprises, an electronic recycling business that helps companies and individuals get rid of old equipment in an environmentally friendly way. A portion of the proceeds generated by the business will go to a local charity. Aidan Jacoby '19 is planning and executing a convention for more than 3,000 Jewish teens from more than 40 countries through BBYO, a Jewish organization. He'll be coordinating the convention which will be held in Denver next year. (Learn more about their projects – Tech Liquidation & BBYO Convention)

Congratulations to the AGS and Leadership Institute graduates. Your hard work, passion and dedication are examples of the "Parish Way" and our School's tenets of Wisdom, Honor and Service.
 

With final projects, Parish Episcopal seniors in AGS & Leadership Institute prove they're bold leaders, prepared to impact our complex global society.

May signals the end of the school year for all Parish Episcopal students, but for some Class of ’17 members, it brings an end to years of research, planning and hard work. On April 19, students in the Academy of Global Studies (AGS) presented their Capstone projects while seniors in the Leadership Institute shared their final LEAD projects.

Parish demonstrates and instills the concept of leadership by example; that is why serving others is part of our culture and curriculum. Students in AGS and the Leadership Institute exhibited those values during their final projects. For the AGS Capstone project, students presented a 20 page, fully cited paper, a culmination of their three-year investigation into a topic of personal selection and choice. Seniors in the Leadership Institute showcased their projects which centered on social or business entrepreneurship ideas based on needs in the community.

“Students begin planning their LEAD projects during their junior year of Leadership,” said Molly Still, Director of Leadership Institute.  “The planning begins then and continues until the end of their senior year.”

“AGS students take four trimester courses to research and write their capstones,” remarked Frederick Hotz, Ph.D., Director of Academy of Global Studies. “Along the way, they identify a global issue of interest to them, generate an annotated bibliography of 40 resources and write multiple drafts to craft thesis statements and supporting arguments and paragraphs.”

The class of 2017 is the third graduating class to take part in the AGS Capstone project. Jaya Gupta ’17 worked on a project called, Sambhaav, which is Hindi for “It’s possible.” She spent three years researching how child marriage impacts education in India. (Read more in Gupta's online journal)

“I traveled to India this past summer and worked at a school in the slums for two weeks and interviewed girls 5-12 years old,” remarked Gupta. “I found that many of them had older siblings who were my age (18) and married with children. They all wished that they could stay in school rather than working and raising a family at such a young age. This really opened my eyes to what these girls had to go through and how difficult it was for them to escape this cycle of poverty. I wrote all of their stories down in an online journal and published it for my Capstone project.”

As the name indicates, the Academy of Global Studies aims to increase students’ global awareness and to help them understand the complex and interconnected nature of the world, both politically and socially.

“There are many challenges presented and each translates into ethical questions and moral concerns for everyone,” added Hotz.

“It is our intention to provide our students with the skills and experiences that will cause them to be informed and prepared enough to identify and implement solutions to these challenges through our school’s three founding tenets (Wisdom, Honor & Service).”

“I hope people learn just how big of an issue ocean pollution is,” said Caroline Haga ’17, who worked on the AGS Capstone project, Ocean Pollution: Sources, Impacts and Potential Mitigants. “Because we don’t always see it, we push it to the side, which is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing!”

“This is something that affects all of us,” she added. “The only way to fix it is if we all work together to try to find a safe and proper solution.”

(Learn more about Haga's project)

Not only did the Capstone projects teach students about global awareness, it also gave them an idea of how to tackle complex topics and organize and edit a large academic paper. It was a glimpse of what a college research paper or project might be like for them in the future.

“I learned so much about how to research such a large topic and sift through databases and articles,” noted Gupta. “This project also taught me time management because there were so many different tasks that needed to be completed throughout the three years, so I had to plan accordingly to make sure I completed it all in time.”

“Although difficult at times, I read through hundreds of articles and papers to get all the information I needed for this project,” remarked Haga. “I learned how to use different research platforms and find the best information possible.  Because of AGS, I can now tell the difference between a good website and a bad one and I feel more accomplished.”

Just like AGS, the Leadership Institute challenges students to look beyond the Parish community and identify how they can help others and create change.

“We hope the students learn more about how their passions can be useful in the community and hopefully get some insight into what they might be interested in studying in college or pursue as a career,” noted Still.

As the second class to complete LEAD Projects, the class of 2017 students who finished their projects receive the Leadership Institute endorsement on their diplomas. Leadership Institute students took on a broad range of projects and learned more about fundraising, organizing events, managing their time and fostering Parish’s relationships with local groups, including our DISD partner school Cigarroa Elementary. For example, Nathan Popper ’17 worked with Habitat for Humanity and raised $10,000 to fund two build days. Sophie Alford ’17 created a week-long STEM camp for children at Family Gateway, a Dallas non-profit group that helps homeless families.

“This project meant a lot to me because these silly experiments, such as exploding Coca-Cola with Mentos, making slime and extracting DNA from strawberries, are what got me interested in science,” said Alford.  “I wanted to give these kids the same experience I had, and hopefully encourage them to wonder and explore more. The kids and I had a blast!” (Watch STEM by Sophie)

Margot Siegel ’17 raised money to help children in India whom she met during a ParishAbroad trip. She also collected donations of children’s books for Cigarroa students. Additionally, Jack Bell ‘17 also extended his efforts to the students of Cigarroa.

“My project was to design a field day for our seniors and the Cigarroa Elementary fifth graders that would also be our senior service day,” added Bell. “I really enjoyed this project because it brought our two schools closer together.” (Watch Bell's Cigarroa LEADS Project)

“I am so grateful for my time in the Leadership Institute,” said Brittany Burnecke ’17.  “I know that lessons I have learned will serve me well as I enter the next chapter of my life.”

Burnecke worked with her Blair Fellows class (1st grade) to make lesson plans on promoting independence and teaching life-long learning skills.

“After consulting Lower School faculty and staff, I concluded that the major area of concern amongst 1st graders was a lack of independence,” noted Burnecke. “I realized that when given an assignment, the kids would raise their hand and say they couldn’t do it before reading over it. The steps were: Did you read the directions? Did you look over the activity? Did you ask a friend for help?”

The lessons are applicable to people of all ages, especially younger kids who are developing their academic work habits.

“I believe that by teaching these pivotal lessons now the students will have a more solid foundation and will be able to succeed down the road,” added Burnecke. “Even as Upper School students, it is important to remember that through teamwork we can succeed, and that failure does not define you.”

Through AGS and Leadership Institute, students have been able to pass along their wisdom to others while gaining new insights about themselves along the way. They’ve also developed skills that will help them during future academic and personal endeavors.

“I have become a stronger leader and a more well-rounded one,” said Burnecke. “I also believe that I have grown as a person.”

“The Leadership Institute helped me become a better leader in and out of the classroom,” added Bell.

“I have learned so much about myself, others and how to successfully put together a project from scratch,” noted Alford. “This project took a lot of organizing and planning. Communication was “key” and I actually learned a valuable lesson from my mentor, Sterling May, on persistence and communication.”

“For future Parish students considering this project, I want them to know that it is a commitment and a lot of work,” said Gupta. “There are so many people who help you through it along the way, so you are not alone. In the end, it is so rewarding to look back on everything that you have done and how much research and knowledge you have gained from it all.”

“This is work, and I mean it,” warned Haga. “In the end, I promise it’s all worth it! Any time I would tell a college rep or a person who was interviewing me about AGS, they were blown away and were so intrigued. There will be times when you just want to quit and give up . . .  but push through because the pay off at the end is amazing.”

The AGS Capstone projects of each graduating class are bound into a book that is presented to the class and archived in the Parish library. It is available for purchase in the PAWS bookstore.

Check out the websites for the following AGS projects:

Paris Bland  - “The Norwegian Plan to End Human Trafficking”

Caroline Haga – “Ocean Pollution” Sources, Impacts and Potential Mitigants”

Kathryn Galanis –Cross-Cultural Psychiatry” Diagnosing Mental Health in “Bottom Billion” Countries”

 

True Colors Presentation

Sophomores collaborate on a project that explores different leadership personalities: "Working with a Yellow Personality"

primer offered at lower elementary school

inquire with our admissions team

 

PAWS spirit store
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