Photographer Starts Campaign to Boost Children's Self Esteem

Got the idea for "I Am so Awesome" after he was a crime victim, and wanted to lift up kids to make better decisions.

Sitting on a chair in front of a bright, blue backdrop with the words "I am so awesome" printed on it, second grader Demor'ae Crawford crosses her legs and flashes a big smile. She's getting her picture taken, but it's not Photo Day at her school.

Photographer Elijah Davis recently visited Lockerman Bundy Elementary School in west Baltimore with a specific goal in mind. He wants to use photography to help boost children's self-esteem by giving them a powerful message: "I am so awesome." Not only does the process of taking the photos make children happy, they can go back to the image when they're feeling lonely or sad, to remind them that they're special.

"It connects to our district's initiatives of social and emotional learning. Kids are able to identify their strengths, and their self-perception is actually in the light," Kimberly Hill Miler, the school's principal, told WBAL-TV .

The project is personal for Davis. He said he got the idea after he was the victim of a violent crime. The man who pulled a gun on him was a young person, and he wondered if the outcome would have been different if the young man who attacked him was taught to love himself at an early age.

"If I was able to reach that young man before he actually pulled a gun on me to rob me, what could I do, what can I say to him to change his circumstances where he didn't feel the need to do what he did?" - Elijah Davis

Photographer Elijah Davis talks about his "I Am so Awesome" initiative.

Along with boosting the students' self-esteem, Davis hopes the project will help students to make better decisions in their lives. He plans to take his project to more schools in order to spread his message and help to reduce gun violence in the community.

We think that is so awesome.

(Source: images WBAL-TV )

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