Granville Youth Photographer gets Professional Training
Michka Walters, a 19 year-old participant in the Granville Resolution Project, got a chance to focus her photographic skills at the recently (March 31 to April 1) concluded Social Calendar JA Photographic Workshop, which was held at the University of Technology (UTech).
Michka, one of two inner-city students awarded scholarships to attend the seminar, was chosen for her outstanding performance in the Granville Resolution Project, a one-week intensive photography camp, held in the volatile St. James community last August.
“It was an opportunity for me to go out and get some experience,” Michka said about the workshop. “And, it was very informative.”
The course added to her basic photography and advocacy skills, as Michka learned about the features and functions of a digital camera, studio techniques, and photo-journalism, taught by renowned Jamaican photographers, Donette Zacca and Marvin Bartley.
“The exposure was very good for me,” she said of the two-day intensive course, which was held at the University of Technology. “I was very excited about receiving the scholarship.”
Michka was introduced to photography at the Granville Progressive Youth Club, which registered 17 of its members to participate in the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation project conceptualized in 2004 by Earl Jarrett, General Manager of the JNBS.
“I learned how to use the camera and speak through photography,” she said of the programme. “The project was good, everybody came out, learned together and shared their experiences of growing up in Granville.”
Kashta Graham, Managing Director for Social Calendar JA said the organisation was pleased to partner with JN Foundation to sponsor Michka’s participation in the workshop, who she said was highly recommended due to her outstanding performance in the Granville Resolution Project.
“Proceeds from each Social Calendar JA event are used to impact the life of persons from less fortunate backgrounds, who need opportunities to unearth their tremendous potential,” she said.
She explained that Michka learned valuable photographic skills from some of the best in the field. “Through this partnership with the JNBS Foundation, we are ensuring our corporate social responsibility and that we deliver on the charity gift promise made to our customers,” she added.
Saffrey Brown, General Manager of JNBS Foundation, said Michka’s participation in the workshop, should help to improve her skills.
The eight-year-old Resolution Project, formerly called Youth Zoom, is an annual programme of the JN Foundation, which equips and trains youngsters in rural high schools in photography and advocacy, as tools to inspire positive change in communities.
“This is great exposure for her,” Ms. Brown said. “Michka was undoubtedly the top photographer in the Granville Resolution Project and the most committed to advocacy in her community among the group. We are happy that Social Calendar JA extended the opportunity to her, and we hope that she seriously considers photography as a career path or hobby.”
A past student of Montego Bay High School, Michka wants to pursue photography on a professional level; but, she is also hoping to complement it by pursuing a career as a Medical Technologist. With passes for 10 Caribbean Examination Council subjects, in which she received six distinctions and four credits, Michka was able to pursue the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination subjects, in which she also did exceptionally well.
However, due to lack of financial support she was unable to take up any of the offers at The University of the West Indies (UWI) and UTech to do tertiary studies. “I didn’t get accepted for boarding,” she explained; and disclosed that, although she applied for tuition assistance from the Students’ Loan Bureau, she was not able to meet the boarding costs off campus. However, she is hoping to apply again this year.
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