Project by India Epps -Courtesy photo
In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, photography students at Blair High School in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) were given a special assignment: create a public service announcement (PSA) that will generate awareness about breast cancer. Through creating a black, white and pink portrait, students were able to share their personal experiences and messages of hope.
“I wanted to give the students an assignment that went along with the theme of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Steve Solis, photography teacher at Blair High School. “Many high school students use social media. When they share their finished portraits online, I believe they can make a difference by helping to get the word out about getting checked.”
Part of the assignment was to research statistics and facts about breast cancer awareness from various reliable sources. With research in hand, each photography student was instructed to write on their hands or arms, a statistic or short phrase that they wanted to make the public aware of about breast cancer. Included in the portrait, the subject was to have on one pink item or wear the breast cancer awareness ribbon. The inspiration for this project came from “Dear World”, a business/art project/social experiment (http://www.dearworld.me) where people write messages on their bodies to tell a visual story.
“Through this project I learned that there were more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer. This stood out to me because that’s a huge number and my grandma is a part of that group,” said Blair photography student India Epps. “I’m now more enlightened on what many women go through and I am very thankful for her survival.”
“We are hoping to display the gallery of work in the front office at the school and/or district office for people to view,” continued teacher Solis. “If just one person sees the students’ work and is encouraged to get checked, we’ve reached our short-term goal. I’m hoping our message through the wonderful art of photography, helps accomplish that.”
The finished portraits may be viewed online through the classroom Pinterest page at:
About Blair High School: Blair High School is one of four comprehensive high schools in the Pasadena Unified School District. In 40 plus years of existence, the school has maintained an unwavering commitment to providing students with a firm, wide-ranging academic foundation on which to build a successful future. Blair is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school hosting both the Middle Years Programme for grades 6-10 and the Diploma Programme for grades 11-12, providing the framework for an integrated and international philosophy that is supported by academic rigor and opportunities to explore and learn about the world outside their immediate community.