The 120 seniors at Imhotep Institute Charter High School in West Oak Lane recently received hand-lettered and individually decorated Certificates of Appreciation for being interns at various places in the community for six weeks. They worked at courthouses, with police, at day care centers, middle and high schools, and at retirement communities.

The purpose of their internships was to gather information for their senior projects. At Imhotep, a charter high school that focuses on African-centered education, students choose themes for their research projects that promote success for African-American youth.

The certificates were made by Linda Schatz, of Mt. Airy, who In the 1990s and early 2000s, made large hand-decorated and calligraphed diplomas for sixth grade graduates of Miquon School. She loved using her creative skills to capture the essence of each child as well as to highlight their accomplishments and interests.

The Miquon School has given this type of personalized diplomas to its graduates for many decades, as Linda can attest: Her Miquon diploma from 1963 hangs prominently in her home.

A new Spanish and art teacher at Imhotep this year, Linda recognized the significance of the seniors leaving school in late January to work in the community for six weeks.

“When they returned, they brought a wealth of experience back to our school,” she said “They are changed and have a taste of the real world. I wanted to honor them in a significant way.”

At the ceremony on March 5, each student who had been out on an internship received his or her certificate, which read in part, “May you continue to shine your light, as when I shine, the nation shines. And when the nation shines, we all shine.”