ABOUT MY PROJECT OF WORTH: The day we took my Aunt Pam to live at an assisted living facility was one of the saddest days of my life. I couldn’t believe we were leaving her with a bunch of strangers in this complex that was supposed to be her new “home.” True, it had the appearance of a home in that it had a kitchen and a living room and 6 bedrooms and a couple bathrooms. True, they called themselves a “family.” But, there was one huge thing missing: a sense of home and belonging. I left her facility thinking how sad it was that Pam’s new home had no pictures up on the walls. It felt barren, not like the home or family that my loving Aunt had grown up in. Then I realized that I could help Pam transition by actually taking pictures of her and her new home family. This is how I started PhotoGetherness, a non-profit endeavor to help bring a sense of home to group homes in South Florida. Research shows that photographs are a powerful tool in establishing a real sense of belonging, and they help make a house look and feel like a home. I have already started this project with Pam’s immediate villa. I have taken the photos of her unit. My goal is to take, develop, frame and hang pictures in her home. Furthermore, I want create a family photo calendar with group photographs and individual photographs for the home to have and use and to send copies to the other family members. Once I am successful in Pam’s villa, I hope to move on and help create this sense of belonging at Sunrise, a complex of 8 villas (with approximately 80 residents) in Miami. Once done there, I will move on to the other 119 assisted living facilities in Miami. As such, have already filed for incorporation as a nonprofit so that I can seek to raise funds.
About ME: My name is Reading Beardslee, I am 16 years old, and I am in eleventh grade at Ransom Everglades High School. I am outgoing, charismatic, kind, helpful, and I love photography. I have always been passionate about the arts, but when I picked up my first camera I instantly fell in love with photography. I have always loved taking pictures and editing them to perfection. My passion was fueled when I realized that with just my hands and my camera, I can capture someone's true personality in a single photograph. In doing so, I have found that not only am I able to bring out my subject’s inner self but the photography session helps my subjects feel special and unique. For these reasons, I began to want to use my talent and my art as a beneficial instrument for others. After visiting my Aunt Pam’s group home, I knew where I would start.
Click here to see my pitch to the Awesome Foundation about photogetherness.
To support my project, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org