Change open house closes freshmen benchmark project

This+is+the+first+year+where+the+Change+Project+collaborated+with+the+Link+or%2C+allowing+link+leaders+to+show+support+to+the+freshmen+on+their+work.%0A
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Change open house closes freshmen benchmark project

This is the first year where the Change Project collaborated with the Link or, allowing link leaders to show support to the freshmen on their work.

This is the first year where the Change Project collaborated with the Link or, allowing link leaders to show support to the freshmen on their work.

Annika Yong

This is the first year where the Change Project collaborated with the Link or, allowing link leaders to show support to the freshmen on their work.

Annika Yong

Annika Yong

This is the first year where the Change Project collaborated with the Link or, allowing link leaders to show support to the freshmen on their work.

Annika Yong, Staff Writer

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On April 13, Irvington freshmen gathered in the main gym to display and presented their posters for the Change Open House Night. The gym was filled with supporting parents, visiting upperclassmen, and relieved teachers observing the outcome of the students’ year-long environmental service projects.

Aside from commonly known projects such as invasive species, monarch butterflies, and pollution, there were plenty of new creative ideas – such as cooking oil pollution and upcycling crayons into lipsticks.

“I learned about how small problems can go so unnoticed until they’re an unsolvable threat. So to solve a problem you have to attack the root of it as quickly as possible,” said Sashrika Pandey (9), who researched about cooking oil pollution. “I also learned to depend on my team because they’ll see the best and worst sides of you and will accept you for it anyways. Even when tensions run high because of an approaching deadline or stress, they will always be there for you.”

The team collected used cooking oil from our neighbors and a restaurant, and took the oil to a biodiesel conversion plant in Hayward called SeQuential Biofuels, where they convert it into an alternative fuel known as biodiesel that releases less carbon emissions.

“The Change Project actually aims to give these freshmen a feeling that if they can persevere, they can accomplish all sorts of things.” said Mr Pearce, who has been directing the Change Project for 16 years. “The Change Project is not easy, and it’s not meant to be; but the [this challenge] is just going to make the next challenge more doable.”

One new development in the annual benchmark project is the partnership the Change Project is forming with the LINK program. Since the LINK leaders already did a lot to support the freshmen, it was a natural fit for them to join the freshmen at the Open house. Mr Pearce and other Change Project teachers expressed appreciation towards Caitlyn Hum, Faye Wang and all the other LINK students who made it out.

Change Project continues to influence and inspire students to step up and act to bring positive change to environmental issues in our community. Freshmen learn about cooperation and communication by working with their year-long teammates, and they are equipped with important skills to face future projects and challenges. The Class of 2020 achieved a total of 6299 service hours, showing how a collective effort could bring a significant difference to the environment.