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This is a selection of 18 photos of an 18-year-old living in Normal Heights. I met Stephanie when she was 13. I had just turned 30. We were paired through the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program in San Diego.

Five years later, Stephanie has graduated from high school, is taking college classes, is preparing to transfer to a 4-year university, and is trying to figure out which direction she wants to head. She’s a talented musician, poet, and writer but could probably succeed in whichever field she puts her energy into. She’s been tested, she’s suffered, and she’s lashed out. She’s a teenager. She’s 18.

For this project I thought we would start with a grand message or theme, but I simply became a witness, not quite in the background. Stephanie has had an editorial (as well as starring) role throughout.


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