Many high schoolers see the senior project as one more thing on their to-do list before graduation. Taylor Fulcher saw the project as an opportunity to learn more about a profession that interested her.
After interning with Gray's Sporting Journal, a Morris Communications-owned hunting and fishing magazine based in Augusta, Taylor put her pen to paper and wrote an article of her own.
"I made my own article reflecting the senior project," said the 18-year-old senior at Harlem High School. "I wrote about how the senior project works and affects students."
During the process, Taylor learned that although many students view the project as just another report that must be done, others use it as a vehicle to help others, to learn about a culture that intrigues them or to explore a career that piques their interest.
"I realized how people portray the senior project as something bad," said Taylor, the daughter of Raymond and Sheila Fulcher, of Harlem. "I wanted people to understand how important it was. I enjoyed every minute of it. This was a career decision for me."
Every senior in the county must complete a project during their senior year that includes a written research component and a product. The projects are presented before a panel of judges for a grade.
Because journalism was fascinating subject matter for Taylor, she used the senior project as an opportunity to explore the field. She learned that writing articles, though often frustrating, was exactly what she wanted to do in life.
"I love my article," she said, "but it took forever!"
Among Taylor's research was polling students at her school on how they did and didn't like the idea of the senior project.
"I showed both the pros and cons in my article," she said of her product component.
Taylor, an A/B honor student who is a member of the school's Y Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, has decided that she wants to attend the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia after graduation. But she says she will likely go to another school before transferring into the program.
"I have heard that their journalism school is great, and I really want to go there," she said.
Taylor credits her English teacher, Juliana Boatwright, with helping her with her senior project.
"When it came down to my internal struggle, she helped me with it," said Taylor. "She just blew me away with how much she knows. She challenges us all the time."
Another person who challenges Taylor is her older brother, Ray Fulcher.
"He challenges me all the time," she said of Ray, who graduated from Harlem High in 2003 and now attends the University of Georgia. "He helps me out with so much. I strive to be like him and I look up to him."
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