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Variety Of Senior Projects Unveiled
Riverbank High School seniors have identified their projects, presented them for review and are now ready to start on their 'thesis' work, part of their senior English class.

Teacher Nancy Garcia said unlike past years, not all seniors are being required to do a 'Senior Project' at the school. Now, only those students taking senior English are required to the project.

"It's about 150 students," she said. "We have had our 'D' day, where they present the projects, now they have their focus for the year and work on that."

There is a research paper required, the actual physical part of the project to be done and then a presentation of the overall project to a panel toward the end of the school year.

"They are on their way," said Garcia.

Student Niallyssa Tellez has done part of the work for her project already, participating in the 'Out of the Darkness' walk at Modesto's Graceada Park.

"I did it last year with my cousin," Tellez said, explaining that her senior project is on social work and the suicide prevention theme of the walk fit that concept.

"I created a team to do the walk," she said of joining a handful of family and friends at the event. "It's a way of reaching out, donations will go to the research and education programs for suicide prevention."

Tellez plans to go on to college for social work. The walk, she added, drew well over 750 people to Modesto for the event.

"I got the idea (to do the walk) just because I like to help people," she explained. "I want to help them get through their tough times."

Fellow senior Melissa Garcia is researching causes of cancer and her goal is to raise money and awareness for cancer research, education and treatment.

Garcia will be taking part in the upcoming Strides Against Breast Cancer walk this weekend, starting at the Gallo Center in Modesto on Sunday. Registration is at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m.

She will have a team in the walk, wearing pink and raising awareness.

"We really do encourage all the kids to find a project that allows something to give back to the community," teacher Garcia added.

Each student also has a mentor in the community, in their field of choice, to help them throughout the project.

Jessenia Duarte's project is based on an anti-bullying theme, while Kimberly Munguia is exploring making clothing. Cheyenne Allen is researching baby care, while Robert Schmidt is looking into the liabilities of paramedics.

The projects are varied and all include the community service aspect, so students contribute to their community while learning valuable lessons about their chosen field.