The Alvord Center held a “Take Action Senior Celebration” this week to honor the 35 seniors who earned Global & Environmental Studies Certificates, a special designation that will accompany their diplomas.
The certificates recognize the students’ multi-year commitment to growing their understanding of global and environmental concerns and engaging in programs to address these matters.
Requirements for earning the certificate, which students begin preparing for in their freshman or sophomore years, include fourth-year-level foreign language study: participation in an educational travel program with an international, multicultural, or environmental focus; engagement in Global and Environmental Studies Seminars during junior and senior years; and completion of an online portfolio and a capstone project.
This year’s class is the first to complete portfolios and capstone projects using the Alvord Center’s newly developed Engaged Citizenship Matrix, the four pillars of which are to seek knowledge, to enhance understanding, to develop skills, and to take action.
To illustrate the fourth pillar and before the more formal part of the program, which was held near the school’s Solar Energy Field, the seniors helped lay a trail surrounding the field, planted native wildflowers, and helped prepare garden beds for several community garden plots.
During the program, seniors Kennedy Anderson and Harry Knight shared their thoughts with their fellow recipients on the significance of the certificate.
“I . . . appreciate my time working toward the certificate because of the growth that it has helped me experience,” Harry said. “Throughout my experiences with Model U.N., my classes, and travel, I have been able to think more critically about the environment around me.” He continued, “Programs like the GESC [Global & Environmental Studies Certificate]. . . are so crucial to our generation because they train us to look around and to work with one another rather than being drawn inward by our own issues. I hope that with this global focus, each one of us can go on to make a difference in our future communities and beyond in whatever we choose to do.”
View the online portfolios and capstone projects at:
Listen to the podcasts created as part of these capstone projects at: