Isabelle O’Rourke: Perfecting her French in a Unique Way


Maya Storm

Senior Isabelle O’Rourke

Maya Storm, Staff Reporter

As the end of May nears, HHS seniors begin to wrap up senior projects that they have been working on for the past few months. Senior Isabelle O’Rourke wraps up her project on learning about the experiences of immigrant students in the United States that hail from non-English speaking countries.

“It’s kind of like two projects in one,” O’Rourke said.

“I’m improving my French skills while also learning of new experiences.”

Working with Ms. Cuker, the head of the HPS English for Speakers of Other Languages program (ESOL), O’Rourke gets a step up in hearing about those who have immigrated to the US.

“I’m studying political science and possibly leaning towards international relations in college,” O’Rourke said. “My grandparents are immigrants and I’ve always loved French so doing this project kind of combined all of my interests in one.”

Every week, O’Rourke works for about an hour each day on her French skills while also attending meetings for parents of children who have moved from other countries to speak about school resources for such students.

“I also completed some interviews for immigrant students asking about things like where they moved from, what advice they would give to someone in their similar position, and so on,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke said she plans on continuing her french studies along with a political science major next fall at the University of California Irvine.

“This project has definitely expanded my horizons because I am learning more about this somewhat forgotten group of people in high school,” O’Rourke said.

“I am getting to see those different opinions and perspectives of students at our school which, lots of the time, we don’t necessarily think about,” O’Rourke said. “Your classes may be hard but imagine how much harder they would be if you did not speak English.”

All senior project video presentations should be available for the school community to view by the end of May or early June.