Teaching Photography & Advocacy to D.C. Youth

Dec 10, 2012

Every 26 seconds a student drops out.

Photo by Samera
Photo by Samera


Every 26 seconds a student drops out of high school. 

Samera was one of them. Twice.

In her junior year, Samera – a bright, charming and talented teen – became the target of bullies. She was harassed so severely that she dropped out. Samera cut herself off from friends and rarely left home. 

She eventually decided to try again and enrolled in a charter school. A few months later, she was told that she’d have to start over as a freshman because they wouldn’t transfer her credits. Samera dropped out again. After another six months, she enrolled in a third school that accepted her credits but was known for its low academic standards, violence and truancy. 

Samera is now a Fellow with Critical Exposure,which teaches youth to use the power of photography and their own voices to become effective advocates for school reform and social change. Armed with her photos, Samera is fighting for more support for students attempting to re-enroll in high school. 

Excitingly, Samera is now on track to graduate. She plans to go to college to pursue a degree in photography. Through Critical Exposure, she’s become confident, engaged and - most importantly - empowered to create the change that she and her peers need to succeed.

The changes we’ve seen in Samera are remarkable, and her potential to improve her community is even greater. She is proof that students who drop out are not just statistics – they're artists, advocates, and leaders waiting to find their voices. 
Picture what youth could do with the opportunity to change the world around them.
Give them a camera and see what develops.

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Project Leader

Adam Levner

Washington, D.C. United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Teaching Photography & Advocacy to D.C. Youth