It's been a long and challenging year for students in Coffman's International Baccalaureate Diploma program.
But they say it's been worth it and they'll have a chance to show off their hard work at the CAS Fair, slated for 6-9 p.m. April 15 in the Coffman High School media center.
"This year has been challenging, but it's worth it and it will be worth it in the end," junior Divya Das said. "We will remember it."
The IB Diploma program, open to juniors and seniors, is an internationally recognized course of study that allows students to earn college credits along with educational components such as theory of knowledge, extended essay, topic of interest and CAS -- or creativity, action and service.
The April 15 event will celebrate the projects taken on by students in the CAS portion of the course.
Students collaborated on the African Library Project for part of the service component and some worked at Wright Elementary School through an adopt-a-classroom program.
Another helped organize the Dublin City Schools Dodgeball Championship, which raises funds for local causes.
"A lot of people contributed," junior Ellie Seifferth said of the African Library Project. "We collected donations to pay to ship the books (to South Africa)."
In fact, the collection went so well, the school has enough money to ship books to schools in South Africa for the next two or three years, said CAS Coordinator Melanie Hitsman.
Junior Rachel LaPointe started a group at Coffman to bring awareness and raise money for mental illness for her service project.
"No matter how small or isolated you feel, we learned you really can make a difference," she said.
The holocaust and genocide was an area of study for the group and included speakers who have seen firsthand the impact both have had.
"You hear statistics," LaPointe said. "It's something different to hear the stories. It puts a face behind it."
"It was really interesting and eye-opening," junior Sivan Dayan agreed.
CAS students must reflect on their activities in a journal, something the students have valued.
"It encourages us to pull out a message with everything we do," junior Annie Yang said. "That's what I love the most about being in the IB program."
"The IB Diploma program as a whole has put us all out of our comfort zone and will help us in future leadership positions," junior Ayah Hussein said.
According to Hitsman, students learn inside and outside the classroom and have gained "an increased awareness of their strengths.
"The perseverance these kids have demonstrated right out of the gate has been outstanding," she said.
Tuesdays with Morrie was also an important part of the course. Students read the book and watched the movie and reflected on aphorisms from the movie.
"We learned how the passing away of someone can lead to something great," junior Sean Menon said. "We learned how death can influence life. I think it touched all of us."
While students had to pull a few aphorisms from the book that touched them, they also made up their own.
"Don't be afraid of change; everything happens for a reason," Yang said of one of her aphorisms. "Out of clutter, find simplicity, for it is the key to brilliance ... . I hope that people will relate to them in their own life."
Student aphorisms, service projects, music and more will be on display at the April 15 CAS fair that is open to the public.