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Local Student Turns Heads with Unique Graduation Project

Patrick Wells is organizing a car wash to benefit the Fox Chase Cancer Center and a beloved Norristown police officer.

The senior graduation project. Love it or hate it, every student who doesn’t want to be a student forever has to do one. The Pennsylvania Department of Education isn’t exclusive on what exactly needs to be done, but Methacton High School has its own standards for its students.

According to Methacton's Graduation Project Packet, “The Graduation Project is a synthesis of knowledge, skill and risk applied to a specific area of interest. It represents the culminating intellectual activity of the Methacton High School educational experience and is a demonstration of the student’s skills in areas of writing, research, problem solving, organization, time management, speaking and application."

But really, what do they have to do?

First, the students choose between community service and “career exploration.” With the path of community service, students must decide where and how to spend their time; with career exploration, they find someone with whom to spend their time, learning about that person’s career.

Either way, each student must fill out a proposal form and log 30 hours of service or exploration to have the time count toward his or her graduation project.

After the hours are completed, each student prepares a PowerPoint slideshow and presents his or her work to an assigned advisor.

With these general guidelines, it would make sense for anyone with a perpetual case of senioritis to spend a few weekends at the local nursing home and call it a day. However, there are some students who take the assignment as a challenge and truly surpass expectations by making the projects their own and doing something productive with their work.

One of these students going above and beyond is Methacton junior Patrick Wells, of Norristown. On Saturday, May 28, Patrick will be hosting a car wash to raise money for the Fox Chase Cancer Center, in honor of the late Lt. Patty Simons.

Patrick is coincidentally the son of Patch contributor , who is the (GNPAL) director. Patrick got the idea for the fundraiser from his father and PAL.

Lt. Patty Simons, known for being the first female in the Norristown police force, worked closely with PAL during her time as an officer. During her personal battle with cancer, Simons was treated at Fox Chase, a center that continues to be a well-known and widely-trusted safe haven for cancer patients.

For these reasons, raising money for the center in her name simply made sense.

Norristown Patch, PAL’s website, and the ever-popular Facebook networking hub have been used to advertise the event, but the more dirty cars Patrick can find, the more funds he can raise for this worthy cause.

The car wash will take place at the Shell gas station, located at the corner of Ridge Pike and Park Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone who needs a car washed, or would like to help wash cars, is encouraged to attend.

Patrick has also organized a bake sale, which will go on amidst the car washing, and he is accepting donations of baked goods to contribute to the sale. If you have skills in the kitchen and would like to contribute, contact him at kidshamrock@gmail.com.

So, if you don’t have plans for May 28, bring a dirty car, grab a quick treat from the bake sale or the adjacent Rita’s, watch Patrick and his friends and family wash your car, and help a worthy cause all at the same time!

Brett Wells May 20, 2011 at 08:35 PM
The Car Wash is actually NEXT SATURDAY, May 28th.
Jessica White May 20, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Date's fixed!
James Myers (Editor) May 20, 2011 at 08:43 PM
Thanks for the heads up Brett, and nice catch Jess. !
Melissa Treacy (Editor) May 21, 2011 at 03:49 AM
Oooh, I better get to baking!
Susan Conway May 21, 2011 at 06:32 PM
Count us in 4 getting our cars washed. I can bake something too, if ya still need goods. Such a great kid!
Joe Simons May 21, 2011 at 07:56 PM
Awesome.count me in! JS
Brett Wells May 29, 2011 at 04:19 PM
Thanks, everybody, for your help. Patrick and the crew raised $600 for Fox Chase yesterday!
Keith Heffintrayer May 29, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Thanks for the update, Brett! Way to go Patrick!

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