Video: Youth Voices 2021

VII Academy partnered with the YMCA of Greater Boston for Youth Voices, teaching photography and photojournalism principals to  sixteen high school students from some of the most under-resourced neighborhoods in the city.

The students committed to an 8-month program learning photography, documenting their communities, and expressing themselves visually. The program’s mission is to help teens discover and pursue higher education and career goals by equipping them with the skills and community role models they need to get there. At the end of the course, their achievements were celebrated with an exhibition of their work. 

“I really learned not just how to become a photographer, but how to make art and how to listen to other people.”
Kenya GousseStudent
“Taking this course actually helped me realise that it is not as easy as they made it out to be. I definitely see myself doing a lot more after this class.”
Ilaria MooreStudent

Mentors Ben Brody, Tsar Fedorsky, Alison Morley,  Nina Robinson and assistant Morgan Mullings led the class through four modules: the first focused on team-building and photography fundamentals; the second looked inwards and engaged the students in creating a personal family album; the third looked outward at a documentary project about their community; and the fourth focused on creating books, an exhibition, and a community event in Boston to share their work with a broad audience. The students had a dedicated media center at the YMCA for their use, equipped with computers, projectors, and a Fujifilm print kiosk.

The students were selected through a competitive application and interview process at the YMCA of Greater Boston. The program was made possible by our sponsors, including Fujifilm, who provided X-A5 cameras and zoom lenses to the 20 students. Adobe provided software licenses, and significant support was also provided by PhotoWings, Digital Silver Imaging, The VII Foundation, and the YMCA.

PhotoWings‘ mission is to highlight and help facilitate the power of photography to influence the world.