Each year, our seniors are challenged with taking a passion and turning it into their senior projects. Each student has taken a unique approach to their project, some students work toward the goal of personal growth while others take on ambitious societal and charitable pursuits. The most inspiring piece about these projects is that each takes our students beyond the classroom and to a creative space of their own imagining. Several students have allowed Collegiate to enter into the journey of their senior projects by sharing their stories.  

James Cooper

Once On This Island—Hurrah Players Choreographer 

My senior project is a familial continuation. My mother and father did the same show, Once On This Island, while they were in high school. My mother choreographed the show; it was the first show that she got to choreograph the whole thing. And my father played the same role that I choose to play, Agwé, the God of Water. So the show itself has a very personal meaning to me. In theory, it’s something that both of my parents were in together. I was so happy that I could have that experience of being in-charge and having that pre-professional experience of directing and choreographing a show and taking myself outside of my group of peers and really being able to see the show in a whole new light.     


Shahra Madison and Chad Bullock

Diversity Conference

“I felt if I didn’t do this project, no one else was going to do it,” said Shahra. “I thought it would be good to let people know what is going on in society. I like how this conference is student led and how it provides a judgment-free zone. Everyone who attends the conference, attends for the same reason, and you feel comfortable there.”

“With this project, one thing I learned was time management. You can’t really procrastinate when you’re trying to get things done. I’m hoping that this conference will open my eyes to more and allow me to master the skills I need to have,” Chad said.



Joi Harper

Writing an Original Music Composition

For college I have to compose in order to get into the music composition program; it is required for the program. So this project was kind of like practice for the real thing. Another thing is that I’ve been writing for a long time, so I would like to do a masterpiece of my works for my senior project. I started writing song when I was very little, and I’ve been writing pieces for maybe two years. Most of my help has come from Mrs. Wallace, since she is the music theory teacher, she helps me with the music theory aspect; but I also took a course by myself to perfect my craft. She just helps me edit and go through to see what’s wrong and highlight what’s right.


Gin Yukun

100 Days of Body Building

Bodybuilding is two steps. The first step is to lose weight and the second is to tone up. I don’t feel well when I have a lot of fat on my body. So after running for about 45 minutes, I feel better and positive about my life. I started at 177 pounds and right now I’m 166 pounds. After running, I do some weight lifting. I want to keep going.





Bailey Holmes-Spencer and Catherine Kim

Journalism Conference 

“I’m the editor-in-chief [of the school newspaper the Oak Leaf],” said Bailey. “She’s managing editor, so it was smart for us to team up. We’re actually passionate about journalism. She and I hope to purse journalism in college, so this was a great project for us.”

“We’ve both wanted to do this before senior year, like I wanted to do the conference in 10th grade. I volunteered to do it because no one else wanted to but I wasn’t experienced enough and Mrs. Davis wasn’t comfortable giving the project to a sophomore,” said Catherine. “Historically, it’s been a team-up kind of project, which is understandable because there is so much work that has to go into it. So we thought teaming together would be a good idea. We learned that a lot of stuff isn’t in our control, like how many people will attend and if we can get the guest speaker we want to come to the conference. But it was up to us to control the things that were in our control to make the best conference.”


Jacob Conn

Drunk Driving Awareness

I’m having a guest speaker come to our school to talk about this topic. I’m hoping for someone who works within the police department who’s in the drunk driving division. There are so many violations with drunk driving in the City of Norfolk. So I figured talking to someone from that department and talking with people who have been impacted by drunk driving would be a good idea. You see it in the commercials that say “Don’t Drink and Drive” and it’s one of those things that you kind of just see, but talking to someone who is really affected by it gives you the real world situation. It hits you like “Wow, this is kind of a real thing that affects people’s lives.”


Victor Layne, Nicola Borrell, Emma Segaloff

Operation Smile rock-a-thon

“For the past two years, I’ve been working on the rock-a-thon for Operation Smile, and I figured why not expand it a little bit this year and take it to the next level with two other people,” Victor said.  

“We learned great organizational skills and how to work with people, especially when people aren’t as excepting as they should be,” said Emma. “In-general, I learned how to organize an event, how to create an event and how to make everything possible.”

“We decided to team up together because we’re involved in Operation Smile,” Nicola said. “Victor and Emma have been on missions before, and we’ve all worked with the club at school and on the regional level, so we all have a very high interest in the project.”


Carter Kennedy and Ann Burns Morrison

Academically adopted students of P. B. Young Sr. Elementary School and Young Terrace Community Center

“The students within this area often live in environments that are not conducive to the advancement of their learning,” said Ann Burns. “We wanted to change that.”

 “I would love for someone to pick up this again as a senior project,” said Carter. “But what I would really love is for Collegiate to do a partnership with the Young Terrace Community Center as a Big Brother, Big Sister program.”



Hamoudi Musselmani 

Alzheimer Awareness & Research

I’ve always been interested in neurology. One of my life’s goals is to become a neurologist. Out of the neurological disorders that I’ve known, Alzheimer’s has been a big one that’s run through my family. My great aunt passed from it and my grandfather is going through the early stages of it, and it has really significantly impacted my family. I want to focus more on how the disease itself emotionally, physically and socially effects its patients. One goal for the project is to not only inform myself but to inform other on how significant this disease actually is. 



Kelsey Alcaraz

Fisher House       

The Fisher House is almost like the Ronald McDonald House but for veterans and their families, so if a veteran is hurt and their family needs to get there right away, the Fisher House steps in. It’s located on the Portsmouth Naval Base and its right across the street from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. It’s a place for them to stay at a very low rate or no rate at all. It allows them to feel some level of comfort while going through a hard time. We live in a large naval community, and I have family members who have served in the Armed Forces. I’ve seen the effects of what happens while they’re deployed overseas, and I wanted to do something to give back.