BDC Spotlight: Wendy Correa
Wendy Correa is a photographer and educator from New York City. She is a Teaching Artist for the Bronx Junior Photo League our free documentary photography and college success program serving middle through high school students. For this month’s BDC Spotlight Series we spoke with Wendy to learn more about her experience working with our photography students:
Q: Why were you interested in becoming a Teaching Artist?
A: I've been working for about 7 years as a teaching artist with organizations that empower youth through interacting with their communities and expressing their point of view through photography.
Q: Can you tell us about one of your favorite experiences at the BDC?
A: My favorite feeling is when we are exploring the neighborhood together–I get to point out things that can open up conversations with the students. The process gives them the freedom to express themselves; we grow together outdoors.
Q: What is a project you’re working on now?
A: We are working on the core issues left by the impact of the pandemic. We are finding ways to build trust, confidence, and a safe family environment in our class. By building this core structure we’re hoping that the images our students have taken will speak volumes on mental health.
Q: How has teaching at the BDC impacted your own work?
A: The students and my co-teachers are inspiring. Seeing the students get excited about the moments they capture brings back nostalgia. It reminds me that photography should be fun and about exploring. It has made me think more about the kind of photographers I like to work with.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter your field?
A: I would advise you to see your perspective as special–it comes from your background and how you’ve developed. Use what you know, stay open-minded to grow, and learn to edit things carefully. Learning to edit helps you express yourself with clearer intentions.
Q: Who/what inspires you?
A: My mother is my main inspiration. As a first-generation Peruvian American girl growing up in NY, I needed to learn English fast, translate, and take care of my parents as much as possible. This helped me learn how to manage a family and look out for our best interests, so we could move forward and grow. I took those strengths into my workspace, life, and teachings. I still try to make my family proud by treating the challenges in my life not as burdens, but as additional strengths I need to survive.