The Aja Project is a San Diego Non Profit organization founded in 2000, created under the mission of providing photography based programming to transform the lives of youth and communities. This subject holds near and dear to my heart as I myself am a product of using art and photography to transform my own life.
Growing up without any younger siblings in the household I always gravitated towards the arts and my creativity to transport me into a new world. My best friend and I were gifted a camera from his mother and all we wanted to do was create movies, script new characters, and watch them evolve through our storyboards to the screen. With those close to me in and out for jail time, my father struggling with major heart problems, and a big move from my home state during my freshman year of high school my reasons to escape felt overbearing at times. Despite the positive outlook I attempted to carry, behind my smile I was deeply saddened.
In dealing with this there was one thing that always kept me afloat... my creativity. Like a life raft, ideas always came to me, often just at the right time. Everything from picking up a guitar, to a camera, starting a new business, to learning a new concept gave me that much more reason to learn, stay strong, and aspire to master something new.
In collaboration with KPBS and the Media Arts Center in San Diego I will be leading a youth group of youth programming dealing with the art of story telling with an emphasis on ones own personal story.
Sharing your personal story is tough. Some people do not want to examine that story and keep the book closed for various reasons. For me however I feel empowered knowing and sharing my own story. It makes me remember how strong I was (and wasn't) but how over time I was able to overcome.
That leads me to believe anything is possible.