Ross School - Senior Projects 2012


Student: April Sygman

Mentor: Jessica Heaney

Domain(s): Visual Arts/ World Services

Faculty Grader: Kenneth Sacks


Documentation of Product


Title: Un Poco De Ayuda


For my Senior Project, I spent two weeks last summer in Nicaragua. I worked with 10 to 20 underprivileged children at an after-school art program called "Una Escuelita." I taught English, played sports and created works of art with them. I documented this experience with over 2,000 photographs and very detailed journal entries. Being able to work with these incredible children was a privilege and an amazing learning experience. Traveling there, I brought a large duffel bag filled with backpacks, toys, cards, art supplies, toothbrushes and floss. Following my return, I worked on fundraising for the organization through various means.















Above are my 5 printed canvasses of the trip that I believe captured the most important points or memories. They completely represent what I went there to do, and demonstrate the real essence of Limôn Dos, Nicaragua. Along with these images, I created a slideshow for my exhibition.


My actual product was a very detailed journal, which was completely filled out with 5 entries every day, and mixed media adornments, such as hundreds of pictures, sand, wrappers and flowers to really create a sense of a journal-like product.





Exhibition & Presentation Summary



For my Senior Project, starting out was one of the hardest parts for me. Everyone else knew exactly what they wanted to do, and I simply had no idea where to even begin. Finally deciding on what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go took a while, but when I eventually solidified my project, I was going back to Nicaragua for my second time, volunteering with children for two weeks, and documenting thoroughly with photographs and detailed journal entries. Then, it was a matter of actually starting it. Starting my project consisted of getting to Nicaragua, becoming acclimated to the climate, the kids and Nicaragua in general (bugs and all). The third and most important part of my project was to take pictures and keep detailed journal entries, which I ended up exceeding my original goals of 1,000 pictures and 3 detailed journal entries every day. By the time I returned home, I had taken over 2,000 pictures (doubling my goal), and had written 5, 6, or 7 journal entries every day, ensuring that I had every possible detail of the trip that I wanted to capture.


For the slideshow, I included over 200 pictures of the most important moments or scenarios. I added cute little notes or descriptions that reflected my thoughts and feelings, much like what I did with my journal, which was right beside my process book, and catalog description. My exhibition embodied and captured the essence of my trip and what I went there to do.


As far as my presentation goes, I believe it went well. I was exceedingly nervous, but I was well prepared, said everything I needed to, I was perfectly timed, and answered my questions thoroughly. Although I said quite a few “definitely’s”, I know it was purely out of nervousness. Overall, I was completely content with my presentation and despite my extreme of fear of public speaking, I think it went over well and did not really show to the audience, which ended up being quite decent in size.



Bibliography or Works Consulted



Livingston, Noell P. "Nicaragua (in General)." Nicaragua, Limon Dos. Aug. 2011. Speech.



Norwich, William. "The Good Girls." Vogue Mar. 2010: 310-19. Web.



Novogratz, Jacqueline. The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World. New York: Rodale, 2009. Print.



Obermeier, Barbara, and Mark Justice Hinton. Digital Photography for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: For Dummies, 2008. Print.



Schrode, Erin. "Giving Back." Teen Vogue June 2010: 44-46. Web.