Seniors at Statesboro High are required to take on a community service project during their final year. Statesboro Herald correspondent Roger Allen worked with the school to gather information on the senior projects completed during the spring. Allen also looked more closely at three of the projects.
Kristina Bonham: Ronald McDonald House
Kristina Bonham just completed her senior year at Statesboro High and she is not your typical Bulloch County student.
Kristina was born in Russia, and was adopted by her parents, Steve Bonham and Kathy Reagan, at the age of 8. She has lived in Statesboro ever since.
She has three brothers: Alex, who is 17 and a rising senior at SHS; Sam, who is 21 and lives in Washington state; and Russ, who is a student at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah.
Kristina has many talents, one of which is her ability to run fast. As such, she was part of the cross-country track team her whole career at SHS, and was co-captain her senior year.
Kristina is also a National Honor Society graduate, having taken numerous Honors courses at SHS along with Advanced Placement Biology.
She chose to do her senior project on the “Ronald McDonald House” which is attached to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah.
For the project, she focused on the positive outcomes at the house, which helps families with children battling cancer. In order to learn about its day-to-day functions, Kristina volunteered to work at the Ronald McDonald House, there she worked alongside Carol Boyd, the volunteer coordinator.
Boyd said of Bonham, “Kristina was one of the hardest-working and tireless people we have ever had help out at the house. She did everything she was asked to do and much more. On top of that, she was ever so kind and compassionate to our patients, all of whom are very ill.”
Kristina participated in the very-first-ever “Red Shoes Run” fundraiser at the Savannah house. According to Bonham, there were games, food, and fun for everyone. The event was attended by thousands of people, and raised over $20,000 to support the Savannah house.
She then wrote a research paper, in which she shared the results of her study. Two of the most important are that the Ronald McDonald House provides easy access for the families of sick children, and that the house gives the families of those children their own personal space while they are away from home.
She plans to attend East Georgia College at Georgia Southern University at first, and then transfer to Armstrong Atlantic State University where she wants to enter the Pediatric Nursing program.
Her dream, she says, is to get married, begin raising a family, and adopt another young girl from the same orphanage in Russia from whence she came.
Rachel Nevil: Dangers of Underage Drinking
As a young Christian, Rachel Nevil said she chose to do her senior project on the “Dangers of Underage Drinking in a College Community.”
Raised by her parents, Jill and Jamie Nevil, Rachel has two brothers: Samuel, age 5; and James, age 13. They live out towards Register.
In her four years at Statesboro High, Nevil has been on the school’s tennis team, and was captain for her senior season. She also won the award as most valuable player on the team.
Academically, Nevil is a National Honors Society graduate, and has taken four Advanced Placement courses: U.S. and World History; Language, and Literature.
Her senior project entailed doing a lot of research on underage drinking at colleges.
Nevil said, “I figured it would be a good idea to prepare a presentation that would warn the seniors what could happen to them if they went off to college without having given their safety some thought. I knew that drinking was a problem, but even I didn't know just how bad it was.”
Nevil wrote a research paper, and gave a PowerPoint presentation to a gathering of some 100 SHS seniors. The outcomes Nevil reported on were both astonishing and very disturbing.
They included the facts about college drinking that while intoxicated: 696,000 were assaulted; 97,000 were victims of date rape; 599,000 were injured; and 400,000 admitted having unprotected sex. Finally, she reported that 1,700 students died because of being intoxicated.
Nevil even arranged for a special speaker for the presentation. Ron Huckaby, Special Agent in Charge of the Savannah District of the Georgia Department of Revenue's Alcohol and Tobacco Division.
Huckaby dispelled a number of popular misconceptions about being arrested for “Driving Under The Influence” (or “DUI'”). One of them was that the record of arrests for drinking when you are underage would be permanently erased from your police record when you become 18 years of age.
He then warned students that after you get two “DUI's”, the third “DUI” becomes an “aggravated misdemeanor” with up to 12 months in jail, and the fourth “DUI” becomes a felony, which requires between one and five years of prison time.
Nevil said she will attend the University of Georgia, where she expects to pursue a degree in pharmacology in the university's College of Pharmacy.
Benjamin Taylor: African American Poetry
Benjamin Taylor just completed his senior year at Statesboro High School. He said his mom, Danita Chenault, who is one of the Evangelists at Mission Outreach Industries in Statesboro, has played a pivotal role in his life.
He has an older sister, Shakena, who works at East Georgia Regional Medical Center, and an older brother, Anthony, who is a senior in business management at Georgia Southern University.
Born in Orlando, Benjamin's family moved to Statesboro in 1999. Taylor was a standout football defensive end and tackle and was named to the All-Region football team in 2009.
Academically, he is an Honor Roll student. Taylor said he became fascinated with Geology while taking courses at SHS and especially liked studying Earth Sciences.
Taylor started writing poetry at a very young age, when, as he put I, “I was old enough to pick up a pen.”
He said that most of his poetry is based on the story of his life's struggles and his experiences.
Taylor chose for his senior project the subject of African American Poetry. He first designed a poster and then wrote an in-depth research paper on the subject of Black Poetry.
Then, he set up a performance with students at William James Middle School, where he shared his poetry set to music with classes of sixth grade students. Taylor's work was so popular he has been invited back several times to perform to other classes of students.
When he decided to play an instrument he first started playing the piano, but quickly changed to playing the guitar and the drums. Taylor said he really prefers playing the guitar most of all.
He began writing his own music, and put his poems to music. Eventually, he grew confident enough to mix both of his talents and perform at his church. He just started visiting other area churches to share his story.
He sings a “Gospel Rap,” in which he shares his life's struggles mixed with a message of hope and a deep abiding faith in God.
Lately, Taylor said has been going online to the “Glogster” website, where he regularly posts his latest work and awaits peoples' comments.
Statesboro High Senior Projects
The Advantage of Music as an Extra-Curricular Activity
The evolution of forensic science in crime scene investigations
The dangers of sexting/video discussing the dangers of sexting
A comparison of Western and Eastern Religions
No-kill animal shelters/ presentation of information to the Bulloch Co. Animal Shelter
The history of vampires in film and literature / showing changes of the image of vampires
The effectiveness of Rehab for the Addict
The History of Guitar Making
Future planning for the autistic student
The Ronald McDonald House
The effect of Hip-Hop on the youth of today / web blog and video blog
How to Select the Right Bike
Human trafficking in the sex industry / website warning of dangers
School violence in Georgia / tri-board
Irish traditions and customs / cooking a traditional meal
Sports and discipline/talking to athletes about how athletics shapes a person's life
Breast Cancer Awareness
How high school drop-outs affect the community /share info with advisement group
African-American inventors / powerpoint for history class
Paranormal Activity in Charleston, SC
Breast cancer prevention and awareness / powerpoint for health classes
The Great Depression Compared to Our Present Economic Status
Why African American Women Have the Highest Rate of AIDS
The effects of the church in a community
Poverty's influence on the formation of gangs/videotaped interview with the police chief
How video games affect society/website with discussion forum
Teen suicide / classroom presentation with powerpoint
Should cults be considered religions? / presentation to history classes
The effects of HIV/AIDS/powerpoint
Childhood obesity at the local, state and national levels / Work with CHILD organization
The moral implications of the invasion of Iwo Jima / recording oral histories of veterans
Becoming a Band Director
Breast Cancer: Its Emotional Effects
Political turmoil in Somalia/ powerpoint
Senioritis: How to Defeat It
How Having a Job Affects Teen Grades
How to Choose the Best Car
The Death Penalty
C.O.P.S (Concerns of Police Survivors)
Skills and traits of a conductor/ will take conducting lessons
Greyhound abuse/ adoption of greyhound
How the Brain is affected by drugs
The Effects of Playing Video Games
Early detection / website for early detection
Domestic violence/collections for the local women's shelter
How Single Parent families affect children
Restaurant Food Preparation and Safety
The Many Sides of Pageantry
The psychological effects of child abuse / presentation to classes
Process analysis of restoration of 1967 Mustang / restoration of car
Dog fighting / powerpoint for classes in school to show results of dog fighting
Choosing the Right Guitar
Tattoos and the workplace / web site and blog
How to be a Manga writer in America / miniseries and website
How to start a FIRST TEE organization in Bulloch County / website and golf instruction to children
Body building and confidence building / working with a person to achieve positive results
John Eddie Hodges
The Differences between wood and composite bats
The Effects of Music
The Effects of Suicide
Video Game Violence / powerpoint
Running and nutrition / website devoted to how diet complements training
The Effects of Child Abandonment
Gun control on school campuses / speech in church about gun violence
Becoming an EMT / powerpoint and website
Crime in America / shared statistics with classes
Teenage human trafficking / powerpoint
Damage of hair products on African-American hair / demonstration with cosmetology mannequins
The effects of Muscular Dystrophy/ speech to teachers in faculty meeting
Writing a fiction novel/writing my own novel
Music and the Brain
Body dysmorphia / video that presents awareness of disorder
Ash bats vs. Maple bats in Baseball
Our Economic Status
The effects of dance on Children
DNA: What Makes Our Bodies Unique?
Graduation Rates: North vs South
Moses Event Planning
The effects of energy drinks/ visual aids (powerpoints, posters) around the school
Why Should Immigrants Get Driver Licenses?
The dangers of underage drinking in a college community / speaker for prom week
The "anti-hero" in literature/presentation to AP Literature class
Why are hate crimes against Latinos increasing? / three sessions with counselor to talk about violence
Alternative therapies / Powerpoint
The impact of animal shelters on society / volunteer at shelter
Health benefits of cycling / try to open a BMX facility in Statesboro
The physical and emotional effects of Graves' disease / informational brochure about
The Different Types of Financial Aid
Entrepreneurship: Creating Your Own Business
Becoming a Certified Nuring Assistant/portfolio of information
Process analysis of building an effective grill / build a grill for use on March 26 for Special Olympics
Animal Cruelty/ Dog fighing
Body modification in the workplace/create a blog
The evolution of Hip Hop Dance
Balancing athletics and academics / collect data on hours spent in practice and in school
The mental effect of immigration/ discussion with various cultures at the college
How solar power can ease our oil dependency / make and demonstrate a solar panel
Nursing home abuse and neglect / brochure for homes
Adoption: Pros and Cons
Relief for Haiti
The basics of therapeutic riding / volunteer with Stirrup Some Fun
Racial profiling / powerpoint
The effect of alcohol abuse on children / blog
The Negative Effects of Bullying
How to Produce a Clothing Collection
Learning disabilities/presentation to teachers
Human cloning / powerpoint for anatomy classes
African American Poetry
Pamela “Cree” Vickers
Prevention of Childhood Diseases through Nutrition
The effects of premature births
How Advertisments affect us
The effects of child abuse on the developmental stages of growth
Body dysmorphia / video that presents awareness of disorder
Which Model of Truck Is the Best?
The importance of having a sex education curriculum
How to Build a Drum Set
The causes and effects of teen suicide on both the student and the parents / website
The effects of steroids / powerpoint for football team
Child Sexual Abuse