Friday, February 12, 2010

self portraits

I have a picture story for you today. My office works closely with adjudicated youth working to change their lives. I try and find community support for them as they overcome some pretty amazing barriers. I wanted to you meet them, on their own terms.

You may imagine the young men who are court ordered to Camp might all be tough guys. That is true for some, and some are not yet ready to change.

Others are very scared, and very sad that they have disappointed their mothers.

Some feel like no one cares about them, no one wants them to succeed, and that no one looks them in the eyes and values them.

Some of them feel defined by people's expectations of their potential- especially when they feel like everyone else expects them to fail. Under this picture of himself in camp uniform, this young man had a perfect, smiling likeness of himself. He painted over it in gray and left this.

With budget cuts countywide, there is serious consideration for reducing camp size or even closing it to save money. Without the support these gentleman receive at camp, I believe we will be paying a heavier price in the future. I plan to write in support of the camp.

(All self portraits are copyright by TYS and may not be reused.)


Katie said...

Very, very moving. You're fighting a good fight.

lindsey said...

This is amazing. I love the work that you are's so important.