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Students present growth through honors

May. 06, 2013 @ 06:38 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Long days and nights of extra work, such as keeping journals, doing 100 hours of community service, 100 hours of job shadowing and more -- this is what is required if you're a member of the Honors Program at Huntington High School.

When it comes down to it, it's not worth it for the "snazzy medal" and boost to your college application, said program instructor Amy McElroy.

"Honors Program is meant to be a place of genuine learning, of sincere personal growth, of honest self-reflection of good work and good faith," McElroy said Sunday at the Huntington Museum of Art, where seniors in Huntington High's Senior Honors Program presented their experiences after doing a special research projects that benefited various aspects of the community.

"Honors Program is a place to breathe on that small spark of fire Prometheus carries hidden in the reed," she said. "It is the place to preserve the sacred communion between minds that think and wonder and stretch and probe. It is a safe place for the intellect."

But it's also a place where knowledge must be applied to help others, and seniors in the program did that in a variety of ways, such as hosting a run to raise money for cystic fibrosis and hosting a variety of programs to introduce kids to the benefits of horseback riding, music, art and books.

Seniors in the program include Sydney Jacobson, Summer Wheatley, Amber Brinegar, Molly Lydick, Leah Levy, Jack McGee, Abby Humphreys, Emily Proctor, Audrey McFarland, Lauren Brumfield, Maggie Capehart, Zoey Stull and Elizabeth Schmitz.

All shared the many things they learned through their projects. Jacobson and Wheatley were inspired to host a run for cystic fibrosis by a close friend who has it, and shared with the audience the way that the disease affects the lives of their friend and others, and how beneficial exercise is to managing it.

Brinegar organized "Horsin' Around Day Camp" for kids, in which they learned how to groom and ride horses, among other things. She talked about the health benefits and skills attained by equestrians, including the potential benefits for children with autism.

In her portfolio, she wrote that the project has opened her eyes to what she can accomplish.

"Honors program has been worth it because it has allowed me to realize what I am capable of," she wrote. "When I was a freshman, I never realized I could do something this big. To actually do your project and be successful really is a confidence boost."

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