Mentoring Through Photography
CHARLOTTE, N.C.- The "flash" of a camera is more than just taking pictures for some young people in Charlotte. These impactful photography lessons are making a difference in their future.
Mark Pendergrass mentors youth by teaching photography.
"As a mentor to them, I want to see them succeed. I want to see them do well, so it makes me proud. Whether its in a Bobcats arena or they get a picture posted in their school yearbook."
He teaches the kids life skills and helps them build confidence, "Giving kids exposure to things in life they've never experienced. It could be something as little as going to a basketball game, football game, shooting a parade."
Mark first started mentoring Troi Montgomery 4 1/2 years ago. He remembers Troi thinking he could never afford his own camera. Now Troi's majoring in photography at CPCC, "He's taught me a lot about networking, how to use the camera, how to talk to people, how to have the courage to ask somebody to take a pic. "
Troi says Mark is more than just a mentor, "Mr. Mark has done a lot for me, to be honest. He's been like a father figure to me."
Mark's daughter Gianna is a 7th grader at Providence Day school. She enjoys sitting in on the photography lessons and wants to be a photographer when she grows up just like her dad .
"I love just having a camera in my hands cause it makes me feel like the biggest person in the world."
Mark says we all have the responsibility to positively impact our youth, "We have to prepare our future generation in any way possible. I do it through the use of what I love photography. Other people can do it in other ways. "