Graham Hess assists students with scheduling as part of Eagle Scout project

By Ryan Benzing, Staff Writer — To become an Eagle Scout, one must earn 21 merit badges, have an active leadership position in their troop, live the values of scouting every day, write an essay, receive multiple letters of recommendation and complete an Eagle Scout project.

Senior Graham Hess has either completed or is in the process of completing all of these steps.

“I have one badge left to earn, I have to write my essay, and get my letters,” Hess said. “If all goes according to plan, I hope to be finished by the end of February.”

Odds are, most students and staff at the school have heard of Hess’s project, whether they know it or not. His Eagle Scout project, Mentor Days, consisted of three days of student success to assist freshmen, sophomores and juniors with course scheduling and ACT prep.

“What makes Mentor Days special is that seniors are able to offer unique perspective on what is covered in each presentation based on their own experiences,” Hess said.

Hess worked with NHS advisor Mrs. Palmer to develop a plan using Palmer’s experience with what has worked and not worked in the past events similar to Mentor Days.

“He worked with me initially on the topics and then organized NHS members to work with the STEM students in December,” Palmer said.

Hess had to organize dozens of people to perfect the functionality of Mentor Days.

“About 20 NHS members volunteered to develop the presentations we were going to be using,” Hess said. “NHS students also comprised the majority of students who volunteered to actually present the information.”

Hess organized NHS and many other seniors to help create presentations and show the information to many classes around the school. As with any large project however, there were difficulties.

“We were short on volunteers one of the days, so we had to do some creative problem solving,” Hess said. “We also ran into some technology problems, with certain people not having the correct presentations or not being able to use the projector in their room.”

Hess’s volunteers were skilled at adapting however, and they were able to get through any adversities. Overall, Hess had very few issues to deal with, and is very satisfied with the outcome.

“I think the most important thing [that Mentor Days taught] was that students should do what makes them happy,” Hess said.

He states that the focus today is on building resumés and should instead be focused on encouraging students to, instead of taking classes just because they look good to colleges, take classes that actually interest them.

“After all, you only get to experience high school for four years, and if you’re unhappy the whole time, what have you actually gained?” Hess said.

[Updated Aug. 20, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]