Engaging Youth through PhotoVoice: ICH Intern Perspective II

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By Alice Chan, ICH Intern

What a wonderful way to start off the New Year with the third session of our Youth Photovoice project, funded through the Saffron Circle, in Malden! After a successful last session, Shalini and I were ready to move forward with the next (and exciting) step of the project – the Photography Workshop! The objective of this session was to train the youth with a basic tutorial in using digital cameras, generously loaned to us by Yolanda Ortiz from Wayside Youth, before giving the youth the cameras to capture trial run photos.

It was important to review the principles and importance of the ethics involved in taking photos and so I led a team building exercise to refresh the youth’s memory on these ethical principles developed at a prior session. Everyone proved to be very knowledgeable about the “dos and don’ts” with their soon-to-be-assigned cameras. Following this brief review came the photography tutorial part of our session. Who better to lead this photography workshop than our fellow Cambridge Health Alliance colleague Dr. Freeman Changamire, MD, ScD, an expert and enthusiast in all things photography? Dr. Changamire led an outstanding demonstration of the cameras’ functions and settings. Thanks to his guidance, I am confident that the youth are well-prepared to spend the next month taking pictures that capture their attention and convey personal meanings in relation to mental health.

Now that the youth have finally received their digital cameras, they have an opportunity to capture their thoughts and ideas on the topic of mental health and wellness via photos. The goal from now until the next session is for the youth to experiment and be creative as they are exploring their community for those fascinating and noteworthy photo opportunities.

As the cliché goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. At the next session, that is exactly what we will be proving (that is, we will be putting, or “analyzing,” the images with words). Stay tuned for more updates!

Alice Chan is an intern at ICH working with Shalini Tendulkar, ScD, ScM on the Youth Photovoice project through the ICH Education Program. Ms. Chan is a sophomore in the Department of Psychology at Tufts University.

For more information on internship opportunities like this one at ICH, please click here!

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