MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Senior Courtney Mosley said, "I did my senior project on post traumatic stress in connection with Hurricane Katrina."
Mosley says it was a bit overwhelming researching the storm's devastating effects on Moss Point.
"The hardest thing was being scared and thinking I was not going to complete it," said Mosley.
Mosley did complete the project, and Wednesday the senior presented her final work to Moss Point High.
Mosley said, "The biggest lesson I learned is not to procrastinate."
Senior Nicholas Cothran agrees. His project looked into the pollution problem in the Pascagoula River which he says took a lot of study hours.
"I didn't know how to really research anything," Cothran said. "It teaches you a lot of skills, people skills, life skills and gives you confidence.
More than 200 students were tasked with thinking out of the box and coming up with topics that would push them academically and help the community.
Curriculum Coordinator Durand Payton sees the program as a way of promoting student success beyond the high school's walls.
"When you get on a job for example, time management, if you are not on time, you lose your job," Payton said. "You can't go to the job site wearing baggy jeans below your behind. You have to go there with the appropriate dress."
Payton said after finishing these challenging senior projects, he is confident the students will better handle their next step in life, whatever that might be.
"After 12th grade they are really on their own. Nobody can make you get up and go to class the next morning. We hope this gives them a sense of accomplishment, knowing they can do anything," Payton said.
Throughout the school year, the students worked with mentors on the projects. Each student was also graded by a panel of judges on their presentation.