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Hello! My name is Francesca Seni, and I’m a Design student at Freestyle Academy. Over the last two years, I’ve been able to pursue my passions in activism and writing through several projects here. I’m particularly interested in protecting and advancing the rights of women and shedding light on other current events such as climate change, gun control, and education.

I’ve chosen to share with you two pieces: a documentary covering an independent bookstore in my community, and a magazine reporting on gender inequality within certain industries. I believe that these projects are great examples of future work I would like to pursue, and they demonstrate my growth over my two years at Freestyle.

I would greatly appreciate feedback on how to better engage readers when presenting research-based writing, and what images or graphics would be best to pair them with. Did you feel that the works flowed from chapter to chapter? Did they feel unified to you, overall?

Next year I will be attending New York University and am hoping to enter their international studies program at the end of my sophomore year, but am open to exploring anything relating to policy.

Feel free to reach out to me at francesca.seni@gmail.com.

Books Inc. Documentary

My documentary tells the story of how an independent bookstore emerged from the days of California’s gold rush and ultimately ended up with ten locations. One of their stores is close to my home, and I’ve always enjoyed browsing their shelves. Since I am also a bibliophile, I managed to maintain a passion for my work as the project went on. I also thought the story of an independent bookstore was important to tell since so many are currently struggling.

Attending Freestyle starting at the beginning of last school year was my first real exploration into the world of design. Completing this book with only a couple of months of introduction to the principles and elements of design could not have been possible without such amazing and dedicated teachers. I am quite proud of this work, especially considering my limited experience. Of course, there are things I would like to change. I realized a little too late that there’s only so many times I could take pictures of bookshelves, so I wish I had more time to go back and take photographs of more window displays, posters for book clubs, and storefronts. I don’t think I was every fully content with the cover image either, but I’m happy with the punny title. I liked that I included a timeline of the store because I felt it added a unique element to the documentary. I wish I had done more interviews, like of some of the frequent shoppers to get the perspective of how much the stores mean to the community they’re in. Overall though, I’m happy with the end product and grateful I could tell the story of Books Inc.

Zenith Magazine

My magazine covers gender inequality in the workforce but takes a deeper look into nine different fields. I am extremely passionate about fighting gender inequality which made the project all the more interesting for me. My goal was for the work to go from industries in the limelight to fields that often go unnoticed, so as one read on they’d see that issues like sexual harassment and the pay gap aren’t just happening in one field and that they actually show a pattern. I feel that the more evidence one gathers, the easier it is to prove that there is, in fact, a problem.

The biggest challenge I faced was letting go of the “perfect” standard I had set for myself. I wanted this project to encompass all the research I had ever done about gender inequalities. I wanted it to be a battle cry and feminist textbook. Maybe one day I’ll be able to do that, but this was just a small chunk of what I’ll accomplish in the future. I had so much anxiety about presenting something that didn’t live up to my original idea and own impossible standard. My peers, teachers, and family helped me let go of that impractical vision. 

Despite how happy I am with the final outcome, I’m also aware that it isn’t perfect. I wish I had more time to change some of the design elements in the magazine. I wish I had added more commentary throughout the writing to make it more engaging. I think it might have been interesting to add some specific stories every so often so that there would be a break in the very numbers-based reporting.

Of all my works at Freestyle, this is the one I am most proud of. It is a project that I will always look back at fondly, despite all the stress that came along with it. I hope that when people look at it and read it through they take away the importance of being educated on the matter. I hope that when they look at the mass of research they realize that inequality is not a rare occurrence, and I hope that they take that knowledge with them and apply it to their lives. Ultimately, I hope that this is just the beginning of my work that advocates for equality between the sexes.