On Friday night, Youth Opportunities Unlimited held an awards ceremony for our mentors and mentees. YOU has been in existence for 21 years. Unfortunately, the organization is at the end of a major funding envelope, and because we are mainly project-based, we are facing an uncertain future. That did not stop anyone from having a great night on Friday. Mentors and mentees alike enjoyed the evening of dance and dub poetry performances and a buffet dinner. Everyone dressed up, of course, boys in their best shirts and ties and girls in dresses fit for a prom. There were no sagging pants to be seen and the hairstyles were intricate. As I carry my camera to document the event, I am almost immediately deluged with the young people wanting me to take photos of them. It is amazing how quickly the large groups of the immediately converge into this highly organized pose, like a flock of birds switching direction in an instant. They wanted to go by the pool so we snuck through the hotel and took a few snaps before they got too excited and started getting rowdy. It was also what I hope is an auspicious start to a link we established between a photographer I met at Emancipation Park and one of our youth, Jomo, who is interested in this art. The photographer, Roderick, goes to events and weddings and snaps pictures. He then downloads them to a machine that can print them instantly. He has said Jomo can accompany him to these events and learn a little about the trade. The two met on Friday evening and Jomo was very interested in learning more. Check out lots more pictures below.

On Friday night, Youth Opportunities Unlimited held an awards ceremony for our mentors and mentees. YOU has been in existence for 21 years. Unfortunately, the organization is at the end of a major funding envelope, and because we are mainly project-based, we are facing an uncertain future. That did not stop anyone from having a great night on Friday. Mentors and mentees alike enjoyed the evening of dance and dub poetry performances and a buffet dinner. Everyone dressed up, of course, boys in their best shirts and ties and girls in dresses fit for a prom. There were no sagging pants to be seen and the hairstyles were intricate. As I carry my camera to document the event, I am almost immediately deluged with the young people wanting me to take photos of them. It is amazing how quickly the large groups of the immediately converge into this highly organized pose, like a flock of birds switching direction in an instant. They wanted to go by the pool so we snuck through the hotel and took a few snaps before they got too excited and started getting rowdy. It was also what I hope is an auspicious start to a link we established between a photographer I met at Emancipation Park and one of our youth, Jomo, who is interested in this art. The photographer, Roderick, goes to events and weddings and snaps pictures. He then downloads them to a machine that can print them instantly. He has said Jomo can accompany him to these events and learn a little about the trade. The two met on Friday evening and Jomo was very interested in learning more. Check out lots more pictures below.