Describe your project. What did you do? How did you do it?
- The Wall of Excellence is an ongoing project of showcasing the incredible achievements and contributions students, alumni, staff, and Riverside community members not only in the physical education field, but other academic fields as well, such as volunteer work, the arts, academics, and so much more.
What problems did you run into? Were you able to solve these challenges? How did you solve these challenges? Is there anything you would do differently?
- One of the biggest problems our team rand into was creating the criteria. With such a wide rage of talent we wanted to recruit, it was extremely difficult to create a set of criteria that would be inclusive but strict at the same time without singling anyone out.
- We solved this issue by setting up basic guidelines: the nominee should possess outstanding representation of Riverside’s core values; no matter what they were being recognized for. This would make the selection process more generalized, so anyone could be nominated regardless of academic field or reason. To add strictness to our criteria, we decided that their actions should have had and still have a lasting impact on others and will continue to continue their outstanding action throughout multiple years. We will be holding applications for a few years in order to verify that the nominee is doing their accomplishment out of their own motivation and not just to get on the wall.
- I think our team handled creating the selection process extremely well. We found quite a nice balance of open-mindedness for applications while keeping high standards.
What did you learn? Were you able to learn new skills or strengthen previous ones?
- I learned that I didn’t participate as much as I knew I could have, and that worrying if others would judge me or my opinions was wrong. All the people in my group were always open to new ideas and respected each other.
- I believed I strengthened my communication skills within a team; not necessarily sharing my ideas but talking to them, asking them for advice, and learning to participate in a group even when I was intimidated.
Impact: How might your project positively impact the social and emotional well being of students/our school? What can be done to increase the impact of this idea on the school?
- There is so much talent and incredible deeds people have done within this school but is isn’t recognized at all! It is hard especially for newcomers in the school to be completely integrated into the Riverside community and know everything that’s going on, and most if not all outstanding achievements are overlooked, and unknown. Recognizing people for their achievements in; for example, volunteering, the arts, sciences, performing, or even completing incredible amounts of kindness can make people realize that they don’t need to be a star athlete or amazing at math to be recognized, and their talents no matter what it is, is valid.
- Even just small thing like a teacher taking the time to pull a student aside and tell them something amazing that they did would really make their day. With this project in mind, the culture at Riverside of congratulating and encouraging others should be further reinforced in the every day environments and most importantly normalized.
Desirability: What could you change to make your project more desirable to students, teachers, administrators, parents or the community?
- A big factor of creating desirability for this project would be to advertise like crazy once we are ready to execute this project on all forms of social media platforms. Even in the Riverside school newsletters that are sent to parents.
Integrability: What would you change to make this idea easier to integrate into a school setting?
- In early execution stages of the development for the actual showcasing of nominees, if a physical installation is not yet possible, an Instagram account showcasing all the nominees’ faces and stories would be a temporary replacement during the beginning stages of execution. Once funding is provided, then an upgrade can be made to a physical exhibition.
Feasibility: Looking back what would you change what would you keep?
- I believe that the criteria wouldn’t need to be changed, although I feel like the ambitions of multiple screens serving as a display seems a bit too distant, and more options and ideas should be created as backup and/or more consideration.
What did you learn from being a part of this project?
- I learned that it is completely up to you to create a positive change; if given an opportunity to make somewhere a better place, or have the opportunity to give an opinion and a voice, always take it.