YPA and Harlem’s DMTP To Train “A Thousand Young Photographers”

YPA and Harlem’s DMTP To Train “A Thousand Young Photographers”

Non-Profits Announce a New Joint Media Initiative to Make Media History


Harlem’s own Digital Media Training Program (DMTP)—fresh off the White House Student Film Festival awards ceremony—now collaborates with the inspiring, educating and empowering Young Photographers Alliance (YPA) to create media projects using photography to inspire and to train young adults. In collaboration with seasoned photography professionals, dedicated teachers and 21st-century digital technologists, the two organizations in tandem are delighted to announce their nonprofit educational initiative, “A Thousand Young Photographers” (ATYP).

A time-honored maxim holds that a picture is worth a thousand words. In kind, DMTP and YPA intend to train a thousand young photographers—to put a camera in the hands of each and every one of them. If children can frame their world anew, it will change their lives forever.

Each new photograph a child takes allows him or her to envision the world with fresh eyes—the eyes of a photographer. Every new photograph a child takes imbues a growing instinct of finding beauty in the midst of ugliness, hope where there is despair, and artistic expression across even mundane vistas. Within each reframing, a thousand photographs taken will develop a profoundly changed child. Multiply this by a thousand children, and you have a changed world!

“In short, we fully intend to invigorate profound world change—by developing and skillfully refining a child’s ability to perceive it—one thousand children at a time,” says DMTP founder Melvin McCray.

DMTP and YPA fit seamlessly together for this effort. Both are community-based, nonprofit organizations that promote youth empowerment using various forms of media—including photography, film and 3-D animation.

Were this joint initiative not exciting enough on its own merit, highly respected organizations are now lining up to become part of the action. Currently, four well-respected institutions have committed to underwrite this initiative: Boys and Girls Club of Harlem, the NYC Mission Society Grant Cornerstone Program, The Barnard College Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), and the West Harlem Group Assistance Technology Hub.

These students from the Digital Media Training Program in Harlem were among 15 winners of the 2nd Annual White House Student Film Festival. Image © Melvin McCray.