Students’ photographs look toward the future

Staff photo by Adam Urquhart Jahir Hernandez stands proudly next to his storyboard with a certificate during the PhotoVoice Gallery project, Friday.

NASHUA – The ideas for what a healthier tomorrow can look like were visualized on storyboards lining the perimeter of the Nashua Public Library theater Friday afternoon for the PhotoVoice Gallery project.

The theme of this year’s gallery was, “Dear Future Me… What are you doing to ensure a healthier tomorrow?”

Twenty-four area youth completed 18 projects in just four weeks.

“Our PhotoVoice project is something that’s used around the world that tells a story through photography, as you can see,” Nashua Division of Public Health & Community Services Bobbie Bagley said.

“Over the years in Nashua, we have expanded our project from our Nashua Police Athletic Club to include our Boys and Girls Club of Greater Nashua and our Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley, with the hopes that this project will continue to expand each year,” she added.

This project had multiple goals, including:

 to enable youth participants to record and reflect their community’s strengths and concerns;

 to promote critical dialogue and knowledge about personal and community issues within their chosen topic through large and small group discussions; and

 to provide visual representation of community experiences and problems within the context of public health, while engaging policymakers and stakeholders.

Nicole Viau, Nashua Public Health Network Services program assistant, said participants started after Independence Day and spent three weeks capturing their images.

Mainly elementary and middle school students, the children then spent the final week going through their photos and writing descriptions to accompany them on the storyboards.

However, the youth had to be selective when choosing their photos because they were allowed to display no more than five pictures in the gallery.

“It’s extremely important that we have a healthy community, and you are helping to make that possible through promoting the various ideas we see on the various storyboards,” Mayor Jim Donchess said.

Donchess attended the event to acknowledge each participant and give them a certificate in recognition of their hard work.

“It’s been really fun to see all of your projects and all the different ideas that you have. And I hope you had a good time putting all this together, and hopefully you’ve learned something from it, as well,” Donchess said.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.