Senior Project

A cornerstone of an NLCP scholar’s 12th grade year is Senior Project, a comprehensive academic experience and graduation requirement where seniors select a driving question, research it, and then produce a college-level research paper, which they present in front of a panel. Throughout the research and writing phase, students are paired with college-degreed professionals who can be helpful by giving feedback and ideas to guide students as they work toward successful completion of their topics. This interaction with volunteers also serves to give students exposure to college graduates with professional careers who can speak to the challenges and rewards of getting a degree.

After the research paper is complete, students are required to give an oral defense of their work in front of teachers, mentors, and other volunteer panelists. Occasionally, a panel will conclude that a presentation is “exemplary” and worthy of a larger audience. This event, called the Phoenix Colloquium, is the climax of our annual Senior Project, where we invite family, friends, and community members to celebrate these senior scholars and give them the opportunity to compete for one of five $1,000 college scholarships. Some past Colloquium presentations dealt with topics such as “Is genetic engineering the answer to curing sickle cell anemia?” and “Does breast cancer affect women for the rest of their lives?”

For information about becoming a Senior Project mentor, email:

For Phoenix Colloquium sponsorship opportunities, email:

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