PhotoVoice is a nation-wide project which empowers youth to share their voice through the power of photography. PhotoVoice brings together arts, media, development, campaigning, and social change to deliver projects that enable voice, skills building, advocacy, and work towards sustainable change. 

During the past spring, three Watauga High School students (Thomas Wilson, Emma Alexander-Eitzman, and Megan Gottfried) joined a youth empowerment movement implemented through Western Youth Network and completed a PhotoVoice project focused on alcohol and underage drinking. This particular campaign, the on-line resource for carrying out a PhotoVoice project, was developed by Prevention Strategies, LLC in partnership with the University of North Carolina Greensboro with funding provided by the National Institutes of Health. The Student Artists' Statement is as follows: 

"As WHS students, we have joined together to co-engineer an exhibit to create awareness of the harmful effects and ubiquitous nature of alcohol in our community. There are many diverse perspectives of alcohol that each photographer shows throughout their work. 

Thomas Wilson focuses on the emotional impacts that alcohol inflicts on its users. Emma Alexander-Eitzman portrays some examples of environmental consequences that are the result of alcohol use in the community. Megan Gottfried abstractly depicts the emotional decay of teen drinking."

The student artists hope this exhibit educates, inspires, and increases awareness about alcohol and related problems.  On Thursday, May 26th, 2016, an opening exhibit was held for all members of the community at Watauga High School.  The photographs are currently on display through the end of the month at the Watauga County Library in Boone.  In January, they can be viewed at the Boone Mall.  If you are a church, school, or other local organization interested in hosting the fifteen photographs, please contact Tommy Boyd at the Western Youth Network at 828-264-5174.