Box of Books
In February, Josh Elliot will speak at the opening of a new library at his high school -- a library being built with funds that the students fought for using the photographs and advocacy skills they developed with Critical Exposure.
D.C. Metropolitan H.S. opened in 2010 with enough money for a computer lab or a library, but not both. The principal, faced with a tough decision, chose computers. The “library” is a mostly empty room with a few boxes of donated books, most of which are old, in bad condition, and totally irrelevant – one student found a self-help book from the ‘80s for navigating a mid-life crisis.
Josh and his peers focused their Critical Exposure project on getting a real library. They took photos showing their lack of resources and examples of a great library, and presented their images, stories and a plan for a new library to their superintendent and other DCPS officials. They asked the administrators for $2,000 to get started.
They didn’t get $2,000. They got $18,000.
The pride and ownership this accomplishment has given Josh is clear – he’s less shy and his teachers say that he’s become a leader among his peers. He’s even planning to study photography in college.
“I see myself as a role model, not only for my family but for my community. Critical Exposure has contributed to that and helped open my mind to new possibilities for the better, and for the greater good.” – Josh
At Critical Exposure we give youth the tools to be seen and heard. We can’t do it without you. Please consider making a gift today to support students like Josh.