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Directions: Utilize this worksheet to help evaluate yourself and your project. Be as complete
and descriptive as possible. This self-evaluation should give the scoring team and your teacher a
clear picture of what you accomplished in your project.

Name - Rachel Mantos

Title of Project - Making Middle Schools More LGBT-Friendly

Project Start Date – January 30, 2018

Project Completion Date - March 29, 2018

1. In 40 words or more describe who your project benefited and how. In other words, what was the
impact of your project?
My project affects young LGBT students in my community. While I was unable to implement a middle
school GSA on my own, I brought up the issue to the school board and a majority of middle school
guidance department chairs. I was able to inform many adults who do hold some type of authority to
authorize this type of club in schools about why discrimination of LGBT youth in schools is such an
important issue and how GSAs can be a big step in solving that. Hopefully middle schools will start
implementing GSAs in the near future and minimize the number of LGBT students who feel confused and
alone while they discover their identities.

2. In at least 40 words explain how the project challenged you. How was this a stretch for you?
This project challenged me because I had never attempted to start my own club before, let alone one
at another school. I had the difficulty of figuring out how to navigate that, on top of the fact that the
club I wanted to start was a controversial one, leading it to eventually be rejected. Once I started to
get the idea the club may not be possible, I had to figure out a new method quickly to complete my
project in a way that can still have the same impacts.

3. List and then describe 5-8 fundamental ideas/concepts/skills of your project, which you
learned/enhanced during your project.
a) Communicating professionally- emailing adults outside of school I didn’t know
b) Learning how to create a club
c) Creating backup plans
d) Networking
e) Arranging my presence at events (Love Is Love Summit, school board meeting)

4. List and describe 4-8 problems/obstacles/issues you encountered in your project, and briefly
describe how you solved each.
a) Waiting a long time for email responses (when my project couldn’t move forward without them)-
Brainstormed how to continue with my project based on each way the responses could have been.
b) Not given permission to create a GSA in a middle school- Came up with a new project idea of
putting together a proposal for why GSAs would benefit middle school students and presenting it
to those who have the power to implement the club
c) Technical issues, two of the middle school counselors did not receive the manual on the first try- I
sent them another copy, one that was saved as a file on my flash drive as opposed to sending it
through Google Drive.
d) Difficulty working out plans for my project- talked my stress out with many people close to me
who helped brainstorm ideas, for both Plan A and Plan B, and helped keep me from getting too
overwhelmed by the process and causing an issue.

5. List all people who helped you on the project and briefly describe the help given.
Ms. V and Mr. Knoche were the real MVPs. They helped me brainstorm new ideas when it looked like
my original project vision may not be successful and worked through the different steps I needed to take
with me.
My mom and Ms. Tomao provided emotional support and additional brainstorming help during the
beginning of the project when I was feeling lost with what to do and struggling with my mental health.
My homies Keri, Jackie, Troy, Alex, and Evalise provided testimonies for my manual on their personal
experiences that resulted in agreeing middle school GSAs would have made things easier for them and
Ms. Birnstein from Corporate Landing Middle School did as much as she could to help me realize our
shared goal of creating a GSA at a middle school, and was excited to receive my manual.

6. How does your completed project compare to the picture you had in mind when you started the
project? Explain the reason behind any changes from your proposal.
The completed project turned out much different than the image I had in mind when constructing my
proposal. The reason for this is that higher ups in the Virginia Beach Public School System denied
permission to implement GSAs at the middle school level. Thus, as this was my original project idea,
I was unable to carry through on it. Instead, I devised a manual that explained the discrimination and
other difficulties LGBT students go through, especially in middle school, with evidence from my
paper and personal testimonies from openly-LGBT peers of mine. I then described in the manual
what a GSA was and how to create one. I messaged the guidance department chairs at each Virginia
Beach middle school and sent copies to all who responded with interest. Finally, I gave a speech to
the school board that consisted of condensed information from my manual, and passed out copies of
my manual, to make them aware of the issue so if the idea were to be brought up to them in the future
they would be able to make an informed decision. I am hopeful the work I did complete for my
project was successful enough to get the ball rolling and allow for the results I originally imagined to
occur sometime in the near future.

7. If given the opportunity, explain what you would have done differently now that you speak from
If I were to do this project over again, knowing the direction it took the first time, I likely would have
started off with a presentation, similar to my school board speech and the information included in my
manual, on the discrimination faced by LGBT students. I would have geared this presentation toward
middle school guidance counselors, and possibly other administrative staff and school board members
as well. After informing all of these people, I would be able to approach those who express a desire
to help make change with the concept of implementing GSAs in their schools.

8. Beyond the project itself, what did you learn about yourself? What did you get out of the
experience in terms of personal growth?
I learned things can’t always work out the way you want them to. Some things in life are out of your
control, even if they still affect you. I learned how to plan differently in the case that this happens. When
something doesn’t go your way it is only a minor setback. If you are determined you can always find a
way to achieve what you want.

9. What grade would you give yourself on the project? Be honest! Justify the evaluation of your
grade in at least 25 words.

Grade: B

Justification: I know I worked hard and did my best to achieve my original goal, but due to the obstacles
I faced, forcing my project to take a different direction, I do not feel I was extraordinarily challenged by
my project. Once it was decided I would need to proceed with Plan B, everything (constructing the
manual, giving the school board speech) worked out fairly easily. Much of information from my manual
came from my research paper, and the rest came from testimonies of my friends, who were excited to help
out, and research I had previously conducted in order to develop Plan A. I also did not have to go through
the stress of planning an event, getting a venue, guest speakers, and hoping enough people attend. While
I did still give a presentation, and I did have to arrange my opportunity to speak, this was fairly easy as it
is policy of the school board to listen to any community concerns by citizens who signed up to speak to