We all have something we're good at. For me it is photography. For you it may be cooking or dancing. What ever it is, the goal is to do what we love in order to inspire others to Think & Create. I can't tell you how many times someone has told me that seeing me do what I love has inspired them to pursue their dreams. That alone makes all the hard work I put in worth it.
The Friendship Program, located at the Hennigan Community Center, serves nearly 60 kids on a weekly basis during the school year and close to 120 during the Summer vacation. Their Program Director, Mary Thomas, happens to be one of my best friends. She also happens to be the master mind behind this workshop.
We sat down on different occasions and discussed our individual ideas. After a few meetings we had a clear agenda. We requested funds from the powers that be and created a basic two-day photography workshop for 40 Boston Public School students during February vacation.
- Day One: We took our time discussing the different styles of photography and the importance of pictures in our daily lives. I brought a bunch of magazines I had at home. They were asked to study the images and to create a collage out of their favorite pictures.
- Day Two: I brought all the students on a field trip to my photography exhibition. I spoke more in depth about my project and how digital cameras actually work. They got the chance to walk around and experience my collection for themselves. Thanks to the Friendship Program I was able to provide each child with their own FujiFilm disposable camera. They were encouraged to go out and explore the different styles of photography we had spoken about. (Their images will be later displayed at a special event organized by the community center.)
All I wanted to do was to provide these kids with something new. Some people might not admit it to it but society has molded [us] to think that we can't make it out the hood unless we're rapping or playing a professional sport. But not everyone can rhyme or throw a ball and THAT'S OK. It's ok to like to read. It's ok to like to draw or paint. It's ok to be different! The main objective in life is to find something you love to do and make a living doing it. That's what the #ThinkAndCreate movement is all about.
Thanks to the Universe the workshop was a complete hit. The students had a ball and gave me good reviews. All the parents seemed to be happy with the project and excited to see their child's work. The way I see it, it was all worth it as long as at least one of those kids walked away inspired to do something positive. Hopefully this was just the first workshop of many to come.