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Through Their Eyes

Project Challenges

The Working On Me Club is designed to get middle school youth to create, invent, and imagine out of the box, using critical thinking skills, group discussions, and skills acquired through workshop participation.


Each year participants engage in a Challenge to create Art projects using socially impactful photography.  The Challenge uses photography as an art form to link and expresses a social concern or mission.  Youth are charged with creating projects that will elicit emotion, conversation, thought, and action by community members and leaders. 

2018 Through Their Eyes as they were Meant to be Heard Project:
Through Their Eyes as they were Meant to be Heard Project competition addressed socially conscious messages.
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2019   Project Challenge:  The Beauty in a Bando 

The Challenge for 2019 deals with community development and architectural photography. Participants were charged with visiting the Collinwood and Glenville communities and photographing abandoned commercial properties and developing a community plan to repurpose the space.  


The showcase will occur in Oct. 2019, but one of there workshop sessions is featured below. 


The project received funding support from:  


  • The Cuyahoga Arts & Culture

  • Neighborhood Connections

  • V.O.I.C.E. Consulting 

Behind the scenes with Beauty in a Bando 

Summer: Beauty in a Bando led by Dorcus Johnson

Neighborhood:  Glenville 

St. Martin de Porres Family Center  - The Leader in Meh

Summer: Beauty in a Bando Photo session led by Jermaine White, Jr. 

Neighborhood:  Glenville

St. Martin de Porres Family Center  - The Leader in Meh​

The youth completed the project using a drone and iPads.

Fall: Beauty in a Bando 

Neighborhood:  Collinwood 

2020 - Through Their Eyes: An Illustrative Walk Through Culture

Through Their Eyes: An Illustrative Walk Through Culture will use photography as a tool to develop an artistic lesson of culture as it is seen through the eyes of youth.  Using concepts learned from our 2019 Through Their Eyes:  The Beauty in a Bando, in which participants researched the Glenville and Collinwood communities and discovered the heritage of the abandoned commercial real estate,  Through Their Eyes: An Illustrative Walk Through Culture will go beyond the culture of the structure and to the inhabitants of the community.  Participants will engage in photography and culture discussion workshops and field trips to develop an illustrative travel guide of culture from the vantage point of youth. Youth will photograph their cultural journey and compile complete projects into one comprehensive e-book. As the concept of culture has become as diverse as “diversity,” participants will be permitted to target both broad and specific ideas of how they view culture.  


The project is designed to link Artistic Photography with Research, Literacy,  and Critical Thinking.  In the past, Through Their Eyes projects have been linked to competitions; this year, we will feel it is important to use current terminology and replace competition with “Challenge.”  The Challenge is a critical component to the project as it here where the community and participants have the opportunity to engage in conversation about the final products. 


Through Their Eyes: An Illustrative Walk Through Culture gives youth a platform from which their voice can be heard. The project will launch and build relationships with community leaders and youth while developing youth in roles as change agents.  To understand diversity, we must experience the culture.  Youth are more receptive to diversity and culture than many adults; this project will illuminate youth as both change agents and educators to the community, dispel personal challenges youth experience in school by linking academics to application in an artistic format.


Goal:  To use photography as an illustrative artistic tool  to present and discuss culture 


How will you know you have accomplished or made progress towards your goal?

  • Participants will be able to define the typical definition of culture.

  • Participants will be able to identify different aspects of culture.

  • Participants will submit projects for the challenge and elicit community conversations and responses through their projects. 

  • Participants will have a voice in discussions of culture.


COVID-19 Project Adjustments:


Due to safety, the following adjustments were made:

1.  The education sessions focused on subculture

2.  The Summer Camp session was held virtually, while the youth employment sessions          were conducted in a hybrid format (virtually and onsite)







St. Martin de Porres - Virtual Summer Camp Participants 

Howard Hudson's view of subculture:


Fashion, Music & Dance, and African American Hair 

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Sheray Smith's (Facilitator) 

view of subculture:


Fashion - Praise Dance Attire, Music & Dance, and African American Hair 

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Keyon & Keyonna McClintons'

view of subculture:


Fashion - Dresscode & Food

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Y.O.U. Summer Youth Employment  Participants - Onsite 

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Jaylah Alexdander's 

view of subculture:


Nail Art and African American Hair 

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Jaquana Field's 

view of subculture:


Food Seasoning, Becoming an Adult during the Pandemic, and African American Hair 

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Shelby Hill's 

view of subculture:


Losing a Loved One during the Pandemic,  Military Funeral, and Surviving during the Pandemic

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Motivating others during the Pandemic 

Jaquana Fields

Jaylah Alexander

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Tahniya James

Shelby Hill 

2021 -  Through Their Eyes: Spaces & Places 

Through Their Eyes: Spaces & Places

St. Martin de Porres - Summer Camp Participants 

2021 Through Their Eyes Spaces & Places Challenge Projects

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