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PHS Grad Honored for Photograph

October 17, 2013

  10/18/13 Eighteen year old Kelsey Schneiders, a 2013 graduate of Plymouth High School and a freshman at Purdue has been honored for her photography work by Lens, the photography blog of the New York Times.

Amy Schmeltz, PHS Yearbook Adviser and English teacher said Kelsey was one of 3,000 students who submitted images.

The Lens wanted to know what would happen if you asked high school students to help create a 21st-century portrait of the country by turning their cameras on their neighborhoods, families, friends and schools?

You would have “My Hometown” — a vibrant document of 4,289 images submitted by teenagers in school- or community-based photography programs across the United States, including rural villages and urban neighborhoods, wealthy suburbs and blue-collar Rust Belt towns.

While participants only photographed their own communities, together, the images create an important and lasting document of America today as seen by teenagers.  Kelsey’s photograph was recently published in an interactive feature that opens with a selection of 145 photographs and is also searchable by state and by photographer. Many of the images will be archived at the Library of Congress in the Prints and Photographs Division.

The project was inspired by the belief in the power of photography as an educational tool, and by a desire to help young people communicate the way they see their lives and their communities.  More than 3,000 teenagers in 45 states participated in “My Hometown.”

Kelsey’s photograph was taken in Plymouth.  The narrative says the photo “is of Grace Stokes, a senior, who is seen sitting on the stoop of an abandoned house. Half of it collapsed and its owner was a mystery, but an ancient fridge with old cans of food remained inside alongside dozens of opened books.”

Schmeltz said “I am so incredibly proud of Kelsey.  This is an amazing honor for an extraordinarily talented student.”