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Category Archives: Youth Report

The Youth Report highlights the work of young journalists between the ages of 14 and 18 telling visual stories about their communities and their own lives.

Young Incarcerated Photographers Make Magic in Photos


Text by Katy McCarthy / photos by AS 220 participants How do you make magic in a place where there is none? In Rhode Island a photography program inside of a youth detention center is asking just that. In the striking images from AS 220’s “If these walls could talk,” the magic made is not an illusion. Like a surrealist painting, the manipulated photos employ metaphor and symbol to create dynamic portraits. Two students pose with giant light wings blossoming out behind them: Her’s white and linear, his multi-colored confetti-like squiggles. We all know the myth of Icarus. If you […]

A Trans-teen’s Story: Respecting the Pronoun


Text and photos by Name Withheld When I was born, the doctor dictated the way I would live the rest of my life simply by proclaiming “It’s a girl” to my excited and tired parents. Those four words would determine which pronouns people addressed me by, the social standards I would be expected to live up to, how I would be expected to dress, and which bathroom I’d be expected use, among many other things – until 16 years later when I would come out to friends and some of my family as trans non-binary (See Glossary). For 16 years […]

Capturing Captivity From the Inside


Text by Katy McCarthy / Photos by Fresh Eyes participants Without context, or if you glance only briefly, the photographs from the Fresh Eyes Project seem dull, banal. With a closer look you note climb-proof fencing in the background of one photo and barred windows in several others. If by that point you’re still wondering what’s going on, here’s the big reveal: these were all made by juvenile inmates in three New Mexico youth correctional facilities. The images are startlingly anonymous — no faces, no full names or details like family photos and no books. And yet, even the simplicity […]

Still I Ride: A Young Photographer Documents Her Daily Commute


[new_royalslider id=”5″] [two_third] [pullquote]Text by Katy McCarthy / Photos by Kymeira Stewart with Silicon Valley De-Bug[/pullquote] Every school day, Kymeira Stewart commutes two hours to school — four hours round trip. The 14- going on 15-year-old wakes up every day in her south San Jose, Calif., home at 5 a.m. to ensure ample time to walk 30 minutes to the bus stop, wait 15 minutes for the bus, ride the bus for 45 minutes and light rail and walk 30 minutes to the college prep school she attends in downtown San Jose. She doesn’t arrive home each day until after 7 or 8 p.m. […]

Mapping [beautiful, ugly, scary, safe and unsafe] in Photos.


View AjA Project Speak City Heights Land Use Map in a larger map [two_third] [pullquote]Text by Katy McCarthy / Photos by AjA Project participants[/pullquote] What is safe? For Oscar H., age 14, it is a path trekked by school-bound children in backpacks. Kenia P., 12, identifies a safe area as the blue plastic-coated tables of an elementary school. For many, safe is simply an un-cracked section of sidewalk, a crosswalk or a grassy space. Beautiful. Ugly. Scary. Safe. Unsafe. Words that describe places you go, or try to avoid. Adjectives to map your neighborhood by—which is just what young people living […]

Young Seattlelites See Their City in Pixels


[new_royalslider id=”3″]   [two_third] [pullquote]Text by Katy McCarthy / Photos by Youth in Focus participants[/pullquote]There is one small giveaway in XD Liu’s photo that this image was seemingly created decades ago: A young man in the bottom left corner is holding a cell phone. It’s subtle, and if you miss it, you are in that time 20 years ago when things were a bit quieter in Seattle. There is a pervasive nostalgia across this gorgeous group of photographs created by young Seattleites with Youth In Focus. They harken back to a slower time in the city’s history, before the shiny […]

[Youth Report] In Atlanta, An Exploration of The New Family Normal


[scrollGallery id= 35] [two_third] [pullquote]Text by Katy McCarthy, Photos by Dani Planer[/pullquote]I visited Atlanta for the first time in April 2013. Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, I felt simultaneously at home in the diversity of the city and far away in the humid, hustling winds of the south. Everything about Atlanta spoke of a long, deep-rooted history of families, success, poverty, change, fusion, evolution and culture. Dani Planer is a young photographer based in the heart of the South’s biggest, bravest city. In 2010, at the age of 14, Dani created (with co-producer Devin Black) a poignant and […]

A Day at the Beach Through an Artistic, Autistic Lens


[scrollGallery id= 32] [two_third][pullquote]Photography by Akeem Bonaparte, text by Katy McCarthy[/pullquote] Across the country, youth photo programs have put cameras in the hands of young people to help them find their voice while capturing and engaging with the communities they live in. Akeem Bonaparte, a 21-year-old photographer with autism and a penchant for documenting his city, can testify to this. A Harlem native born and reared, he still lives in the same neighborhood with his parents and his brother. Akeem’s parents are Trinidadian immigrants and he speaks with a beautiful Harlem accent fused with an island lilt.   For the […]

[Youth Report] NYC through 17-year-old Merelyn’s lens


[scrollGallery id=30] [two_third] [pullquote]Photography and Text by Merlyn Bucio, as part of NYC Salt [/pullquote] My name is Merelyn Bucio. I am 17-years-old. I’ve lived in NYC almost all my life. I love what the city has to offer, from the sunset cutting between the sky scrapers to the man in his underwear on rollerskates. Rarely people take the time to see it all, and I want to show them, through my lens, what they might miss on any given day in this crazy city. NYC Salt is a non-profit photography program for inner-city teenagers in New York City. Their […]

[Youth Report] Bokeh publishes the work of NYC teens


[two_third] What does N.Y.C. look like through the eyes of its teenage inhabitants? 17-year-old Merelyn Bucio describes it this way, “I’ve lived in NYC almost all my life. I love what this city has to offer, from the sunsets cutting between the sky scrapers to the man in his underwear on roller skates. Rarely people take the time to see it all, and I want to show them through my lens, what they might miss on any given day in this crazy city.” Merelyn is a participant in NYC Salt— a non-profit organization putting professional cameras in the hands of urban […]