SEATTLE — The senior project topic is picked, the idea is in the student’s mind, and now is the time to put the plan to action. Here is a list of senior projects that will help any student create the perfect project that will enable them to give back to the world and fight against global poverty:
1. Host a weekly living room summit about global poverty and foreign aid- An effective and easy way for a student to create awareness about global poverty is to invite friends and family over for weekly living room summits in their home. Have a barbeque, bring in a local band to play and talk about the importance of making global poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy. Each week, the student should focus on a different foreign policy issue. For instance, begin the summits with an overview of global poverty and then choose topics such as the International Affairs Budget, the importance of reducing poverty for enhancing national security and U.S. jobs and other pieces of poverty-reducing legislation. Discuss the importance of calling Congress and encourage fundraising initiatives to raise money for a worthwhile cause. For the project, discuss the success of the summits, how it impacted friends and family and the importance of engaging community members about pressing global issues.
2. Submit content to local newspapers- This is an easy and fun project example for students with a passion for writing who want to use the power of words to make a difference. For this project, write weekly, brief articles about the reasons why global poverty should be a more pressing U.S. foreign policy concern. The student will not only get media exposure, but if the paper picks up the article, they will have an opportunity to educate the entire community about important global issues. The final project can be a compilation of the articles, and overall what the student learned about global poverty through the experience. If no local newspapers pick up the articles, the student can submit them to their high school newspapers.
3. Create a political campaign- Creating a mock political campaign for the president or Congress will provide students with a detailed understanding of the political process. For this project, the student should develop a political party and decide which issues are most important for the campaign. For example, the student’s campaign can highlight the importance of increasing the International Affairs Budget and foreign aid to help lift millions of people out of poverty. The campaign can promise constituents that the U.S. will provide $30 billion per year to end world hunger, the necessary cost to end this epidemic. Furthermore, the campaign could support direct aid by sending food aid for emergency relief to the countries in need, as opposed to sending food on U.S. ships, a process that takes between 2-3 months to reach the people in need and only benefits the shipping industry. This is a great project to get a firsthand look into how to effectively run a political campaign, while allowing students to delve into the issues that they are passionate about.
4. Lobby Congressional Leaders- Setting up a meeting with Congressional leaders and lobbying them to support poverty-reducing bills is an effective example of how to create change while using the perks of a democratic system to the fullest. The student should request a meeting time with members of Congress or their staffers and educate them about the importance of reducing poverty for improving U.S. jobs, national security and the economy. The student should bring supporting documents to the meeting, become educated about the bill they plan to advocate for and dress in Business professional attire. After the meeting, the student should follow up by sending an email to the Congressional staff thanking them for taking the time to discuss the importance of poverty-reducing legislation. After the lobbying experience, the student can create a report outlining the experience to classmates and highlight how easy it is to lobby congressional leaders.
5. Arrange a sporting event fundraiser- This is an example of how a student can have fun while also raising funds for a worthwhile cause for their project. First, come up with the tournament: soccer, extreme Frisbee, zombie tag or any other fun activity that friends and family will enjoy. Second, announce the event to local businesses, have registered participants pay a small fee to join and try to find a sponsor to donate a prize to the winner. The larger the event, the more funds will be raised for the cause. The student can even invite classmates to participate in the tournament to support their project!
Senior project examples certainly range and vary based on the student’s particular interests and how they want to go about fundraising for a worthwhile cause. However, regardless of the example, the most important initiative for the student is to understand the issues and mobilize and educate their peers about why global poverty should be a more pressing U.S. political concern.
For example, by investing in developing countries and providing aid, new economies will open up and more consumers will buy U.S. goods. Essentially, foreign aid is an investment that will bolster U.S. jobs and expand the interests of the American people. It will further safeguard national security by improving people’s social and economic standing so that they will not move toward violence and terrorism. It is a national interest to reduce global poverty, and the senior project is an opportunity to educate the community about these pressing concerns.
Call Congress to support increased foreign aid, educate friends and use your senior project as a way to change the world. It really is that easy to make a difference.
– Nicole Einbinder
Sources: Borgen Project 1, Borgen Project 2, Borgen Project 3, The Lead