F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
The youth from F.E. Warren competed in a nationwide competition. In the heat of the summer, 90th Force Support Squadron Youth Programs kids found relief in the challenges of photography and thinking outside of the box. In their own little world, they created art that would be viewed by people across America.
One such artist that stood out like a rose from Brooklyn’s concrete, was Lakayshia Thorpe. She was selected as a national winner in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America 2018 National Arts Contest-Image Makers for Photography in the Editing and Filter Category. Her artwork will be reproduced and displayed in the BGCA National Headquarters’ gallery for the year and travel to regional and national conferences across the country.
The competition’s goal was to breed confidence and empower youth in freedom of expression. According to Thorpe, she learned how to see life in all its beauty and photography allows her bravado to shine. At the same time, she has a gentle spirit.
“Being behind the camera is calming, because I am in control of how things look and feel,” said Thorpe. “I don’t have to worry about anything because I know that it will be what I want. It will look good because I took the picture.”
Thorpe shares that she enjoys the simplicity of what life brings and captures the moments as she sees them.
“I really love taking pictures of my sister, who just started kindergarten. My sister is pretty cool and just does really creative things. She makes some of the most beautiful faces and just resonates joy in all that she does.”
Originally from Oxford, North Carolina, the U.S. Air Force is why she calls Cheyenne, Wyoming home.
She got into photography because of her best friend.
“My best friend Olivia is obsessed with taking pictures on my phone,” said Thorpe. “She likes to take a lot of pictures of herself, so she inspired me to get into photography. I don’t really like being in photos, but I like being behind the camera.”
One lesson from Michelangelo’s life is he was able to create his masterpieces because he did not see the rock. He saw the possibilities and not the problems.
“When I took the photo it was just an umbrella and a bottle,” Thorpe said. She turned a simple umbrella and bottle into award-winning art presentation which allowed her to win the editing and filter category.
She came up with the idea for Shattered Dreams of Brooklyn photo from the inspiration of others.
“Through creativity and instruction I created a vision that was uniquely my own,” said Thorpe. “I like to thank Cerrina (Smith) for her instruction at the Youth Center Annex and another inspired artist who helped me to see the vision through the broken glass windows of Brooklyn, New York.”
Thorpe shared some final thoughts for other young kids.
“I believe in this world we should not just work to live, we should work to give,” said Thorpe. “It is about making a better place for everyone and being thankful for what we have. You can be whatever you want to be--you just have to believe.”
Editor’s Note: This program is part of many creative and innovative programs for F.E. Warren AFB youth. The youth programs are where school age care exist to meet the needs of working parents and their children. The programs provide opportunities to meet the social, emotional, physical and cognitive needs of youth. Developmentally appropriate activities, offered in a relaxed and homelike environment, encourage school age youth to explore their world in a fun-filled setting. If you want to know more, contact the F.E. Warren Youth Program coordinator at 773-2564.