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The Community Resource Program: A Student’s Perspective

CHS students Claire Lewis and Jacqueline Boynton share their perspectives on the Community Resource program at CHS and share stories about some of the photography they did with some of their friends.
Hilary Nichols

The biggest thing that pushed Claire Lewis out of her comfort zone was how she dressed for her class photoshoots. For one such photoshoot, she remembers being dressed up in a long, puffy, royal blue dress, which was far from her normal style.

Shooting location: the middle of nowhere.

“I couldn’t tell you where it was,” Lewis said, “We just drove until we saw a spot.”

She and four other Community High School students drove deep into the Michigan countryside in the backseat of Community Resource (CR) teacher Hilary Nichols’ car. Balanced precariously in Nichols’ trunk was an entire living-room chair. As soon as they stepped out, Jacqueline Boynton, Ionie Steudle and Julia Harrison all had cameras in hand while Nichols directed Lewis into a variety of captivating poses.

“It was just very Hillary, she’s just kind of wild in the way she thinks and the way she wants to explore everything,” Lewis said. “I think that was a time that I just remember because of how kind of out of the ordinary it was.”

Their final project was a gallery, the students in this class decided to host their gallery at the Co Op which is just down the street from Community. They had a lot of planning to do, each student had a photoshoot they wanted to do and Nichols wanted to make sure they put in enough time and thinking beforehand.
The process leading up to the gallery let the students really take the wheel and have creative control; they had to decide on the theme of their shoots, design costumes, scout locations and find models. Luckily they learned basic camera skills in the early weeks of their class so they were well equipped to take the lead on their final project.

“I had to just trust and believe in the process,” Boynton said. “When she [Nichols] introduced the final I was like, ‘Wait, I can’t do all that. That’s crazy. Like, I can’t be a director of my own stuff,’ but I did. And it was good.”
“I think [CRs] they help students really discover what they’re truly passionate about,” CR monitor Becky Brent said.

Brent assists students in finding and creating classes that fit their interests, exploring classes beyond the conventional curriculum and ones that include hands-on experiences out in the world that can not be recreated in a classroom.

“I think it starts with a student realizing that they have a passion towards a subject or an interest towards a career that we just don’t offer an educational opportunity for here,” Brent said. “And that’s kind of the beauty of the program is that the learning then connects to the community.”

Brent is just one of the many CR monitors at CHS that helps to guide students to new opportunities as well as connecting them to professionals in the community.

“I think [the CR] just gave me the opportunity to explore photography in a way that I haven’t had before,” Lewis said. “I think that [Hilary] helped me push myself.”

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About the Contributors
Mariah Zeigler
Mariah Zeigler, Journalist
Mariah is a sophomore at Community High School, and this is her first semester in journalism. When she's not at school, you can find her hanging out with her friends, thrifting, looking at Pinterest, or rewatching New Girl.
Jack Lewis
Jack Lewis, Journalist
Jack Lewis is a sophomore at Community High School. This is his second year on the yearbook staff. He is very interested in photography and design. Outside of school, he enjoys playing with his dog, playing video games and reading.

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