July 31st, 2014
AUSTIN (KXAN) — The world can look different through the lens of a camera. Even to kids. Students at Dobie Middle School recently finished a camera project organized by the University of Texas’ School of Social Work and their pictures will be on display at the school this fall.
The area they live in has issues of poverty, crime and language difficulties, but still, the students can find the beauty in their neighborhoods. Their pictures are hopeful, but realistic.One 12-year-old named his photo of a bumpy street, “The Road to Success is Never Smooth.” “I think what the students takeaway from this is more self-awareness, a sense of self and their community,” UT professor Dr. Cal Streeter explained. David Contreras, a volunteer with the Launchpad Project, helped recruit the students for the project. “We had kids who wanted to express where they come from and to give the rest of us a perspective on where they live,” he said.
The students who took part in the project found a new perspective that disturbed each of them: vandalism, trash and graffiti plague the area. “After doing this I saw a lot more tagging, even on tombstones,” Luis Santos said. “I was like ‘wow, these people have no respect.’” “People are not respecting what is around them and what they have,” Jesus Consuelo added. “It could really be beautiful if they actually took care of it.”
The photographs will be displayed at Dobie MIddle School this fall, giving a new perspective perhaps to the other students, and adults, who see them.