I believe this approach humanizes these children in a way that is unavailable to them within the standard confines of a school district, where behavioral outbursts are often misunderstood or treated with detention, expulsion, and ostracization — all things that serve to dehumanize them and exacerbate their experience of trauma. Conversely, The Serendipity Center actively shows and teaches children they are worthwhile and worthy of belonging, hope, and empowerment. They equip children with the tools to care for themselves in fundamental ways that allow them to approach the world capably, and from a context of knowing and experiencing love, safety, and stability – they are humanized.
I also believe good portraiture can have the same effect — to humanize. By putting a human face on the very real emotional responses to trauma and abuse, as well as the positive, life-changing emotions related to transformation and change, I want to shine a light on the beauty of what the Serendipity Center is doing.