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PhotoVoice Project At Norwalk's Briggs High Receives $25K Grant

Rhonda Capuano is the director of the School Based Health Centers for the Human Services Council of Norwalk.
Rhonda Capuano is the director of the School Based Health Centers for the Human Services Council of Norwalk. Photo Credit: Facebook/Human Services Council

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk-based Human Services Council announced the Perrin Family Foundation has awarded a grant of $25,000 to its Dr. Robert E. Appleby School Based Health Centers.

This partnership will fund the PhotoVoice Project at Briggs High School, as well as provide general operating support to the School Based Health Centers — the only facilities in Norwalk providing free, school-based medical and mental health care.

PhotoVoice is a social research strategy that can mobilize youth to spearhead community change. It teaches youth life-long leadership skills, how to work as a team, and how to influence change in a positive way.

Through the PhotoVoice project at Briggs, students have identified issues of community concern, captured it through photography, and then worked to bring about social change. As the program enters its third year, Rhonda Capuano, director of the School Based Health Centers, looks forward to strengthening the PhotoVoice project.

“The support from the Perrin Family Foundation will allow us to hire a part-time youth organizer who will become proficient in PhotoVoice, and then use PhotoVoice with Briggs High School students to focus on one issue with an action plan for a small, winnable change victory for the students,'' Capuano said. "Actually creating social change is where our program requires refinement, and we are excited for the support of an experienced Youth Organizer to propel our students to become true change-agents in the Norwalk community.”

Judy Meikle, who currently works with nonprofit organization S.A.V.E. (Serving All Vessels Equally) to organize youth councils at Norwalk’s high schools, has been tapped to serve as the part-time youth organizer for the School Based Health Center’s PhotoVoice project.

“Judy’s prior expertise will be invaluable to the PhotoVoice program,” Capuano said. “I am excited to take PhotoVoice to the next level at Briggs High School and see our students use this strategy to foster positive community outcomes.”

The mission of the Perrin Family Foundation is to partner with organizations based in under-resourced communities across Connecticut to create environments that support youth as leaders of social change. The Perrin Family Foundation understands youth-led social change as a long-term process that builds the confidence, knowledge, skills and collective leadership of young people while addressing the root causes of injustice and equity in their lives and community. For more information, visit: www.perrinfamilyfoundation.org .

The Human Services Council has identified unmet community needs and ‘filled in the gaps’ by creating and fostering programs that educate, safeguard, and empower the people of our communities. With a primary focus on helping children and families in the Greater Norwalk area, its five programs address child abuse and advocacy, school-based medical and mental health services, mentoring, alcohol & drug prevention, and homelessness. For more information, visit www.hscct.org.

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