EAST makes Founder’s Final Five


Shyla Clayton

Senior Rebecca Hopkins waits her turn to play Wii games with her EAST grandfriend as part of the ongoing project. The grandfriend project is included in the group’s Founder’s Award application.

Stephanie Atchley

The EAST Initiative class has become a finalist to compete for the overall EAST Founder’s Award, the highest award possible to receive in EAST. The award is presented to the EAST class with the finest achievements throughout the year.

With over 220 other EAST programs having entered for the award, BIC EAST made it in the top five.

“The students have worked really hard,” EAST facilitator Jill Sanders said. “We’ve got lots of different, innovative projects this year.” 

In order to complete for the overall award, the program had to enter into the three different categories and meet the competition’s standards. For each of the three categories, Community Collaboration, Project Sophistication and Innovation, and Student Growth, the students had to submit five pictures showing the community projects, a video, and a list of projects that relate to each subject. For the overall award, the students were also required to submit an audio component that explains the overall program.

We never dreamed that we would be one of the five finalists

— Jill Sanders

Since the students are not required to compete in all categories to try to win the overall award, last year’s EAST class only applied to the Student Growth category. Still being a fairly new program with a small community, the program’s only goal this year was to enter into all of the categories.

“We never dreamed that we would be one of the five finalists,” Sanders said.

Being a finalist means more preparation for the EAST program. The program will compete for the overall award at EAST Conference 2016 on March 15-17. The top winner will win an Oculus Rift virtual headset, a supporting computer workstation for the headphones, and other technology to go to the EAST program.