Georgina Fakoukaki | gfakoukaki19
How have you pursued your dreams here at d.tech? Students have a variety of different ideas, goals, and aspirations they want to bring to life. All that is supported by the school’s staff, design lab, exploration classes, and clubs that allow students to work on passion projects either inside or outside of school. Here are some of the things that served as turning points for these students’ high school experiences.
“I created a project called ‘the box project’ during a d.lab class that I also started doing outside of school. I taught fifth and sixth graders how to use design thinking that helped them with their self confidence and self esteem.” states senior student Lauren Smith. In other words, she introduced them to a new way of thinking. When asked how much that transformed her throughout her high school experience, she comments, “I grew a lot as a person. I was able to do something I was passionate about and made an impact.”
Clubs at d.tech are also a great way to change a student’s high school experience. “d.leadership made me be a better leader and talker.” senior Alex Wu admits. He then added that it helped him with articulation and public speaking.
For some students, it took more than one action to confidently say they transformed; a variety of experiences changed them. As senior Paulo Mangubat states, “My maturity came in two parts: the first was in freshman year when I took a public speaking class. I was then able to overcome my shyness with people. The second was in junior year, when I was able to put more value in myself instead of seeking more value on friendships.”
Other students’ turning point was through d.tech elective classes. For example, junior Elliot Boz talked about how much a single class can affect a person. “In freshman year, I took a photography class with Quincy Stamper. That’s when I found something I love doing.” For junior Joanne Luong, it was a d.lab class that changed her: “My sister and I used design thinking to create an American sign language curriculum for preschoolers.” Their objective was to expose kids to the different people and cultures out there. They had to talk to the vice principal of the school to get the project approved. She adds, “It was the first time we [had ever] put ourselves out of our comfort zone.”
Finally, other students realized that their turning point did not originate from d.tech related; instead, it occurred independently. As senior Sofia Schofield describes, “Junior year was when Anabella and I created the children’s book Ladybug’s Garden. We basically went around to local elementary schools reading the book to little kids.” Likewise, junior Jared Lin referred to his experience at Vietnam and how that changed his perspective. He mentions, “It was last summer when I went to Vietnam to teach underprivileged students; that was when I learned to value interpersonal relationships.”
High school allows students to transform and grow from their experiences. Students shouldn’t be afraid to challenge themselves and grow from those experiences. As Luong says, “As you progress in high school, you progress as an individual.”