MYP personal project revised


Junior Bailey Hahn MYP personal project from her sophomore year 2016-17

This year, there will be several changes to the administration of the MYP(Middle Years Program) Personal Project, though not to the project itself. Instead, consequences have been added that will affect the ability of students to take on leadership positions.

“To be eligible for the IB diploma program, leadership positions on student council, and junior and senior class council a student must have completed the Personal Project,” Julie Barthel, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, said.

However, administrators are hoping students will not just participate in the project because of the consequences, but because of the experiences and skills they will gain.

“Students can use this experience to do something challenging that they’ve always wanted to do.  The Personal Project is an extraordinary opportunity to explore something or do something that has always intrigued you but for which you needed support. Students will also be practicing important life skills that will serve them well in high school and beyond such as: goal setting, perseverance, time-management, risk-taking, reflection, and communication,” Barthel said.

Although there are no direct incentives for doing and completing this MYP personal project, it can help with students’ prospects for college and open new doors for the future.

“You can write about it in your college essay, you can get your supervisor to write you a recommendation. That’s an incentive, I think,” Jocelyn Sisson, MYP Coordinator and Personal Project Director, said.

In fact, one major success last year was how completing the project will lead to positive effects in the future. The project also provided opportunities to students they might not have had otherwise.

“We know that admissions directors from colleges and universities are looking for students with passion and for students who stand out from others.  The Personal Project is the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills, talents and personal passions,” Barthel said.

“The Personal Project gave voice to SPED students who presented and it allowed our refugee students to tell their stories. It also allowed kids who had business interests to actually to make that happen for the first time,” Sisson said.

Despite this, less than half the sophomore class chose to participate in the Personal Project.

“400 students completed the project and exhibited during the Personal Project Exhibition last year,” Barthel said.

Although 400 is a small number, it did set a record for the Personal Project on a global scale.


“We had the largest exhibition-the largest Personal Project exhibition-in the world,” Sisson said.


The administration is optimistic that more students will partake this year.


“We do plan for a higher number of participants and more energy regarding the Personal Project since there is positive momentum from the fact that students, parents and supervisors were able to see so many great projects completed last year,” Barthel said.