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Jan 22, 2018 5:03 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Ross Seniors Display Their Projects

Dambite Morency with his display highlighting the importance of fundraising for building a school in Ranquitte, Haiti. JON WINKLER
Jan 23, 2018 1:01 PM

There was a wide array of displays and presentations at the Ross Upper School in East Hampton last week, ranging from immigration explored in photographs, to a musical autobiography, to dress design, to the therapeutic benefits of horses.

But on the second floor of the Senior Building Lecture Hall, one display had been successfully designed to catch the eye of visiting family and friends:

“We’re not a shithole country,” the banner said.

Dambite Morency’s project was referring to Haiti, referenced by President Donald Trump earlier this month in his controversial comments regarding immigration. It’s also where Mr. Morency was born and where he plans to go in February to help build a school in the commune of Ranquitte.

His senior project, titled “The Art of Fundraising and Its Impacts,” detailed his efforts to raise money online and at Ross to help pay for the construction of the school.

“I thought it was important to spread this around the community,” Dambite said. “While Haiti is an economically challenged country, it’s still a hard-working country, and I thought it should not be something taken lightly.”

Dambite said he started a GoFundMe page last year that raised $8,500. He then raised about $1,400 by auctioning off special services to fellow Ross students, including delivering Starbucks takeout and providing rides to foreign students.

“I saw that there was a positive relationship between getting people involved in this and having their continuous involvement in the fundraising,” the senior said.

The annual showcase of projects, offered this year on Thursday, January 18, is the culmination of nearly a year of hard work, with students first pitching their ideas at the end of their junior year and then refining them for the start of their senior year.

Some students like Dambite make their projects about global issues, but Melissa Ibrahim created an interactive video game that helps teach people music theory, and Shiya Zhao showcased the environmental and health benefits of using cricket flour to bake pastries.

Benjamin Bijur’s project was a set of custom-designed sneakers made entirely out of recyclable products. The soles were made from the rubber of old tires, the laces were reconstructed from plastic soda bottles, the interior of the shoes was made from recycled plastic, and the outside was made from a disposed-of leather handbag.

Benjamin, a self-proclaimed “stylish kid” since he was younger—further exemplified by his wearing all-white Nike Air Force 1 shoes that night—said that he wanted to combine his love of shoes with his passion for the earth in his project. After starting with a mere paper outline of his shoe, which he said he wanted to be similar to the Stan Smith tennis shoe designed by Adidas, he began to think of what materials he could use.

“I know the basic parts of shoes and it’s hard to make shoes without leather,” Benjamin said. “So I tried to find leather that was going to be thrown out.”

He emphasized the custom-made nature of his shoes, saying that he hand-sewed the entire outside of the shoe at the Brooklyn Shoe Space in Williamsburg, a place where aspiring shoemakers can build their own shoe designs.

“Now that I know how to do this, I have to find a way to manufacture these,” Benjamin said. “I hope to design more shoes and produce more.”

Other projects had a more personal angle, including Rosa Carmichael’s collection of self-portraiture tarot cards. Rosa explained that she came upon tarot cards rather suddenly: Her mother died last February and left her with a deck.

“I didn’t even know my mom had tarot cards,” Rosa said. “I started reflecting on the standard deck and thought I’d try to find my own way of interpreting each card.”

All 78 of Rosa’s cards were displayed on a wall, featuring Rosa wearing a variety of costumes and using props shot in black and white. Rosa said she preferred the editing process to the actual photo shoots, citing the numerous props and outfits she tried out to make the photos unique and “not too modern.” She explained how each card has a different meaning and can mean different things to different people.

“It reveals a lot about yourself and can predict your future to an extent,” she said. “There are different meanings to each card that come together in a special way for each person.”

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Nice project and way to go there young man but there is still no "proof" that President Trump said that. Only heresay from Dick "Disturban" Durban amplified by the leftwing msm. You most likely were to young to remember Dick Disturban Durban called our Marines "Nazis" in 2005. I hope you are open minded enough to not let yourself become indoctrinated into liberalism/marxism/socialism/communism which is the object of today's "indoctrinators" in our educational system. Carry on.
By Hobie58148 (13), East Hampton on Jan 25, 18 10:27 AM
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