Saturday, October 10, 2009

Peace in Focus Liberia Participant Bios


I am grateful that I was accepted to be a part of the Peace in Focus training workshop when I brought my brother for the workshop. It has added a new dimension to my life that I will forever remember. Did I forget? No. My name is Alice and I was born in August 1987 in Monrovia, Liberia. Liberia is great, we are recovering gradually from 14 years of civil war and one of such transformation has been Peace in Focus coming to Liberia. I am very glad you came and more happy that you afforded me an opportunity to participate and learn. I promise to use all the knowledge obtained especially those on conflict and violence by working on myself and then on others who are my peers.


My name is Boakai and I was born in January 1992. I am from Nimba County, one of the fifteen counties of Liberia. It is located in the North and is surrounded by Bong County, Grand Bassa County, Rivercess County, Sinoe County and Grand Gedeh County. It also shares a border with the Guinea and Ivory Coast. I graduated from High School on the last day of the Peace in Focus workshop, which was great. I love to go out with friends, play games, watch television especially football game and listen to jokes on radio. My favorite team is MANCHESTER UNITED football club, the #1 in the world. I love hot dogs, fufu and groundnut soup, fried okra soup, fried potatoes and many more. The training done by Kyle with the support of Ma Bendu and Pulano was great and we hope to get on more and more with making photos and telling stories of them. We shall also become good peacebuilders in our communities.

Emmanuel Chea       

Emmanuel Chea is my name and I was born in April 1993. Can you guess my age then? ____ ok. I have two brothers and five sisters and I am a proud Liberian. I attend the Matilda Newport Junior High School in Monrovia. It is one of the many public schools run and owned by the government. Every day of my life, I am dreaming of becoming a Doctor. My hope is to help young people by building a medical center for them. The Peace in Focus training workshop plays an important role in my life by helping me make images that tell stories. It also helps me understand that whenever I have a conflict with anyone, I should resolve it positively, but not to think of negative and destructive means that will breed more tension. My favorite foods are fried chicken, fish, fried beans and rice.

Emmanuel Kardyuway

My name is Emmanuel Kardyuway. Is my last name difficult for you to pronounce? It is easy, Kar-ju-way. It is a typical Liberian name. I was born in Bong County to the union of Martha Kardyuway and Moses Kardyuway in March 1992. I went to primary school and began my secondary education but could not continue because my parents could not pay my school fees.  I am currently living with my oldest brother and pray to be in school some day. I enjoyed the workshop. At least, I can become a good photographer if I do not go back to school. I hope this training continues so that I can fully learn all that I can with Peace In Focus thereby transforming my life and becoming a meaningful citizen. Thanks to our Liberian brothers and sisters who will assist us to improve in the absence of Kyle.


Fanny is my name and I do not know my age. I lived with my grandmother in Harbel, Margibi County for most of my childhood life. I came to Monrovia in 2004 and began school. Now I am a fourth grade student of the Esther Barcon Elementary School. It is a school owned and operated by the government. I enjoyed my days at the Peace In Focus workshop where I learned how to make photos and overcome conflict in my own life. It was really great for me and I know that all I learned can be used to improve my life. I am a very shy person but gradually I am beginning to interact with others. I see most of my friends are educated and I want to be educated too. In the future, I want to be a nurse.  


I was born in November 1992. I live in Monrovia and I am a 12th grader attending the New Era International School located at Bushrod Island. My desire is to be a medical doctor who will affect my community, country, and the world at large by fighting sicknesses, violence, and conflict daily. I am very grateful for the opportunity afforded me by through the training workshop. Through the training, I can now talk to my friends and others to stop violence. I now know how to tell a story from a picture. Pictures are meaning to my life and the transformation of my community and my country. Though we suffered much by the many years of civil war and the pictures we remember are all negative, but together, we can turn a negative picture into something positive and tell a new and resounding story. Here at home, I spend some of my time watching my favorite team CHELSEA FC. I love rice and spaghetti and sometimes other food like bread, eggs, potatoes, oranges, apples and banana. Finally, Peace In Focus, please come back again.


Naomi is my name and I am 14 years old. I had many challenges at the Peace in Focus Workshop. It was my first time to handle a camera and more over to talk among my peers. As we went through the training, I learned to make stories of the picture I took and this has become a very important milestone for success in my life. To my friends, remember that this workshop has given us the space to transform our lives and hope many of my brothers and sisters in Liberia, and the world at large can benefit from such a meaningful program. I want to see development. Many Liberians are living in homes without toilets and as a result, people are using their communities to dispose of waste. Please let us change our attitude. I hope children will have the opportunity to go to school at an early age because I am now 14 years and in the first grade. I never had the opportunity but with God on my side I will learn and become someone great in the future.
Thanks to Peace in Focus and all our local trainers.


My name is Paye. I am a Liberian living in Monrovia, Liberia. I was born in July 1979 in Bah Town, Gbazon District, Grand Gedeh County. Grand Gedeh County is located in the southeastern region of Liberia. My time at the Peace In Focus Workshop was great. I was not one of those who were chosen as a participant but when I brought my little brother who was a participant, I asked to become a part and was accepted. Now I am learning to make better photos, deal with violence and conflict in my life and best of all relate to people. I am no longer the guy who keeps things inside. My favorite dish is cassava leaf with rice. Cassava leaf is a locally made food. Now I love to take photos, which is my best hobby.


I am 17 years old and I was born in Monrovia, Liberia. Presently I am living with my parents but not attending school and hope to go back to and continue my secondary education when they are financially able. The Peace in Focus training was great and I hope to become a good MAKER of photos. Cheers to all my friends in Burundi, Boston and Liberia.


My name is Princess. I was born in October 1994 in Camp Waterloo, Freetown, Sierra Leone unto the union of Mr. and Mrs. D. Samson Jeh. I am a sixth grade student attending the St. Michael Catholic Elementary School in Gardnesville. I want to become a doctor. I enjoyed my days at the program. There I learn how to talk among my friends, about photography, how to deal with violence, conflict, peace and how to answer questions.


Raphael is my name. I was born in Ghana, but spend all my life in Liberia. I am sixteen years old and live with my dad and mom at the Steven Tolbert estate. My hobbies are leading, singing and most of the time playing football. My favorite kind of food is rice and fish. I love juices and some vegetables. My time at the Peace In Focus workshop was great. There I learned to make photos and today I am making meaningful photos that can change conflict and violence. My dream is to go to the United States of America to play basketball like Michael Jordan and effect change in the lives of Liberian youth.


I am 13 years old. I live around Hotel Africa in lower Virginia. I am a 7thgrade attending the Virginia Christian Academy. When I grow up, I want to be a Medical Doctor. Being a part of the Peace In Focus workshop was so great because I learned a lot of new things and met many new friends. For me, my favorite dish is rice with greens and fried chicken and my best friend is Thelma who was not a part of the program but knows all that we did. Hats off to our leaders, Mr. Pulano and Miss MaBendu.


I was born in November 1992 to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson Dean. I am an 11th grade student at the G. W. Gibson High School. After my graduation, I want to go to a computer school to become an accountant and a good manager. My experience with Kyle, Pulano, and Ma Bendu was great. With them I learned how to make pictures and deal with violence and conflict situations. My favorite hobby is always to be by myself and study my lessons. Also, I love rice and fried fish the most.


Vincent is my name and I turned seventeen years old in June 2009.  I am a 9th grade student of the Boatswain Junior High School located in the Jamaica Road Community. I am a Christian and a Grebo by tribe who wants to help change my country. There are sixteen tribes in Liberia. I am from Saywanken Jilapo District in Sinoe County. My desire is to become a Scientist. My second career choice has become what I learned from the Peace In Focus workshop. I want to fully know how to take photos, how to make images, how to read images and use the camera well. I want to help meaningfully resolve conflicts and stop violence.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Peace in Focus in Liberia

Peace in Focus ran a pilot program in Monrovia, Liberia from Sept. 28 - Oct. 2, 2009 for 14 local youth. Through collaboration with our local partners, the Liberia Media Center and the Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding, and with the support of the Liberia Peacebuilding Office, the Ministry of Youth and Sport, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Peace in Focus is working to launch wide-reaching youth development and peacebuilding programs in Liberia in early 2010. This workshop was intended to mobilize support and work with a cadre of talented and underprivileged Liberian youth. These young people have decided to launch a monthly Peace Journal, which will include their stories, photo-essays, and youth perspectives on news and Liberia's transition to peace. The journal will be available online and will be printed locally beginning in December 2009.

During one of our field trips around Monrovia, we visited a flooded and impoverished seaside neighborhood where one of our workshop participants lives. This visit gave our group a chance to visually confront some of the challenges facing each other's communities, and begin to think how they would like to communicate these stories through documentary photography.

To view the video, click the link below:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boston Cultural Mapping - September 26, 2009


by Fehintola

Newspaper stands represents a lot in Boston because the newspaper represents a lot of what Boston is. Every morning when I am going to school I grab a copy of the metro and that gives me some of my information for the day. Pretty much every one in Boston reads some kind of newspaper, it is just a part of everyday life here, and it is a great way for people to stay connected to thing that are going in all around.

The public transportation in Boston to me is the best ever, because when you want to go some where most of the time the MBTA can take you there. It is so amazing, and it is a great way to save energy because then more people would not have to use their cars more often. I think the MBTA is a big part of Boston.

Not everyone in Boston is Religious, but religion is a big thing to me and I do know a lot of people who are residents of Boston who are religious. The thing is that we are made up of a lot of religions here and so it is very diverse. Some people don't consider themselves religious, some people just have some connection to something, and others just are themselves all the time. But religion is something that was in Boston early and so I think it is somewhat a big part of what kind of place Boston is.

The colleges and universities and Boston are very popular, and people come to Boston a lot to attend these schools, because they are so great. Like for instance Harvard was the first college here in Boston. Boston is a good place for education.


by Antonio

FUN: Basketball, smiling

FOOD: Pizza, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese

HOBBIES: Photography, learning, praising God

THE WEATHER AND NATURE: Cold! Unpredictable weather sometimes hot sometimes cold sometimes warm. Nature, city parks

TRANSPORTATION: Public transportation, aggravation! Its better to drive

NEIGHBORHOOD: My neighborhood is divided, black kids hang out with black kids, violent people with violent people. There isn’t a lot of unity, I really hope that I can do more to fix this problem.

HOME: Theres no place like home! I'm fed every day and I have a place to sleep. I live at home with my mom and I love every minute of it.

The below photo represents how as time goes by in Boston everything becomes more advanced including landscapes. This is how most people see Boston (very urban):

This photo is how I see my city Boston.  I love murals and people: 

This photo represents fun in Boston:


by Dounia

FAVORITE MUSICION OR GROUP: Pink because she focus on real subjects in life , like why is there are so many homeless people.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO SCHOOL: About 20 minutes because it is not that far from my house, but that is just because I have to walk.

PLACE YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR FREE TIME: At a friend’s or family’s homes because I’m not home with my family that I go home to everyday.

AGE: 13 about to turn 14.

HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE IN YOUR HOME:  4 females, no boys.  We are used to being with just girls.

ITEM THAT YOU OWN THAT IS MOST VALUABLE TO YOU: My family because they are always there for me.

PRICE OF A PAIR OF SHOES: $38.00 I try to find good deals on things like my shoes and clothes.

FAVORITE HOBBY:  Walking my dog either in the late night or early morning because it is quiet and no one is out.

PRICE OF A LOAF OF BREAD: Either $2.00 or $1.50 because I always ignore the bread that is $3 or more than 3 dollars.

PETS OR ANIMALS AT HOME:  I have 1 cat that never sleeps when I need to and 1 dog that is scared of water and of the cat.  My dog is 9 the cat’s age is unknown right now but it is still very young.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Peace Day PhotoScavenger Hunt

Peace in Focus, together with Roots & Shoots and Greenschools, celebrated the International Day of Peace at the Jamaica Pond Boathouse in Jamaica Plain on September 20th, 2009. The festivities included games, music, spoken word, and a photo-scavenger hunt. Peace in Focus alumnae Geisha and Taylor led the activity, teaching young people and adults alike how to use the camera to photograph the clues. Participants had 30 minutes to find and creatively capture:
life, something younger/older than you are, something broken, movement/motion, gravity, contrast, peace, something you want to change, something abstract, love or friendship, something that flies, a close-up, a famous pose, someone in uniform, a candid picture of someone, diversity, youth power, reflection, and harmony in nature
The following photographs were selected among hundreds for being the most artistic, creative, thought-provoking, fun, and beautiful. Congratulations to all the talented photographers!

Go behind the scenes to see more.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I feel peaceful when...

On the International Day of Peace, we ask you to reflect on moments when you feel most peaceful. Please join us by contributing your thoughts to this photo essay.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Youth activism and Lou Jones' photography studio


My name is Ambureen and this is my first year doing Peace in Focus. Starting this program I was nervous. Nervous about not making friends, or not being able to meet a certain expectation. None of these things happened. Everyone was so friendly and we became friends so fast. In this blog I would like to talk a bit about what Peace in Focus was like.

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

This is a quote, we encountered today. What does it mean to you? I interpreted it as, you can live life and take advantage of everything, appreciating what life gives you, and not taking it for granted, or you can treat nothing as a miracle. What we talked about today was leadership, leadership in our communities. We went over different ways of promoting change. Some things we talked about included starting clubs in our schools, and starting clean-ups in our community. One of our facilitators mentioned that there is more to do in our communities than just picking up the trash. She brought up a good point and mentioned all of the other things we could do to build our communities. I really enjoyed this program, and I really love making and spreading peace now. And photography has become a great passion of mine. Peace in Focus is a great program.


One day during the workshop we went to photographer Lou Jones' studio. He told us about his work and he took photos of some of us. We took our bio pictures there. We saw a lot of his pictures and he told us about how he likes taking pictures of pregnant women. He showed one of these pictures and said that the kid in the woman's belly then is now our age or older.. Amazing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Identity and solidarity


One day this week we read the quote: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world…We are all meant to shine as children do." This really caught my eyes... Among the activities we have done this week, we were working in stations and we talked about different things: interviewing each other in 2019, preparing the blog, talking about media distortion, looking at iconic images, editing our photos, and designing the Peace in Focus T-shirt!


We did this activity called mapping your identity, where we had to draw a figure of a person and draw lines from its eyes, ears, liver, feet, heart, head and muscles and write how that body part has helped you to get where you've been. For example, what you’ve seen/heard/touched, how they has affected your identity, and where you want to go.

Today we played this game called Crossing the Line. Basically this game was a game to help us get to know and understand each other and we also revealed secrets about ourselves that none of us knew about. So the way you play the game is that a facilitator asks questions and you step across the line if it applies to you.

Next we went outside and took three pictures of how we saw our identity: how we see ourselves, how we think others see us, and how we want to be seen.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Leadership, Light, and Community Mapping


We’re now finishing the second week at Peace in Focus. Everyday we start off with a quote and have to write down what we think it means. One quote this week was from Albert Einstein. The quote was: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

I think that this quote means that you can choose which way to live your life. One way will turn out good while the other way may not be as great. During the day we talked about leadership characteristics. Here is the list of what characteristics we think a leader should have: Confidence, Positive Action, Influence, Public Speaking, Motivation, Role Model, Trust, Build Relationship, and Honesty

When we were done with that we went outside and talked about light and contrast. We took pictures of objects that had a reflector or sunlight on them, or objects that showed light.


My first week at Peace in Focus was awesome because we traveled around Boston and took pictures that describe the environment. I took pictures of things that describe the area around M.I.T. and the Christian Science Museum. Pictures of tall buildings and nature showed the area around M.I.T. and Christian Science Museum. In all the scenery was very beautiful and I had a great time that day.

Check out our interactive Boston map here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Peace in Focus Boston Participant Bios:


Hi my name is Aisha. I am 13 years old. I am the person that likes to discover new things and meet new people. I was born in Boston and I am from Dominican Republic. I never like to stay at home a lot. I really like to go out and have fun. When I have no choice but to stay home I will entertain my self with something. I will either make something up or figure something out. When I grow up I want to become an actor. You may ask why am I interested in photography, well I like photography because since I want to be an actor I thought being on the other side of the lens would help me get used to the camera. This is my first year so I am a beginner. I am catching up pretty fast. Join me!

Aisha's Commitment to Social Change: to volunteer at the MSPCA Angell Hospital.


I have loved photography for a long time. It's been a passion of mine for a while. I believe that Peace In Focus has really helped me interpret photography and look at it in different and new ways. My name is Ambureen, and I am 15 years old. I am a Pakistani-American and a young Muslim woman. My first big experience in photography was when I was in the seventh grade. I noticed a big, beautiful tree in my backyard. I had a clear view of it from my window. It was tall, broad and had the most gorgeous leaves. I opened the window, lifted the screen and took a picture. I continued to take pictures of that tree everyday at the same time. I noticed that my pictures had improved in time. What I also noticed was that the shadows had changed everyday, and that the colors in the leaves changed day by day. The leaves began to fall, and I continued taking pictures of that tree from early fall through the early winter. That experience really shaped me as a photographer.

I am also interested in music. I play a couple of instruments, including piano and clarinet. I am also learning how to play the guitar. Singing is another passion of mine; I love to sing. I also love listening to music. My musical taste has really expanded throughout the years. My first real love was R&B, and hip-hop. I have now broadened my taste to classic and alternative rock.

Ambureen's Commitment to Social Change: to start an HIV/AIDS awareness group in her school.


“A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.” (Martin Luther King Jr.) The more I grow in life the more I understand that quote. What is life if you have nothing to live for? My name is Antonio and I’m a 16-year-old living in an adult world surrounded with different opinions, perspectives, and skin tones. I grew up in an intense environment - what most people call the ghetto or the hood. Sometimes what you see can make you believe there’s nothing else for you but I choose to think different. Poverty, gang violence, teen pregnancy, oppression, I always wondered if the world saw what I’ve seen every day of my life. Photography is my way of showing the world what I see and Peace in Focus helped me realize that I can create change by sharing what I witness to the world. I guess I do have a reason to live!

Antonio's Commitment to Social Change: to start a self-achievement group at his high school.


My name is Dounia. The reason that I am in Peace in Focus is because I enjoy taking photos and I was introduced to Kyle last year through my school. The school I go to now is called the McCormack middle school. The grade I am going to is the 8th grade and it will be my last year in that school. Another reason why I am in Peace in Focus is because I love meeting new people and learning different ways to look at things. I am more of a listener than I am a talker when it comes to learning new information because I like to think about things.

Dounia's Commitment to Social Change: to design projects that help youth in South Boston understand Peace.


My name is Fehintola. I was named after my maternal grandmother. I am 14 years old. I go to Boston Latin School. I am Nigerian and I've been living in Boston for 12 years. I have a huge family that lives all over the world. My actual family consists of seven people. I was born on April 18th, 1995. My favorite color is purple. I am a very friendly person and am close to a lot of people. I go to church a lot. Church is a big part of my life. I see myself as a very special person with a lot of opportunities coming my way. I love to do a lot of things. I love to read, to travel; I feel that I am a very smart person, and that I am going to go some where with my life. I hope that I can help the world one day. I love when I get to come together with my friends and family, that why I love holidays like Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving. I play the trumpet, and I want to get better at playing the piano. I also want to learn how to play the guitar. I want to be a very multi-talented person. I know I’m good now, but I want to be much better in the future. And I feel that Peace in Focus can help me become a better person and help me help the world. I feel that Photography can actually help solve the problems that we are having in this world. So props to Peace in Focus because so far I feel really empowered as a teenager, I feel like I can do anything. And even if I don’t make photography as a profession, I will definitely incorporate it in my life in the future.

Fehintola's Commitment to Social Change: to start a youth program that works to redevelop empty lots and build community centers.


Hi my name is Geisha, I am 14 years old and 100% Puerto Rican. I have been playing the piano since I was 11. I'm not good at it but at least I don't give up. The reason why I joined the Peace in Focus is because I wanted to take pictures that mean more than a text. This is my second year and I love it. All the staff members are organized, they keep things on track and they help me understand about conflict and violence around the world. I hope to come back next year.

Geisha's Commitment to Social Change: to start a community center that raises awareness about hunger and homelessness.


There's this person, very different yet similar to every other human being on Earth. What makes her so different and awesome is that she's Iris =). Iris has dark furry brown eyes with a light brown complexion and wild curly black hair. She enjoys ice cream, strawberry with cake batter ice cream! And her favorite color is GREEN! Music and Art is her thing, from painting to Alicia Keys. If she's enjoying herself then it’s okay with her. Raised in Boston but loves traveling all around the world. She's been all around the United States, Dominican Republic, and Spain but intends to go to Australia, Tokyo, India, Egypt and many many more places! Iris couldn't be Iris if it wasn't for Lissette Lapaix (mother) and Borito Santos (father), who have been there for her every step of the way. And you can't forget her siblings Eduard Santos, Carlos Santos and Erick Santos, who have been very annoying yet encouraging at points. There have been other encouragements like different programs that I have participated in like TAG, Summer Search, Bikes Not Bombs, Hyde Square Task Force, Outward Bound and many others but one that I am really enjoying now is Peace in Focus. A program that involves peace and photography. Being able to express yourself, your community, and other different things within photos. All of these things come together to make the incredible, respectful, crazy, and fun person who I mentioned before, IRIS! =)

Iris's Commitment to Social Change: to start a small non-profit awareness center in order to encourage youth to get involved in programs and organizations that are making a positive change in their communities.


I was born on January 1st 1995. I was named after my great uncle Jamal. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. I moved from there when I was 3 years old to Boston, MA. My Family moved around a lot. The longest I’ve live in one-place is 3 years. I lived in the Bronx N.Y for about a year then I moved back to Boston and I still live here. When I was in the fifth grade I got a scholarship from the red sox. Then I went to the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School. I just graduated from my school a couple of months ago. I joined Peace in Focus when I was in 7th grade and this is my second year here so that means I’m a veteran. I joined “PinF” because I had an interest in learning how to use cameras efficiently and correctly. This is my second year and I joined back because I wanted to do the program again because it was very interesting last time so why not again? I love nature and environment so most of my pictures are of the environment and nature. My career goal is to become an environmental scientist and to get my bachelors degree in environmental management.

Jamal's Commitment to Social Change: to start and lead a Roots & Shoots group in his high school.


My name is Malcolm and I was born on October tenth 1993. Let’s just skip ahead to when I was 13 years old. I started at the Martin Luther King middle school. While I attended this odd school I had some of the most memorable times at school in my life. For example when one of my friends was taking the S.R.I. he copied off of his friend and still failed it, which makes no sense at all because the person who he was coping off of passed the test. Till this day I still make fun of him for that. Another example was when my friend tried to jump down the stairs but he landed wrong and started laughing. Of course I had to be the only one to say I knew you couldn’t do it right and then proceeded to talk about all the things that were wrong with that. Another memorable time was when me and my friends had a contest to see who could do the best jump over the fence, tuck and roll, hop over the rock bed, and land on the roof. It was actually quite fun. I had the best tuck and roll due to the fact that I pretty much vaulted myself over the gate. Now let’s skip ahead to me at 15. Now I’m more calm and don’t talk as much as I used to. I don’t do all of the crazy stuff I used to do because I have learned that I don’t want an accident to occur and somebody else or me get hurt. Also I just don’t want anybody to think that I have nobody to discipline me. Now I'm just mellow almost all the time except when I'm at home and my sister is bugging me.

Malcolm's Commitment to Social Change: to start a youth-led neighborhood cleanup group.


My name is Meshach and I was born in 1995 and my passions are football, math, and photography. I love doing what I do and even though I just started photography I love doing it. Peace in Focus helped me find my new passion and I an love doing it. Also football is awesome because I get to let all of my anger out of my system. My sister told me about Peace in Focus and I thank her because she helped me find a new passion in my life. I also thank my mom for helping me out when I needed to talk and get things off of my chest. She is a strong woman and I do not think that she is nothing less.

Meshach's Commitment to Social Change: to start a socially conscious music group in his high school.


WHO AM I .....

I am the little black girl who grew up in the hood and was raised to speak and act properly and got made fun of because of it. I am the girl who got tortured because of the way I talked and the clothes I wore ........ the outcast of the family and never had a mother there to tell me that it was o.k to be different who had to grow up on her own with out a female role model in my life and now a young adult that proved to the world that it is possible to do it on your own.....

Sherly's Commitment to Social Change: to advocate for more electives and AP classes in her high school.


My name is Taylor. I am Black and Italian and the second child out of three children. I am fifteen years old and attend Fenway High School and am currently going into the tenth grade. I live in Boston, Massachusetts. I joined Peace in Focus last year and really enjoyed it, so I had to come back this year. Peace in Focus is a non – profit organization that encourages youth to see what is going on their communities. We take pictures of what we find interesting in our community and what we think that we could change in our community. We also talk about the camera and what the functions are, such as ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Being from a very urban neighborhood, I like that this program is giving me different chances to see what other people usually do not see in my neighborhood.

Taylor's Commitment to Social Change: to start a youth program that works to redevelop empty lots and build community centers.