Some Shepaug Valley High School students find senior projects right at their doorsteps.

Others go to great lengths, venturing far from home, to achieve their goals.

Among the latter group is Jessica Dumas, 18, a Roxbury resident who has developed a fascination for and love of the Lakota, a Native American tribe in South Dakota.

Her project, "Illuminating a Lost Culture: A Journey into the World of the Lakota," recently was highlighted by a trip in early December to the Lakota homeland.

Jessica made fleece blankets in order to support the children of the Cheyenne River Sioux Native American Reservation in LaPlant, S.D.

In collaboration with the nonprofit organization, Simply Smiles, Jessica traveled Dec. 4 to the reservation in order to deliver her blankets personally.

During her stay, she put on a Christmas party for the community.

Jessica also made a warm pre-Christmas dinner to celebrate the holiday and visited the children and their families "in order to supply hope, joy, and warmth to the impoverished people that so desperately need it."