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The Science Survey

We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

Passion Projects: Allow Your Creativity to Soar

Are you looking for a way to reignite your creative talents while also serving your community? Passion projects will help you to do so.
“Passion projects have the power and the potential to make people who do not normally interact come together in the spirit of a cause they all align with, or are passionate about. That’s the fun of it,” said Israth Tayiba ’26. (Image Credit: Rod Long / Unsplash)
“Passion projects have the power and the potential to make people who do not normally interact come together in the spirit of a cause they all align with, or are passionate about. That’s the fun of it,” said Israth Tayiba ’26. (Image Credit: Rod Long / Unsplash)

The world can be unimaginably difficult sometimes. It is hard to keep up with the economy, reflected in the price of the clothes we wear and the types of food we eat; this is followed by endless social norms to follow online and offline, and the overwhelming pressure to become successful (whatever that may mean). 

At times, it may feel like one is surviving in a simple feedback loop programmed to: Eat. Sleep. Work. Repeat. 

Ultimately, this feedback loop can become so overwhelming that what you want and crave becomes but a second thought to survival. However, there is a way to make space for yourself in the midst of the chaos of life, a way to pursue what makes your mind stir and creative thoughts awaken. 

It is a passion project

What is a passion project?

A passion project has no bounds. According to Dictionary.com, the term reflects a “personally fulfilling activity or undertaking pursued in one’s leisure time for pleasure, personal growth, emotional satisfaction, and creative expression.” More simply worded, a passion project is anything that allows for your creativity to soar. This includes creating art in ways like directing a short film and sewing clothes, or even supervising community gardens. 

What makes a passion project unique is that the project is entirely yours. Every action you take curates a more holistic project. You designate your own timeline and your own rulebook. The freeing nature of a passion project allows you to focus deeply on your interests, rather than worrying about an upcoming deadline. 

How can you start your passion project? 

To start your project, you must begin when the idea takes root, when you feel as though all the ideas in your brain are jumbled together, and an outlet is needed. A passion project differs based on what it is that makes the person so emotional towards the topic. Every person has different ideas and approaches as to what their passion project could be. 

For someone who is interested in academia and research, a research paper might be of more interest to them instead of creating something more creative or artistic. As for an artist whose passions lie in activism and the environment, their feelings can be displayed through their talent for art. Passion projects cater to different aspects of an individual’s identity which can be combined to create something new. 

What are examples of passion projects? 

Passion projects can come in different forms, but the overarching similarity is that they are created with personal journeys in mind. 

Most often, people create passion projects as ways to foster a creative outlet to an idea that they have been contemplating for some time, for example, writing a screenplay or creating a sculpture. However, others may begin passion projects with their communities in mind as well. 

Some community driven projects include fundraising campaigns or nonprofit organizations, or even leading a community service project, such as cleaning up shared spaces like public parks — these all constitute a passion project. 

In the Bronx Science community, Jannatul (Janna) Olima ’24 developed her own passion project in creating the nonprofit organization LadyEquity, which organizes events and fundraisers designed to  mobilize the youth in order to garner change relating to issues regarding women. Olima said, “I have always felt deeply connected to the suffering of women in my community, the brown community. Our struggles have always been silenced, and there are real issues, such as female genital mutilation (FGM), that plague impoverished parts of the world.” 

At first, Olima did independent research on FGM and published it on her personal blog.  However, after her research, she decided to involve others in helping marginalized women who require support, thus creating LadyEquity. 

“At LadyEquity, we put a special emphasis on making sure that there is awareness on child marriage, the lack of education for women and girls in countries like Chad and South Sudan, as well as spotlighting survivor stories to generate a community,” said Olima. 

Since its creation, LadyEquity has gone to great lengths to fulfill their mission, garnering a community to help at Bronx Science as well. 

“We have arranged book drives to send books back to Bangladesh in order to bridge the educational gap, as well as bake sales to donate funds to medical centers such as Montefiore,” added Olima. 

Ultimately, what Jannatul Olima wants for her organization is to raise greater awareness for the voices of the silenced. She believes deeply in her cause and knows that others do too; serving her community is one of her greatest passions. 

Author’s Note

For me, passion projects hit incredibly close to home, as they are one of the ways that I have been able to explore my identity further. 

About two years ago, I created my own passion project, a nonprofit organization, with a friend, Fowzia Islam. What drew me to starting this with her specifically was that she shares my ideals and motivations for building something from the ground up. An entrepreneurial mindset, alongside a zealous thirst for developing a safe haven for hijabis and those looking for role models, resulted in a magical space to not only empower ourselves but others like us. 

“The goal behind HeadStart Hijobi, as I see it, is to direct the spotlight towards hijabi excellence in various fields of work. It has been enriching to contribute videography as well as marketing expertise to the organization, and truly seeing it bloom,” said Israth Tayiba ’26, a member of the marketing and networking team at HeadStart Hijobi. 

The nonprofit allows for others who are interested in furthering our mission to participate, with each person’s role catering to their passions and interests. This includes videography, interviewing, researching, networking, all skills that are necessary in the real world. In terms of its name, the wording ‘headstart’ is meant to represent propelling oneself into something. Hijab is an integral part of our organization as we try to promote hijabi representation; the twist in the wording alludes to the idea of hijab and job existing simultaneously, thus creating HeadStart Hijobi.

As for HeadStart Hijobi and how it has impacted my life, the organization has given me an avenue to embrace a major part of my identity: being a hijabi. Throughout my life, it has been difficult to encapsulate the pride within my identity, simply because of how controversial my headscarf was to the world. 

But HeadStart Hijobi pushed me to welcome my identity fully with open arms and to explore skills that I could utilize with the rest of the world. I have learned to manage a dedicated team and strengthen skills that I did not know needed strengthening. This passion of mine has grown larger than I anticipated, but has allowed me the opportunity to learn more about myself, in the tiniest and the most major of ways. 

I believe that this is the beauty of passion projects. They contribute to your growth as an individual and provide you the tools to understand yourself better. After all, we all have time to ourselves, but how much time do we spend for ourselves? Passion projects provide a space to learn things about yourself that you would have never known otherwise and I am confident that once you discover your passion, more room in your mind will be made for growth. The cycle will no longer be eat, sleep, work, repeat but rather, progress, change, passion, repeat, the perfect remedy to thrive.

I believe that this is the beauty of passion projects. They contribute to your growth as an individual and provide you the tools to understand yourself better.

About the Contributor
Sirajum Munira, Staff Reporter
Sirajum Munira is a Copy Chief for ‘The Science Survey.’ To her, journalism is a platform to speak truth, and be a voice to the voiceless. Sirajum aims to write pieces that communicate information in a compelling manner that will be both impactful to the reader and for herself. Part of fulfilling this aim is capturing photographs that add meaning to a piece and reveal something novel. Understanding the inner works of photography is something that Sirajum focuses on daily. Aside from school, Sirajum indulges in her love for reading, particularly novels with a great many lessons. She enjoys spending quality time with loved ones. Eventually, Sirajum hopes to pursue a career in journalism. Regardless of what her future holds, Sirajum leads her life with gratitude and will continue to do so.