[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/21/ypwr.urfirer.jpg
caption=”Melissa Urfirer, 17, started Shoot For Success to help kids at a homeless shelter learn to express themselves.”]
When kids experience tragedy, they don’t express themselves as easily as adults do. Seventeen-year-old Melissa Urfirer saw that when she taught poetry at a local homeless shelter. Some kids didn’t take to it very easily, but their feelings were brought out when Melissa brought out disposable cameras.
The kids eagerly captured the scenes of their lives, writing quick cathartic captions about what they saw. Melissa saw the shots as art. She also saw how the photos represented their ability to dream.
That marked the beginning of a program Melissa started during her freshman year of high school called Shoot For Success. The images have since been published in a book, “As I See It…” and some of the photos have been displayed in museums and galleries around New York. The organization has received a prestigious grant that allows it to offer scholarships to some of the kids who contribute, really allowing them to aim for success in life.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview