HomeStudentsSenior Cosima Cristofalo takes initiative to keep senior spirit alive

Senior Cosima Cristofalo takes initiative to keep senior spirit alive

Published Oct. 2, 2020


While most Carmel High School students were enjoying this past weekend, Carmel High School senior Cosima Cristofalo was busy passing out 60 to 70 free shirts and various clothing items to her classmates. Over the summer, Cristofalo designed merchandise for the Class of 2021 to help bring some normalcy to their last year of high school. 

“I love the design,” senior Olivia Randazzo says, “and I’m definitely gonna be wearing it.” 

Cosima Cristofalo shows off her “Grateful Dead” design on one of the shirts. (Photo by Sophia Bone)

The process started in July when Cristofalo was prompted by CHS Leadership teacher and activities director Aubrey Powers to create a design for senior class shirts through the school. Cristofalo is the commissioner of marketing and communications for her Leadership class and has previously done other art for the school, such as designing the invitations for the winter formal. 

Cosima Cristofalo is more than qualified for the job. She received the Weston Scholarship her sophomore year and an honorable mention the following year for film photography. In addition, she has received two Silver Key awards for other submissions to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and has also taken every art class at CHS, leading to her falling in love with graphic design last year and her current hope to major in it during college. 

Cosima Cristofalo and her brother Benicio pose for a picture on her senior merch Instagram page. (Screenshot by Sophia Bone)

The theme for this year’s senior class is “The Grateful Dead,” so Cristofalo gathered inspiration from the band’s album covers to make the design. Powers mentions that after the Class of 2021 had gone through bomb threats, multiple school evacuations to the football field, lockdowns in the gym and distance learning during their four years, the Grateful Dead album “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been” really sums up their high school experience. 

“They had a lot of challenges in their four years,” Powers reflects. “Any one of them would be atypical for a class to go through, but they have had all of them.” 

Due to timing issues and differing views on how the design evolved, Cristofalo’s work could not be produced through CHS. Cristofalo fell in love with the design anyway, so the idea to make them on her own was born, and she ordered the senior attire by August. 

To raise awareness about what she was doing, Cristofalo created an Instagram account for the merchandise. On it, she posted updates on what she was ordering and information about when and where to pick everything up. She didn’t make any profit from the clothing sold. Rather, Cosima Cristofalo just wanted her senior class to have something special. 

“That was all I really needed,” she adds, “to just give something to somebody and make them happy.” 


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