On Monday December 10th, 2012 we had the pleasure of presenting two and half months of hard work to a room full of important people. When I say we I mean both Temple University students and Kensington CAPA high school students. For the duration of this past semester we have worked together, learned from one another, and grown as people together. This was a once in a lifetime kind of experience and I think every participant came out better for it. I do not have one single regret about the campaign we produced for Philabundance and Shire’s Great Food Fight. We gave it our all and it turned out better than anyone could have ever expected.

Philabundance representatives, Temple University faculty members, and Philly Ad Club members were all in attendance to witness all that we had created over the course of this semester. They watched eagerly and enthusiastically as we presented, which made it all the more of a great experience. Perhaps what made it one of my favorite presentations I have ever participated in was the fact that every high school student nailed it. They did phenomenally and went beyond all my expectations as far as public speaking goes. Every student dressed professionally, every student stood tall and confidently, and every student spoke like this presentation meant as much to them as it did to me. When it was not my turn to speak I stood there smiling like a total idiot. There was nothing that could wipe that grin off of my face. It was a mixture of pride, joy, and sheer giddiness. We had created something original, something amazing, and there was nothing else to feel but pride.

That grin did disappear though, just after presenting. It had finally hit me, an experience that was a pivotal part of my semester was over. While this thought saddens me, I have great memories and an amazing experience overall to look back on. In the case of this community-based learning course, “you get what you give” is a very appropriate phrase. Since I gave my all, I feel I received exactly that in return. Hopefully I am able to stay in touch with some of these students next semester. I want to know where they get accepted to college and where they choose to go. I want to help them if they have any questions or need help filling out FAFSA forms, or with whatever they need. I want to be there for them in the event that no one else is and because that is just the type of person I am. Being a mentor does not just end when your experience ends, it is a feeling that sticks with you. I would recommend that any student take a community based learning course, and if at all possible, take this course. It is something worthy of being considered part of the “college experience”.

Feel free to check out our presentation here. Oh and be sure to at least listen to the song and/or watch the viral video, these were both almost 100% produced by the high school students. Those kids are going to do amazing things one day, after all, they have only just begun.

The KCAPA group (college & high school students) + peer teacher Amy Fiore