How PSP Has Impacted Seniors


Rose Xu

Featuring Devan Reynard and Ashton Riches

Mailey Wang, Features Writer

Address an issue. Grow a passion. Take action. Students in PSP have done exactly that. The Pinewood Scholars Program, led by teacher Michelle Gannon, is a course offered for Pinewood students in their junior year and first semester of senior year. Students identify issues in the world and take action to solve it; solutions can range from making a website to holding a fundraiser. 

Throughout the years, Gannon teaches students about marketing strategies, A/B testing, writing brand statements, and hashtags.  

“It’s a challenging class to teach in the sense that there’s so much to do,” Gannon said, “You could take this class a million different directions, but it’s also an exciting class to teach because it’s always changing.”

Gannon hopes her class will help students find something they are passionate about, but she also hopes to get her students accustomed to facing challenges and failure.

“For so much of your high school career, you’ve been told that failure is not okay,” Gannon said. “But in my class, I want you to fail a ton. Because the more you fail in the beginning, the quicker you’ll be able to create something really amazing at the end.”

Gannon’s hopes seemed to have reached the right audience, for senior Peyton Meinhardt came to realize the beauty of imperfection.

“I came into PSP a little hesitant about how I would accomplish my goals but learned that with a willingness to adapt to failure, a big difference can be made,” Meinhardt said.

Meinhardt created Ginger Roots, which is an organization dedicated to helping those in poverty create simple meals using miscellaneous ingredients distributed by food banks. Beginning the project in October 2022, Meinhardt worked diligently in order to make a difference. She’s discovered that taking this class will pay dividends in the future.

PSP taught me how to present confidently and succinctly,” Meinhardt said. “I learned how to think outside of the box in order to come up with creative solutions to complex issues.”

When Meinhardt graduates, she will take the skills learned in the class to college, as she will be majoring in business and entrepreneurship at Villanova University. Her project will continue to live on after graduation, as she is seeking to pass her project on to a mother and daughter from the National Charity League.

Senior Devan Reynard had a similar experience; he jumped into the field of business with no prior knowledge. 

“My grandpa was almost scammed, so I wanted to do something to help the senior citizen community become more prepared,” Reynard said.

Although Reynard faced many challenges and failures, in the end, he successfully created a website to help protect the elderly from scams. The website will always be up and running, so even when Reynard is off in college, his project will continue to make a positive impact within the community.

“[PSP] has shown me there are more little issues in the world than [what] meets the eye for the perspective on the [broader] world question[s],” Reynard said.