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High school students compete in inaugural Building Tomorrow HCS Division Showcase

On Saturday, March 25, 2023, 72 students from all four Hampton high schools competed in the inaugural Building Tomorrow Hampton City Schools Division Showcase. Since August of 2022, students at Bethel High School, Hampton High School, Kecoughtan High School, and Phoebus High School participated in project-based learning to make an impact on the greater Hampton community, culminating in school-level showcases that took place in February. The top two or three teams from each school went on to compete by delivering formal presentations at the Division Showcase, with the third and fourth place teams competing in a poster presentation.

Each project allowed students to examine current issues through the lens of their Academy, then work with community partners to make a measurable impact on the issue. The winners of the formal presentations were as follows:

First Place ($500 award/student): Bethel High School Freshman Academy

BHS students Devin Wilkins, Jordein Holder, and Christian Harris delivered their presentation called “We + Us = Our Thing.” The goal of the project was to “prepare eighth grade students by addressing social and nonsocial issues that high school students face when entering high school.” They provided workshops for students from Phenix PreK-8 School and Tarrant Middle School and created an interactive journal to help students develop social emotional skills. They are currently seeking publication of their journal and hope to spread the program to the other middle and high schools.

Second Place ($300 award/student): Phoebus High School Freshman Academy

PHS students Kaleb Lucas, Jamal Anderson, Jasim Hesseini, and Henry Godfrey won second place for their presentation entitled “The 757 Connection,” named after the podcast started by the four students. The purpose of this project was to use a podcast and social media platforms to be a voice within the 757 and provide community impact and service to residents of the Hampton Roads area through knowledge and tangible resources. The podcast is released every Friday on Spotify and other podcast venues. To date, the freshmen have interviewed community members from Mango Mangeaux, the Hampton Police Division, PHS Counseling Department, Hampton Office of Emergency Management, and more. They have also helped to spread the word about other projects from PHS and even other schools.

Third Place ($200 award/student): Hampton High School Health, Human, and Financial Services

HHS students Rachel Singleton, Carleise Lewis, Kimora Mitchell, Sarah Graham, Milah Alexander, Natalya McKenzie, Israel Reed, and Zaria Little presented their project entitled “Helping Hands: A Service Project.” The goal of this project was to work with local organizations to help combat hunger and homelessness. The students completed a variety of activities, including a student vs. faculty basketball fundraiser, serving a hot meal at Help, Inc., created pamphlets and websites with resources for those struggling with homelessness and hunger, and creating and distributing personal hygiene bags for Help, Inc.’s clients.

Other projects included:

  • BHS Academy of Transportation, Analytics, Information, and Logistics’ (TRAIL) project “#HRTeen” in which students helped over 90 students get free freedom passes for the Hampton Roads Transit bus system.
  • BHS Academy of Media, Arts, and Design’s project “Community Corner” in which students reported on significant issues in the BHS paper The Bear Facts, to help bring awareness to BHS students and beyond.
  • HHS International Baccalaureate project “Local for Local” in which students put on a fair to help raise awareness about climate change.
  • KHS Governor’s STEM Academy of Architecture, Environment, and Engineering’s project “Sea Life, See Life,” in which students partnered with Bluebird Gap Farm to create sculptures and raise awareness about the impact of pollution.
  • KHS Academy of Teaching, Education, and Learning’s project “Ew! I Would Not Swim There!” in which students created and taught lessons for elementary schoolers to raise awareness about pollution in waterways.
  • PHS Virginia Peninsula Community College Academy of the College Experience’s project “Emergency Preparedness” in which students completed activities to raise awareness about natural disasters and other emergencies and distributed emergency preparedness kits.

All students who competed at the formal presentation level received a cash prize of $100.

Winners of the poster presentations included:

  • 1st place ($150/student): BHS Governor’s Health Science’s Academy “Where Do We Go to Connect the Dots?” for mental health awareness
  • 2nd place ($125/student): HHS Freshman Academy “Transforming Teens Together” to help teens cope with crises
  • 3rd place ($100/student): HHS Academy of Technology and Engineering “Cool, Calm, and Collected” using interior design to provide sanctuaries for a women’s shelter and Hampton High Schools

Other poster presentations included:

  • KHS Freshman Academy “Preserving History: Hampton City Schools and the COVID-19 Pandemic” that worked with the Hampton History Museum to collect and preserve stories of Hampton residents
  • KHS Academy of Entrepreneurship and Information Design “Festival for All” in which students planned a festival to celebrate and promote local small businesses
  • PHS Freshman Academy “American Sign Language” in which students taught multiple free sign language courses to community members and other students
  • PHS Virginia Peninsula Community College Academy of the College Experience’s project “Adrian’s Bright Future” in which students created a children’s book to help elementary students deal with social emotional issues

All students who competed at the poster presentation level received a cash prize of $50.