I have come to realize that perception is reality.
If students perceive that their lives have an inherent value and that they are fully equipped to be successful, then they will be successful. My journalism teacher poured life into me while in high school. I had no drive or ambition to go anywhere because I did not think I had anywhere to go. The simple act of capturing and recording reality forced me to ask deeper questions that eventually shaped my perception which then changed my reality.
Last year, with extremely limited resources of one computer and no cameras, we were able to publish several magazines that were very well received. Students conducted interviews, took pictures using their cellphones and did ALL the work associated with a professional quality magazine on their own time.
This year, our resources are still very limited, but, to my surprise, my students' creativity and ambition are not.
With a year of experience, they are excited to try new things. My students will use both Nikon cameras to record videos to accompany different articles, publish high-quality pictures on the android app they created, cover multiple events at once and create their own original content.
We do this to accomplish our mission to use creativity to inspire and encourage. On the high end, we hope our creativity will inspire people to be better and do better, but, at the very least, we hope to encourage people to read and feel better about who they are as individuals and the community in which they live.
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