Mallory Galiulo is a Health teacher at Clinton High School. She is throwing out the traditional Final Exam and has tasked her students with a project to give back to a cause that means something to them.

Galiulo says the idea for 'Project Based Learning' came from a book study she did with colleagues over the summer. It was based on a book titled, Empower by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani. The idea behind it is to allow students to learn through something they care deeply about. Another reason Galiulo's alternative to a Final Exam comes from student concerns and stresses over exams. Galiulo says, "I was seeing a bunch of kids constantly stressed out over tests, and I knew I wanted my health classroom to be better for their mental health, so I was trying to think of different ways to assess them."

Galiulo says, "The Positivity Project is the character education movement that we have joined and promotes the idea that other people matter." Each of her students are doing something truly unique, but on Thursday Galiulo brought two students in studio with 'First News with Keeler in the Morning' to talk about their specific projects.

The first student we spoke with was Celso Vasquez. Celso came to Clinton from Guatemala when he was 13-years-old. He came here to escape poverty and gang violence in his home country. With his project, he hopes to give back to his home country by donating soccer equipment. He shared with morning host, Bill Keeler, that kids in Guatemala play soccer with wadded up plastic bags. For him, it would mean a lot to be able to send actual soccer balls, shin guards and other equipment pieces to his hometown. He has partnered with Access Federal Credit Union in Clinton to provide postage for the shipment of the equipment and will be meeting with members of the Utica City FC organization to see what they can do. Equipment donations can also be dropped off to Access Federal Credit Union.

Another student who accompanied Galiulo on the morning show is Juliana Heselton. Juliana is a senior at Clinton High School and is involved with the music and theater programs at the school. Her passion is one she hopes other students in several impoverished districts can continue to enjoy. Juliana is planning to host a benefit concert featuring local talent to raise money for VH1: Save the Music and The Boys and Girls Club of America. The concert is set for Saturday, June 15th, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the Clinton Performing Arts Center. Tickets will be $5 for students and $8 for adults. Proceeds will go to help critical services for Juliana's peers.

Galiulo hopes that her students and her community continues to be enriched and she feels her students, specifically Celso and Juliana, are "hitting it out of the park!" If you would like to donate sports equipment for Celso's project you can drop it off at Access Federal Credit Union in Clinton or at Clinton High School, Middle School or Elementary School. If you would like to perform or contribute in some way to Juliana's concert, contact her via email at

By supporting these students you will help empower them to continue to grow as human beings and continue to help give back to their community.

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