Local Youth Use Photovoice to Take a Stand!

Last month, seven youth participated in a Photovoice project, supported by the Latino Collaborative of San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services to explore issues that are important to them. The youth are part of a community with unique and complex needs: Latino, hearing-impaired youth and siblings of immigrant families. This population is faced with many barriers in the community, including language and resource access issues. Many times youth and families have to travel outside their city (and even county) of residence to access basic necessities, particularly education. Not only are families attempting to acculturate, but they are attempting to engage in three languages (Spanish, English, and American Sign Language).

During the month-long Photovoice project, facilitated by staff from the Office of Diversity and Equity, youth (aged 8-17 years) met weekly to investigate what matters most to them through photography and narrative, resulting in seven completed exhibits. The youth were asked to identify a topic or issue that was important to them and while many of the youth agreed that standing up for those being bullied or otherwise going through a difficult time was something very important to them, their responses were as diverse as can be! Some identified as having been bullied themselves; others identified their own strengths and values as important topics to explore. In the end, these youth identified topics including: Compassion, Resiliency, Strength, Life, Equality and Community – all things for which they are:

Not Afraid to Stand Up!


Photovoice is a community-based research method where community members whose voices are often unheard, photograph their experiences and identify important social issues around mental health and substance use that impact their everyday lives. Photovoice leads to important discussions around actions that can take place to address these issues. Projects are exhibited at various public locations throughout San Mateo County. To learn more about Photovoice, please contact Kathy Reyes at ekreyes@smcgov.org or call 650-573-2174.

One comment

  • Compassion, Resiliency, Strength, Life, Equality and Community …. Yes!!!!! Thank you Kathy for sharing this and for doing such important work!!