Each One Reach One connects youth with hope

by Jock Lauterer
the Durham VOICE

What happens when you take a handful of college kids in a beginning photo class and pair them with a similar number of inner-city middle school kids?

If you give them cameras — magic.

Big and Little Photo-Buddies prepare to head out into Northeast Central Durham to photograph people who symbolize "hope." (Photo by Alisa Mappes)

“Each One Reach One,” a public service initiative of the UNC-CH School of Journalism and Mass Communication, linked nine 12-16-year-olds with 11 “big photo buddies” from my JOMC 180 Beginning Photojournalism class during first summer session
Our photo-mentoring program is the fifth such session of PhotoTEACH, an outreach effort of the Northeast Central Durham Community VOICE, which supplies cameras and laptops for workshops that have been held at the Boys and Girls Club, Seesaw Studio, SEEDS Durham Inner-City Gardens, Youthlife Foundation at Cornwallis Housing Community on Roxboro Road.

The kids we worked with this summer belong to the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program, which takes its inspiration from the teaching of Baha’i and seeks to give the youth a positive spiritual value system.

The junior youth included Tommy Harris, Jovanny Rangel, David Sanchez, Timothy Harris, Prisciliano Trejo, Demante Gore, Cadarrius Jackson, Lurdes Davila, Stuvon Snipes and Jose Alonso.

My photo students included Alie Shay, Sarah Martin, Robert Turner Story, Allison Russell, Katie Stuart, Matt Lang, Rashonda Joplin, Adam Merille, Jon Taft, Windsor Thornton and Clayton Gladieux.

Little and big photo-buddies spent a month getting to know each other and exploring the creative limits of point and shoot cameras. When asked to find and photograph symbols of hope in their neighborhoods, the youth took pictures of gardens, bird nests and new playgrounds.

When asked to find and photograph human symbols of hope, people in their neighborhood who had made a difference in their young lives, they photographed parents, mentors, preachers and teachers.

Here follows their thoughts and images depicting hope-full heroes of Northeast Central Durham.

Confirmation, by David Sanchez: I took a picture of Vesall Nourani because he’s been my animator for a long time. He also helped me through a lot. I used to be bad and I’ve been doing better because he taught me how to pray and teach other people about God. I started going to church again because of Vesall. I’ve been getting better friends and my grades have been better. I got to pass a grade. I’m going to the 7th grade now.In the picture I’m in front of Vesall’s house. We do youth groups there and sleepovers. One time we were playing games and watching scary movies and Vesall moved the door a little bit while we weren’t looking and we got scared and thought it was a ghost. In the morning we cooked breakfast and we ate sausage, pancakes and eggs. This house has a lot of memories for me.I named this paper confirmation because I think God brought Vesall into my life to learn more about Him.

Salvation army helper, by Jovanny Rangel: This is Greg. He is a really friendly and likes too help people out. He is a really good person to hang around with. He’s playful and has good sportsmanship. He works at the Salvation Army on Alston Ave. The little girl beside him is a student that is getting Greg’s help on her homework. Seems like the girl is waiting to get Greg’s answer for a question she answered. I think Greg is a symbol of hope because he is helping a little girl, and if he can help her he can help anybody he wants.

Signs of Hope By Demonte Gore: I took this picture of this Lady at the gas station because she is a minister. We were taking pictures that were signs of hope and I took it with my big buddy Clayton.

Signs of Hope By Demonte Gore: I took a picture of this little baby and man because it is a sign of hope because she could grow up to do house work for her grand dad or she could be the first lady to become a president.

ME AND MY 5TH GRADE MENTOR! By Lurdes Davila: This is Mrs. Ford and me. She was my 5th grade mentor, and she helped me out through tough times. She would teach 1st grade and still take the time to be a friend and teacher to me. I am glad I met her because she helped me become who I am today -- a mature teen.

My Favorite People: Mrs. Naggy, By Cadarrius Jackson. This is Ms. Naggy, my old day care teacher. I always used to bug her all the time when I was little, she would send me to Ms. F, who was the owner of the day care, for not paying attention or being too loud in class. She reminds me of hope because of how she helped me learn in school and always did it with a smile on her face.

Baby Tina, By Cadarrius Jackson: Next door from Sally and Vesall’s house we took a picture of baby Tina. The picture reminds me of my own childhood, playing around with my day care friends and messing around making friends in general.

My Favorite People, By Cadarrius Jackson. This is Demonte. He can be quiet, funny and most of the time, serious, and loves talking. He can be a good friend and I think that when he grows up he’s gonna be a great father, and he loves pretzels. He loves swinging and running, I want to race him one day.

Hope, By Timothy Harris. This picture is my sisters sitting on a porch. They are named Tomika and Tammy. They represent hope because I look up to them since I’m their little brother. Tomika is 17 and Tammy is 20.

Hope, By Timothy Harris. Mrs. Jordan works for DHA. She represents hope because she helps little kids that she doesn’t want to be on the streets and that she knows have the education to do things.

Hope, By Tommy Harris. In this picture, Jovanny is showing Jock about the picture he has taken. We are in Sally and Vesall house in Northeast Central Durham. We are working on pictures that symbolize hope. This picture symbolizes hope because he is gaining knowledge and thinking about the community around him.

2 thoughts on “Each One Reach One connects youth with hope

  1. I’m so proud of you all for your great pictures, your subjects of hope, and your work as a team. I’m a Baha’i Jr Youth Animator in Massachusetts. I hope we can do something this awesome soon. We’re just getting started and we’re a small group. I’ll keep you all in my prayers and ask that you do the same for us. Keep on keepin’ on.

    Loving regards,
    Myra Grassfield

    • Thank You!
      Myra, you must know, it was WE who were the Big-Photo-Buddies who really were the most royally rewarded BY THE YOUTH, as they courageously leapt into the community like fish into water.
      I will treasure these photos and moments.

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