Hero Project change; let’s hang up our capes


Anaika Miller

Teachers Cherie Eulau and Melanie "Captain" Lindsey organize the last Senior Hero Project. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press
Teachers Cherie Eulau and Melanie “Captain” Lindsey organize the last Senior Hero Project. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

As we got ready to present our Hero Projects Friday afternoon, a lot of the seniors took a moment to discuss the pros and cons behind the decision to revamp the senior project next year. Even though I think that the Hero Project has its benefits, I feel that the change has the potential to greatly outweigh those.

For the most part, I do not consider myself a generous person. When I came to Foothill my sophomore year (I wasn’t accepted as a freshman), I grumbled to myself over the community service requirement. In my 14-year-old mind, my life was already busy enough without having to donate 55 hours of my time to organizations I cared little about. And after learning about the Hero’s Journey in English that year, the whole idea of the Hero Project seemed pretty forced. Again though, I was a sophomore: young, uninformed, and in all honesty, not nearly as busy as I thought. I could have very easily been wrong.

But, now that I’ve been through the process, I can say from experience that the majority of the Hero Project is in fact, forced. My main complaint is that there seemed to be an excessive amount of busy work for students in twelfth grade. While I have enjoyed the service-portion of the project, I don’t feel that there were any benefits to writing/filling out a project intent form, project proposal, mentor information form, validation paper, verification form and reflection paper.

I think that the paperwork only gave fodder for students to resent a well-intentioned project. For many, this resentment turns to apathy; research is half-heartedly gathered for the validation paper, signatures are forged, forms are filled out last minute. In short, seniors BS the paperwork, if not the service itself.

For me, one of the worst parts is that in this sense, at its base level, the project fails. The whole point of the project is to create strong, independent leaders but for a lot of people, the project is simply another obstacle between them and graduation, just another hoop to jump through. In the long run, getting rid of meaningless, forced altruism will free up time for something that could be more beneficial for both the students and community.

The only arguments against the change seem to be that people won’t be able to volunteer or make as much of a difference. But, if some people are that concerned about not “making a difference,” nobody is stopping them from volunteering. This change only gives people that are not as interested in community service another option.

And though nobody seems to be quite sure what the new project entails, I don’t think that there is any reason to be concerned for future seniors. I know that there are flaws with the current project and a new idea may bring some much needed creativity or inspiration to the graduating class. Even if it is not as popular as everyone hopes, the administration and faculty have at least set a precedent to fix flaws, which is good in of itself. 

What do you think?