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NAPA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- To go to college. To help those in need. To find a talent I'm truly proud of. To find self peace and allow myself some love. These are just some of the many heartwarming dreams written down by a group of Napa County students who recently participated in a workshop called Pictures of Hope.

The program, created by internationally acclaimed photojournalist Linda Solomon, teaches students about the power of photojournalism.

At a recent workshop at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia, each student was surprised with their own camera and then challenged to share their hopes and their dreams through photography.

"Sometimes it's very difficult to share something deep within verbally," Solomon told ABC7 News. "But through an art form, through photojournalism, it's often easier to share something that's so personal."

This is something deeply personal for Solomon, who received her first camera at the age 5 and went on to make a career as a Detroit-based photojournalist. She was Aretha Franklin's longtime personal photographer and published the book "The Queen Next Door."

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Her greatest passion, however, is sharing her love of photography with the next generation. She created Pictures of Hope to help young people from underserved communities find inspiration through images, to learn how a single photo can change the world and your own sense of self.

"One photo can change a life," Solomon said. "But you gotta just give that child a chance."

Solomon has brought Pictures of Hope to dozens of cities across the country. She recently held a workshop with 14 middle and high school students who are part of the Napa County schools after school program. She came at the personal request of Superintendent Dr. Barbara Nemko, who noticed many students struggling after two years of the pandemic.

Nemko said she often talks to graduating students who haven't thought about what they want to study. She hoped Pictures of Hope would help students start thinking about it now.

During Solomon's workshop, students are asked to write down their hopes and dreams. They then take their new camera and take images to represent those aspirations.

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"We just need to show how these kids aren't dreaming for iPhones," Solomon said. "They're dreaming for things that truly matter."

Among the students participating in the workshop: 12-year-old Jonathan Ihrag. His dream? To help someone.

After 20 minutes of walking around the Culinary Institute of America and the neighboring Oxbow Public Market, Jonathan spotted an older couple holding hands and assisting one another. He snapped a photo.

"So, what I did, I found two super nice people who were holding hands, and, well, she was helping him," Jonathan explained.

Another student, Addison Andrews, had a dream of equality. She gathered a diverse group of people together and asked them to put out their hands in a circle.

"I feel like that showed ages, it showed different races...I think it was a good example or demonstration of equality," Addison, 13, said.

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

The workshop will culminate in an exhibit on Monday, May 23 at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia. Solomon has printed each students' photo, along with their dream, on a set of notecards. Those notecards will be sold to the public with 100% of all proceeds going to the Napa County Unified School District's after-school enrichment and leadership program.

Anyone in the community is invited to attend the May 23 exhibit from 5:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m.

Those who would like to purchase a set of notecards may do so here.

"Every child needs that chance to share a dream," Solomon said. "And know that it can come true."

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Tags: feel good stories building a better bay area society napa county education building a better bay area photography careers feel good students feel good stories feel good stories to share something their hopes holding hands each student students dreaming after school the workshop their dream equality solomon

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Georgia to replace voting machines in Coffee County over fear of security breach

Georgia officials announced that they will be replacing voting machines in Coffee County over fears of a security breach after a pro-Trump forensics team allegedly gained access to them.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the move serves to soothe the fears of Republicans who believe the election was stolen and to counteract any possible security breach when the team accessed the machines as part of their investigation, according to the Washington Post. He also called for the punishment of any officials that might have broken the law as part of their investigation into election fraud.


Raffensperger's newest announcement comes after his office's earlier claims, in which they confidently asserted that there had been no security breach with the voting systems. Since then, more evidence has emerged to suggest that investigators might have accessed and copied sensitive hardware and data as part of their investigation.

Georgia's replacement of the electronic voting systems with a hybrid of electronic and paper voting systems, while largely a move to do away with any future allegations of election fraud, has now come full circle and is viewed by critics as insufficient to stop future election fraud. Critics believe the Republican investigators compromised the machines and have paved the way for other hackers.

“You still have the overall problem that the software has been released into the wild to countless individuals who may have ill intent and who may be using it to figure out ways to manipulate an election,” Susan Greenhalgh, a consulting expert for the left-wing Coalition for Good Governance, told reporters, according to the Washington Post.


SullivanStrickler, the Atlanta-based technology firm involved with the investigation, has denied any wrongdoing, including claims that it copied any sensitive hardware or data.

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