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Summer MediaWorks Project Highlight: Street Photography & Narratives

Students in Wide Angle’s Summer MediaWorks Program participated in a one week workshop on Street Photography and Photo Narrative. Students explored the Baltimore communities of Remington, Old Goucher, and Station North and visited a variety of small business. Students asked individuals that they met along the way what advice they had for career paths, and college readiness. Below are a small selection of those stories.

Nathaniel Jackson By Ayanna and Takira

 “I used to advocate for a Non- Profit on 25th and Charles St., under the leadership of Michelle Kelly, the executive director of Alternative Direction. They were on a panel fighting for women serving Life. I was on the board of directors for the organization called Out For Justice. I was incarcerated, I did 10 and a half years and I cleaned my act up, I had a drug habit, I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write. I was struggling getting my SSI and a place to stay. When I went to jail, I learned how to read and write, got a couple trades done. And I got out and gave back to the community, that was my way of giving back for the bad choices and bad decisions I made. Helping men and women coming out off that are struggling. I also helped myself by staying Clean and my blessings came I got my SSI and I got my house, I been here for 7 years. I never went to college. I fell a victim to the disease of addiction. I was in and out of recovery centers and reform schools. Elijah Cummings really helped me when I was prison, I wrote him and he took an interest in me and I couldn’t let him down so I got out of prison and I graduated from Alternative Direction, then I stayed on the board.”

Gagan Singh By Will and Laurell

“I started working at Red Emma’s in August of 2016. I went to University of Maryland Baltimore County. While I was there my major was actually English and even though it has nothing to do with cooking or owning a business. I could definitely apply the things I learned from it, like social and critical thinking skills to the work that I do now. I come from a long line of teachers so when I was little that’s what I thought I was going to do. But as I got older and as I started to interact with the community, I realized that I wanted more hands on experiences with the community. I also really love cooking so for me working at Red Emma’s checked off all of those boxes. I get to interact with the community, make awesome food and also be apart of this amazing group of people that work here.To high school students I would say take some time to figure out what your creative outlets are. The older you get the more responsibilities you gain and those creative outlets are what ground you. So what ever it is, like photography or writing or cooking, or maybe it’s being outside. Nourish those while you’re in high school and don’t be afraid to try different things. That’s the amazing thing about the generation we grow up in we can apply what we learned in school to any career we go into.”

Larry Smith By Deshaun and Gyasi

“I got a 17 year old daughter bout to go to college, one more year of high school. My one daughter does modeling, she into modeling my other daughter into fashion. I got a stepson, play football in college in Virginia he’s a wide receiver and quarterback. (I played) just a little bit but the streets took over at a young age. I always do stuff for the kids. It’s always something better out here. It’s rough out here today. It is really rough on our young youth out here today with all these killings. That’s the hard part keeping them out of that situation, you know. I like to see this they doing something positive.

I went to Lake Clifton High School. No, I didn’t make it to college, didn’t get my high school diploma in school; got that in prison. I didn’t gradate from high school, but I did get my GED, that’s a blessing. Sooo… It’s never too late.

Right now I’m the warehouse supervisor – I run everything that comes in and outta here. I’m try’na get another job, try’na always stay working. I grew up in East Baltimore, Harford road. Yeh. To me nowadays they just push our kids through school. So you know that’s like real tough on me and I stay hard on my kids in school because I know how they do in school now. When I went to school a 80 was passing now you only need a 60 to pass in school so…. It sucks, it really do. Some schools ya know, you got some people really who put their all, the side teacher really put their all, but then you got some teachers that just [are] like ok let’s get them outta here you know, so that’s definitely a big difference in the school system today. It’s about our young youth and they dying quick, they dying quick. It’s a shame.

When I was young I was like all other kids – thought I was gonna grow up to be a firemen or police man. Hehehe. But that didn’t work out so these days you just gotta go where you fit in at. Especially wit a guy like me, guys like us out here. Alotta guys like me wit records you know that’s why I say finish school, please, finish school. Stay outta this prison system cause that is not the place, it is not the place. Go to college. Do what you need to do. Provide for your family, if you make a family, if not just stay in your own lane. Stay strong, stay positive. Don’t let nobody tell you you can’t do want you wanna do if you put your mind to it. Anything out here you wanna do, just gotta stay motivated and push and have that family support.”