The St. Teresa’s Academy English department is pleased to honor senior Cecilia Torres with the first annual Capstone Award for her project on Kansas City's urban blight and land bank restoration. The Award recognizes Cecilia for her stellar research, dedicated problem solving, and quality writing. She received a $1,000 award for her exceptional work.
The STA capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic experience for senior students. While similar in some ways to a college thesis, capstone projects are long-term investigative projects that conclude with a final essay. During the 2019-2020 school year, every STA senior student participated in the capstone project.
In Cecilia’s project titled, "Refurbishment and Revitalization: Combating Urban Blight in Kansas City," she examined blight in Kansas City neighborhoods, which led her to research the history of race-based redlining and its effect today. From Pendergast to J.C. Nichols to President Roosevelt, she illuminated prominent figures in the city's history who contributed to high crime and low-performing schools. Her solution examines Land Bank Kansas City and its contribution to development in the East Side, where Cecilia grew up. She stated, “I was inspired to focus on this local issue because it is one that has affected myself and many of the neighbors around me for as long as I can remember. It is my greatest hope that by having people move back into the East Side the scars of historical inequality within the city can fade and the city I love can become a safer place.” Click here to view her work.
STA’s Women’s Circle of Giving Grant
The Capstone Award was funded through a grant from the STA Women’s Circle of Giving (WCG). The WCG is filled with philanthropic women in the community who come together to help fund projects not covered by STA’s operating budget. Half of the funds are distributed to STA families in financial crisis, while the remaining half is available to faculty and staff members who apply for grants, such as one used for the Capstone Award.