(Jan. 2, 2019) Catherine Read interviews Kevin Krisko, founder and President of the nonprofit images for Good, and Yassmin Salem, a student currently working with the organization. They discuss the history, purpose and goals of this unique program that teaches visual storytelling while supporting the work of other non-profits.
Images for Good is a mentored service photography nonprofit that empowers new service leaders in the community, using photography as a tool of change. Students who are interested in telling the stories of important work being done in the community are mentored in the art of photography to help amplify and elevate the good work being done all around them. Krisko founded the organization after volunteering his own services for nonprofit events, because often times they do not have a budget to hire a photographer to capture professional style images. He thought that pairing the opportunity to teach a student about the art of photography, while giving back to the community, was a perfect way to both teach and inspire students. So images for Good was born, and is currently thriving.
The all-volunteer staff strives to close opportunity gaps through youth development and social innovation. Images for Good partners with small, community based nonprofits to document their events and tell their stories. Krisko emphasizes that it is important to have a diversity of perspectives when telling stories, so images for Good is deliberate about recruiting students from a variety of backgrounds. Their recruiting material is even translated into ten different languages.
Students who participate in this program are taught and mentored by professionals in the field. The goal is not only to teach photography skills, but also to open the students’ eyes to the world around them. Krisko notes that they teach students how to see things differently by bringing heart and soul to their work, with the goal of inspiring the students to ultimately live their life in a more altruistic manner. Once a student graduates from the program, they are encouraged to in turn become mentors to new students who want to get involved.
Yassmin Salem, a student at George Mason University and current participant, was connected to images for Good when searching for a community service opportunity as part of her course work at school. She has thoroughly enjoyed her experience working with the organization, and was excited to be exposed to so many community nonprofits that she did not know about before she embarked on this journey. She has learned about photography and editing skills, as well as how to frame a good picture, capture authentic images and how to tell a story through her pictures.
Since inception in March of 2015 images for Good has worked with over 100 nonprofit organizations and covered over 150 various engagements. They have brought in 27 adult mentors to inspire, teach and plant seeds in the students who they work with. They are always looking for more adult volunteers, and welcome any donations to help purchase more equipment and continue their good work. As the organization grows and they build a network of relationships, Krisko hopes to inspire students to be open and welcoming to new people and new experiences, as well as learn how to advocate and support causes that are meaningful to them.
Krisko is grateful to everyone who has helped images for Good get to where they are today, including individual donors, corporate donors and everyone who volunteers. They can be found on Twitter (@imagesforgood), Facebook and Instagram (@imagesforgood) as well as online at www.imagesforgood.org