Lisa Golomb first got involved on the Campus through her son’s Mitzvah project six years ago. After a wonderful experience that “definitely left its mark on all of us,” she came back as a Lunch Bunch volunteer at Pleasantville Cottage School’s Cottage 21. An avid amateur photographer, Lisa started the Photography Project, taking large, beautiful portraits of the youngsters with the hope of creating a “visual history of the cottage.” Through photography, Lisa has taught these youngsters to see themselves and others in an entirely new light.
The whole process of creating the portraits was intense and moving. Many of the kids couldn’t understand why I wanted to photograph them. I remember one intimidating young man who would barely look at me. I suggested we take a walk, and by the end of our session, he was smiling and relaxed, letting his guard down. It resulted in an amazing portrait and he saw himself in a way he hadn’t before. I, too, saw and experienced differently each child I photographed.
Everyone knew me as the camera lady, so when they asked me to teach a photography class as part of the Therapeutic Arts program, I said yes. I wanted it to be a real learning experience for the kids, so I developed a challenging curriculum that included weekly homework assignments. The kids took some amazing shots, especially on our field trip to the Botanical Gardens. They sold their beautiful work at the Arts in Action fundraising event last year.
The more I’m on Campus, the more I get pulled in. Now I’m mentoring two kids who were in my photography class. Once you get to know them, you simply cannot not be there for these kids.”