The city of Wilmington has higher teen pregnancy rates and fewer kids staying in school as compared to other cities across the state. Recently, several local community organizations partnered to find out what might be leading to these statistics through an innovative research project called Photovoice.
Photovoice aims to use photographic images taken by teens to help identify and understand the barriers, facilitators and social norms of youths in Wilmington. Those findings are then shared with community leaders and policy makers in an effort to promote social and policy change.
On September 27 at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Wilmington teens unveiled their Photovoice images to an enthusiastic audience of parents, community leaders and local policy makers. Through their photographs and accompanying words, the teens uniquely captured their perceptions about their futures.
The project found teens perceive a high school diploma, access to community centers and caring adults in their lives as positive influences on their future. Negative influences on their outlook included gun violence, substance abuse and peer pressure. After the photo exhibit and multi-media presentation, the audience engaged in a rich discussion about the importance of the teens’ findings and potential venues for the Photovoice project.
With funding from Delaware’s Division of Public Health and the T.D. Charitable Foundation, Christiana Care’s Women’s Health Services team partnered with Neighborhood House, Inc., People’s Settlement Association and Kingswood Community Center, Inc. to conduct this local research project.
Photo gallery: Photovoice involves, engages and empowers teens in Wilmington
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