These are the aspirations of Albuquerque Public Schools kids whose own lives have not been easy — kids who don’t have a permanent address to call home and who receive services through the APS Title I McKinney-Vento Homeless Program.
Fifteen of these students, ages 6-19, recently participated in the Pictures of Hope program founded and led by internationally known photographer Linda Solomon. The students were given free digital cameras, courtesy of Walgreens, along with a crash course in photography by Solomon. Accompanied by mentors, they went out into the community and took photos of things that represent their dreams and hopes.
Those photos will be on display in a free Pictures of Hope exhibition from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Albuquerque Museum, 2000 Mountain NW. The kids who took the photos will be on hand to speak with visitors.
Duplicates of the photos will be available in a silent auction, with the proceeds going to the participating kids.
“It is so very important to show children that their dreams matter,” Solomon said. “It is especially important now, because they’ve been on Zoom for two years and haven’t been interacting in person. We needed to give them an opportunity to share their feelings and open up, and we had wonderful mentors from the community who guided them as they photographed their dreams and helped the kids bring out those feelings.”
Their photos, Solomon said, help these young people “tell their life story.”
Since its founding in 2005, the Pictures of Hope program has been to 54 cities. This is the ninth year Albuquerque kids have participated.
The program is funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.