Upper School Students Go Above & Beyond in "The Passion Project"

Students in Andy Lemieux’s Advanced Placement Literature and Composition course began the year with a thought-provoking project based on their summer reading of Charlotte Brontë's “Jane Eyre.”
Through her writing, Brontë’s work gave a voice to those who were routinely oppressed and unable to express their emotions, intellect, or free thoughts. Students were asked to embrace this kind of conviction through “The Passion Project.”

Mr. Lemieux tasked his classes with an assessment that would require them to be both creative and empathetic, drawing inspiration from Jane’ strong moral character and refusal to back down from a challenge. Each student focused on a passion - something that had intense personal meaning to them. They were then asked to find a group or person who this passion pertained to, or to do something related to their passion that would improve the world around them in some way.

Each of the students created a 5-minute video presentation that was screened by their classmates. They could employ interviews, videos, music, dance, visual art, etc., to make the portrayal of their passion their own. Topics were well-researched, diverse, and raw with emotion. Anti-bullying, how music makes the world a better place, helping disabled veterans, human trafficking, positive body image, compassion, and the impact of waste in the environment were the focus of just a few of the videos.
"What stuck out most to me was understanding how much of an influence we can have," said Kelland Timothy '19. "It's amazing to realize that there are things we can do to make a positive change to help people—not just at ODA, but within and outside of the Sarasota community." 

Each of the projects were thoughtfully constructed with an honest and open display of empathy. Many students commented that they were impressed with the personal thoughts their classmates were willing to share, and how much they learned about each other. The class had in-depth discussions about each of the projects and chose the four presentations which best embody the spirit of the project. The four videos were screened for the entire Upper School student body during Friday’s Ovation assembly. Click below to view the participating students’ projects.

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