In Philadelphia, a group of motivated students are spending four weeks of their summer vacation in a journalism boot camp. The Temple University High School Press/Journalism Workshop provides an immersive experience for urban youth in the art of documentary photography and journalism.
Many of the students enter the program without previous journalism experience but by the time the month is up, participants leave the workshop with solid skills and confidence in their abilities to document the world around them.
Along with the staff at Temple University, professional photographers and reporters provide instruction to students. This summer, photojournalist Andre Lambertson, a Pulitzer Center grantee, guided the students through a daylong workshop.
Lambertson's film and photography projects document stories of healing and transformation. His work includes coverage of youth violence in Baltimore, sexual slavery in Sierra Leone, and the impact of HIV/AIDS in post-quake Haiti.
While Lambertson has taught for 10 years in a variety of settings such as the International Center of Photography and Fordham University, he is particularly passionate in his work with young people.
"It's wonderful to be in front of a group of young people and talk to them about the stories they have inside of them," Lambertson said after the workshop. "Instead of telling stories through my photography, I'm empowering them to tell their own stories."
Lambertson has worked with middle and high school students through the Pulitzer Center's Global Gateway program, an educational initiative to bring international reporting projects classrooms with the goal of encouraging global awareness, and with college students through the Center's Campus Consortium network. He has also taught children at the Brooklyn Museum and former child soldiers in West Africa.
"It's one thing to do your own work but it's another thing to talk to young storytellers. It's beautiful."