(l-r) Anthony, Charlotte, Alyssa, Siara, Christian and Kuira - All officers on the iJAG Success Council (a student government that promotes leadership and social and civic awarness).
A few months ago, I got an email from Mrs. Saar, who is an iJAG teacher in Council Bluffs. iJag is a wonderful program that works with students who are at risk of dropping out of school to help them continue their education and graduate. You can read more about this program here. Mrs. Saar wanted to know if I would come talk to two of her eighth grade classes about photography. I talked a little about the life of a photographer, the pros and cons of the profession, what they could start doing now to prepare for a photography career, etc. I was super nervous, but the kids were fantastic and had great questions.
A couple days ago, Mrs. Saar emailed me a copy of a newsletter created by her students, and I was in it! Below is the article, written by Matt, Alex, and Chloe.
“Things start small. They learn, they grow, like a flower until it blossoms and is admired far and wide.” Lara Hanlon, a local photographer, started out as just a regular, boring guest speaker. It was when she inspired all of us that she really took the stage. She told us that she had always loved taking pictures as a kid, then it grew to something more. She told us that great things take time, just like a photography career. Those words ignited the flame for those of us who were interested in photography to get started.
To give examples of people Lara motivated, Matt and Alex, two boys that have always enjoyed taking pictures, are now taking the 365 challenge that Lara suggested. This means that you should take one new picture each day for a year and over time you will see that your ability to take great pictures has increased dramatically. These two have even asked for cameras for Christmas! Matt and Alex believed they could be photographers after Lara told us that anyone can do it. It doesn’t have to be a really expensive camera or a professional one. It only takes someone motivated."
I love that they called me a regular, boring guest speaker. That made me laugh out loud. But it's amazing to know that they really got something out of the talk! Being mentioned in their newsletter made me feel like a total rockstar. :)
Four of the students, including Alyssa pictured above, won portrait session by doing extra work and writing an essay - you KNOW they're hardworking, motivated students when they do work that's not even required! Congrats to you four girls and good work!