Seniors Face New Obstacles as They Complete Senior Projects

SENIORS FACE NEW OBSTACLES TO SENIOR PROJECTS -- This is a  view from Columnist Morgan Snyder's job shadow at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Morgan Snyder

SENIORS FACE NEW OBSTACLES TO SENIOR PROJECTS -- This is a view from Columnist Morgan Snyder's job shadow at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Morgan Snyder, Columnist

Senior year is jam-packed with important dates, events, and projects. The infamous Senior Project, dreaded by many, is due soon. The cumulative project consists of a portfolio filled with various assignments due throughout the year. Among these assignments are: a volunteer hour log sheet, a resume, and a cover letter among other requirements. The most important of these assignments, arguably, is the job shadow. Seniors are required to spend a four-hour (minimum) day with someone in their profession of choice.

Some Seniors, including myself, were lucky enough to complete a job shadow before school was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. Personally, I shadowed Religion Reporter Wyatt Massey for the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

DaVoneka Stoudemire also finished her job shadow project at the D&S Community Services.

“D&S Community basically cares for and assists people with disabilities,” Stoudemire clarified.

Most of the Class of 2020, however, never had the chance to finish a job shadow. Many students had their job shadows planned, but their dates were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Senior Orlando Gearing was planning on shadowing Quinton Jones, a computer engineer.

“That [job shadow] would’ve helped me make a career decision before going off to college,” said Gearing.  “Coronavirus ruined my Senior year– our season was postponed before college recruiters could come see me.”

Elena Salgado, another Central Senior, shared her story with me. She described her choice as a “small business in Cleveland,” and was excited to shadow there. When the day of her appointment finally arrived, Salgado reached out to the business to check if they were open.

The manager of that business did not inform Salgado that her appointment was cancelled until the day it was scheduled for. Salgado is still waiting to reschedule her appointment.

Jacob Sylman was supposed to job shadow Tonya Martin, a physical trainer at B.U.S.Y. Body Fitness. His appointment was cancelled just days before his scheduled meeting with Miss Martin.

On March 16, twelfth grade English teacher Kara Fannon uploaded an update about Senior Projects to the Senior English Google Classroom stream. In the update, she included information about what students should do if their job shadows got cancelled.

“If you have not yet completed the shadow portion, and are not able to complete it due COVID-19, you will have to alter portions of the job shadow constructed response and presentation. It will have to be more about who you ‘hoped to have shadowed’ and ‘what you hoped to have accomplished,'” said Fannon.

Adam Fletcher and Fannon plan to have a Google Sheet by the end of the week for students to sign up for Senior Project presentations.