Change Project Reflections

After a year of hard work, the IHS freshmen concluded their Change benchmark project with the Open House on April 18. Seven freshmen reflect on their experiences and lessons learned.

By Enya Kuo

Eunice Chan on Responsibility

“The Change Project was truly a very long project that I went through. However, I felt that there was definitely something I gained throughout this whole learning process. I became more aware of my responsibilities.

“Since the Change Project is a group project, everyone has their own responsibilities no matter how big or small. As I invested more time into the project, the significance of responsibility became more noticeable. In the end, I realized that the degree of success that you have with this project mainly balances on how well you deal with your responsibilities and how much effort you put into them.”


Anjali Kumar on Life Lessons and Impacts

“Change is actually a pretty useful project that helps us freshman realize the impact ten or so service hours can have on the environment and how spreading around fliers or informing the public can actually make a huge difference. Throughout Change, we learned a lot about our environmental topics and the ways we can make a difference.

“I think the most fascinating thing about Change was looking back and seeing how small steps can add up to make a big difference. With my group, we also learned valuable life lessons that we can carry on throughout our upcoming years in high school and beyond. We learned how to cooperate with each other, communicate effectively, and mainly work together as a team.

“My group gained a lot of experience and knowledge [about] our topic ‘How Household Cleaners Affect the Environment.’ Throughout our project, we got frustrated with members who couldn’t make meetings or get work done in time [several times]. However, as time progressed we learned how to work as a team and divide work equally. With everything we learned during change, I think I can say on behalf of my group members that Change was a memorable experience that taught us lessons we can carry on forever.”


Hsiu Lin on Fun Times

“Change project was a fun and rewarding experience. It was both tiring and exciting. There were times where I felt frustrated that we had so much to do, yet we couldn’t fit it into our busy schedules, but it worked out all [well]!”


Priya Patel on Google Docs

“My team and I encountered many obstacles through the Change project such as finding convenient times to have meetings. Many times, we had our meetings on Google Docs, which often led to off-topic conversations.

“The night before our research paper was due, we found random words throughout our paragraphs from the conversations we had on the document! In the end, the Change project brought us all closer as friends and gave us a great opportunity to improve the environment.”


Leeat Redlich on Cooperation

“Well, I would say that Change project was pretty easy for my team because it was only my friend [and me] on a team. We both had different skills and passed the project with an amazing grade. We learned many new things we didn’t know before and I am very happy I had this opportunity to do this project.”


Cathy Wang on Teleportation and Rewarding Experiences

“My Change group chose the topic of soil erosion, and we did trail maintenance as our service project in Alum Rock Park. We did a variety of tasks, including rerouting trails, fixing fences, relocating soil, and clearing out and making drains to lessen water runoff.

“On each Saturday that we volunteered, by the time that we were heading down, we would always see the same hiker climbing upwards. He was elderly yet cheerful, always greeting us when we stood by to let him pass. The weird thing is that we always met him at the same place in the park, no matter what time it was. Even stranger was the fact that he would always end up beating us to the bottom, even when he was initially headed up the trail, while we were retiring for the day. We concluded that he somehow learned the skills of teleporting.

“Freshmen typically begin the school year stressing out about the Change project because of its many components and strict deadlines. Now that all the reports are graded, the boards and PowerPoint’s created, and the presentations finished, we can finally relax.

“Personally, I [think] the project has been very beneficial to us students, as a chance for us to develop our interaction and management skills within a group and to be able to communicate with the wider world outside of school. We obtained a greater understanding of different environmental issues in our community and learned simple ways to lessen these problems. The whole experience is certainly rewarding in the long run, and to me, the project did not turn out as difficult as I had originally thought.”


Joyce Wu on Braving the Storm

“Interesting thing that happened . . . we were passing out fliers and collecting cosmetics in a raging storm. Even with umbrellas, we were still totally soaked. It was horrible, but I survived without a scratch, except maybe a severe cold.”