Manojan Reflects on His Pod Experience

What My Pod Group Is Doing:
Our topic is about mental health and school. We are using “Photo Voice” to identify strengths and challenges in our community/school, and will use the data we collect to develop a project that responds to the issues that we identify. Photo voice is basically taking photos and letting our photos speak for themselves. This project allows not only those to whom it is targeted to aid, but also those who participate to define what are issues or strengths in a community. This brings awareness to those outside and inside of the project, which creates social change through this internal and external awareness.

How We Did It:
First, we took photographs of community strengths, challenges and coping strategies. Currently, we will work on the interviews discussing the meaning of our photos. In a group, we will look at reoccurring themes of issues throughout the community. We are also using the photos to make a zine, it’s our way to express our thoughts. This also includes poems under our images and we will be sharing this at Emery C.I. for all the teachers

Why I Joined NOISE:
The reason why I joined NOISE was to gain different experiences, and also to get my volunteer hours. At my middle school, a handful of people were picked for this program. The people who came to represent the program explained to us how we would get our hours, and a $50.00 stipend per month. In the past, I was considered to be too young to work but I got the opportunity to get both my hours and money, which made me really interested.

I am really happy I took the opportunity of being apart of NOISE because the past two years were really fun, and I felt I have learned a lot. I got many chances to talk in front of people. This has helped me become a little bit more comfortable with public speaking. We also have to work together to think of ideas when creating the project and the idea of teamwork; if we don’t work together, we can’t finish anything. I have also become more open to new things, and other people’s opinions because sometimes we have debates over issues around the community, or even the world.