February marks a significant time for the seniors attending The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland. College decisions are becoming more common, but another main focus for all is completing a senior LAUNCH project.
The history of these projects goes back to the Class of 2017, who were the first seniors to embark upon such projects. This senior class was also the first LAUNCH class ever when they began the course as juniors when the LAUNCH tracks were created in 2016. This year’s senior class is in the middle of working on their projects and will be the second senior class in history to do so.
The LAUNCH track itself is a course for juniors and seniors which is split up into five different sections: Expression, Innovation, Compassion, Leadership, and Courage. Each section is composed of two classes, one of all juniors and one of all seniors. Once students reach the end of sophomore year, they write a letter to apply to be accepted into the LAUNCH section of their choosing and will take the course for their junior and senior years.
While each section of LAUNCH teaches a different topic, each senior LAUNCH project will have the same mission. “We are trying to develop self-awareness in the guys by making them consider a passion or a problem that they want to address or get involved with and to push them to work outside of the [Boys’ Latin] community to do so,” said Stephen Roche, one of the two teachers of the Courage section.
In going outside of the Boys’ Latin community to work on these projects, each senior will work with an organization or group of people to combat the problem or pursue the passion they chose to work with. In return, the projects will help seniors experience real-life problems or events while also learning about their own strengths and weaknesses.
A common difficulty among seniors has been finding a topic to indulge themselves in. “We are there to encourage students and help them with ideas when they need them,” said Mr. Roche. The teachers are there for the benefit of the student so that they have somewhere to look when they are lost.
While these projects require lots of time and effort and thought, they open students up to new ideas and concepts. “It’s nice to have such a close connection to an organization outside of here,” said Courage student Andrew Lee, who plans to keep his close connection with his old school as he becomes more involved.
The projects will have two sides to their purpose which are to help the student and to help the community. “The goal is for the students to help with a group or community while also having some tangible way of knowing they did so,” said Compassion teacher Adam Osborn.
Every Boys’ Latin student will have to complete one of these projects during his senior year, and it helps to understand this from a senior’s viewpoint. “My word of advice to younger students is to make contact with an organization as soon as you can because it only creates a better bond,” said Andrew Lee, who wishes he was given advice before the start of these projects.
The projects will be done in the middle of April with the first presentation day falling on the 12th. Students from all around Boys’ Latin are welcome to view the presentation of these projects.
Categories: BL Spotlight