Project Now is a community outreach program funded by the Introspective Psychoanalytic Services, a club at John Marshall High School, Los Angeles, CA. Project Now was started by the IPS committee to primarily educate elementary school and middle school students about the importance of self-esteem, optimism, self-motivation, education and social perspectives (gangs, dropping out of school, violence, drug abuse etc.).
We started Project Now because we feel that it is crucial that children are tended to emotionally so that they may grow to become successful and intellectual individuals later on in life. Our passion towards helping children is unimaginable and something that should not be ignored. Too many people tend to simply shake their heads at issues that are existent in our community today, but those same people rarely work towards actually solving those issues. It breaks our hearts to see people struggling with drugs, gang life, poverty, depression and violence, knowing that if someone had turned to those same individuals when they were younger, those problems may have most likely been prevented. As role models, it is our responsibility to take a stand and work towards preventing further social issues that children may confront later on in their lives.
What We Did:
During the month of March the Project Now cabinet formulated lesson plans for the elementary school students. The lessons were about optimism, self-esteem, self-motivation, higher education and social issues. Moreover, on several occasions, Amirah, Sofia and Misael visited local elementary schools to organize dates for the school visits. The following schools accepted Project Now: Atwater, Micheltorena, St. Casimir School, Los Feliz, Ivanhoe, Allesandro, Rosemont and Mayberry. However, the staff was only able to visit; Rosemont, Allesandro, St. Casimir, Los Feliz and Atwater in April, saving the other schools for the months of September and October. After the school dates and lesson plans were finalized the entire Project Now staff met in Griffith Park to exercise their pubic speaking skills and to practice the lesson plans. Throughout the month of April, all of the Project Now members proceeded to make their two-day visits to each of the schools for one hour per day. We talked to a total of 600 students in local elementary schools (5/6 grades & 1 8th grade).
Project Now was a true success, considering the principals and teachers are willing to have us return. The students enjoyed our visits and we are certain that we made a difference. We hope to continue the program into our college years and eventually establish it as a non-profit organization!