titled by student participant

titled by student participant

Teens Tell Us 
wrkxfmly Student Photography Awards 2017-2018


When it comes to the story of work and family, teens have the inside scoop.

Photography students in high schools across the country share their honest, poetic, and sometimes audacious perspectives on the overlap of work and family as participants in the wrkxfmly program.

Their photographic journeys are both deeply personal and a key chapter in the evolving narrative about work-and-family life in the United States. What does the impact of work on family—and vice versa—look like through the eyes of young people who are embedded observers of family dynamics, caregiving roles, and the echoes of everyday workplace pressures and pleasures?

During the 2017/2018 school year, over 950 student photographers examined this deeply personal and challenging topic with the support of teachers and photo-facilitators, guided by an adaptable curriculum aligned with Common Core standards. They submitted over 2,000 photographs for consideration for wrkxfmly Awards of Excellence.

I guess I never knew what my parents were doing for their jobs—not just their careers, but also taking care of us. Now I can understand them better.
—  YOKKI C., participating student

Curators Geoffrey Biddle and Trudy Wilner Stack reviewed works from 49 photo classes in 23 schools across 8 states. The outstanding images they selected for Awards of Excellence are now available online to the public for the first time in the program’s five-year history.

Working Assumptions values the important perspectives that young people from diverse communities contribute to the work-and-family multi-faceted story. The wrkxfmly project is eager to share their individual experiences, which bring forward wide-ranging and fluid definitions of what family is. There is no one picture that can capture the complexity of the work-and-family dynamic in our 24/7, 21st-century lives.

Through wrkxfmly, Working Assumptions seeks to validate student voices and encourage meaningful conversations about work-and-family life, today and for the next generation.

Working Assumptions thanks all the students who participated in the wrkxfmly program this year, as well as teachers who led the assignment and photo-facilitators —all practicing artists— who coached students throughout their project.

To learn more about the wrkxfmly assignment and how you can participate, click here or contact Barbara Filion, Director of Education, at: barbara@workingassumptions.org.

All images copyright of student photographers.

Participating schools and teachers are:

  • Centaurus High School, Lafayette, CO
    Dawn Deming

  • Charles O. Dewey M.S. 136, Brooklyn, NY
    Gordon Baldwin

  • Dawson High School, Lafayette, CO
    Sarena Hebrand

  • DeKalb High School, Waterloo, IN
    Jessica McNulty

  • Eastside Community School, New York, NY
    Leigh Klonsky

  • Framingham High School, Framingham, MA
    Scott Alberg

  • High School of Fashion Industries, New York, NY
    Ben Russell

  • Humanitas Academy of Art and Technology, Los Angeles, CA
    Adriana Yugovich

  • La Cañada High School, La Cañada Flintridge, CA
    Gayle Nicholls-Ali

  • Lincoln High School, San Francisco, CA
    Jack Alter

  • McCallum High School, Austin, TX
    Dave Winter

  • Paschal High School, Fort Worth, TX
    Andrew Davila

  • Poudre High School, Fort Collins, CO
    Rick Ney

  • Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, Los Angeles, CA
    Oliver Shipley

  • Salem High School, Salem, MA
    Kristen McCarthy

  • Southwest High School, Fort Worth, TX
    Darcy Deupree

  • St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, MN
    Stefanie Motta

  • Tobin Fine Arts School at Saint Mary’s Hall, San Antonio, TX
    Kyle Peterson

  • Trimble Tech High School, Fort Worth, TX
    Shannon Oden

  • Ursuline Academy, Dallas, TX
    Bill Thompson

  • Westlake High School, Thornwood, NY
    Lauren Morris