"Yeah, music did help me because...If I wasn't doin' music I'd be like this gang, this Asian ganger. I'd probably be in jail right now. Jail or dead or I'm trying to get at my enemies and stuff. But it made me realize, 'Man, I can't.' I give up on the gang bang." - Alex
Meet YH, Tyree, and Alex. These three young men are all working as part of New Earth non-profit's Explore Job Enrichment Program.
New Earth is a Los Angeles area non-profit that offers artistic enrichment, educational programs, and transition services to incarcerated and at-risk youth. YH, Tyree, and Alex are all alums of New Earth's F.L.O.W program - Fluent Love of Words. It is a poetry program offered in juvenile detention camps. New Earth now offers employment through a partnership with Explore.org, a website that uses live-streaming cameras strategically placed all over the world to broadcast animals online to web viewers. YH, Tyree, and Alex are all now working at New Earth as Explore camera operators.
The United States incarcerates more of its youth than any other country, and recidivism rates are high. The juvenile detention system is not working for its youth. It only encourages reoffending. It is time we listen to these young men to learn what does work. To learn their dreams, to learn what they need to make the life they want.
New Earth is showing that there is another way to work with incarcerated and at-risk youth, and it begins with creating the space for youth to dig deep in themselves. For this project I used photography and interviews to learn from YH, Tyree, and Alex, about their lives, experiences, and the ways New Earth and now Explore are helping them stay on a path to success.
Check out the exhibit here:
Learn more about New Earth here: New Earth Non-Profit
Visit Explore to see the work of the camera operators and watch bears, owls, whales and more, here: Explore