Inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York, the seventh grade English team comprised of Symphony Romaine, Ryan Randolph, and Sarah Parham wanted to offer students the opportunity to explore their local community by interviewing and photographing a person that they may pass by every day but have never gotten to know. Too often we look but don’t see, hear but don’t listen, and encounter without fully knowing our world.
Seventh graders learned about the Humans of New York (HONY) movement and studied the rules of photographic composition with art teacher Katy McDougal. Each student then prepared a series of interview questions and selected a member of the Lovett community to interview and photograph. Ultimately, students paired the photographs with quotations that they found to be representative of the person or that offered a meaningful perspective that connects with the universal human experience.
Through the seventh grade's novel studies, teachers emphasized the value of the individual story and the significance of diverse voices and life experiences. With this project, students gained further empathy by learning the stories of their peers and Lovett faculty and staff. Because we share our daily lives at Lovett, students were initially tempted to assume that we all have similar life stories. In fact, each interview offered a rich and unique insight; collectively, the experiences shared through the Humans of Lovett project offer a range of lenses into the human experience.