Through “Pictures of Hopes,” Henry Ford College Student Receives Hope Scholarship

Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Lujette Patton

Thanks to the nationally-known “Pictures of Hope” program, Henry Ford College (HFC) student LuJette Patton has been given the opportunity to further his education through a full-ride scholarship at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill.

“I have a lot of dreams about education, about bettering myself. I’ve dreamed of going to school – going to college – since I was a little boy,” said Patton, of Detroit, who is studying business administration at HFC to satisfy his transfer requirements to Blackburn.

Renowned photographer Linda Solomon, of Birmingham, began “Pictures of Hope” in 2005, working with homeless children in nearly 50 major American cities, including Detroit and Flint. Solomon empowers these children to express themselves – their innermost hopes and dreams – through the eye of a camera. In fact, Walgreen’s has donated thousands of cameras since Solomon started this endeavor 12 years ago, visiting homeless shelters where she teaches them how to shoot photos.

“Pictures of Hope” has made news – both locally and nationally – since its inception. Most notably, it’s been covered by People Magazine, The Meredith Vieira Show, FOX News, ABC World News Tonight, The TODAY Show and NBC Nightly News.

“The camera allows these kids to express themselves in ways they can’t verbally. It gives them the chance to reveal how much their dreams matter – how much they matter! The old adage, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words,’ certainly applies here,” said Solomon.

Recently, Solomon worked with 24 homeless children and young adults – Patton being the oldest – living at COTS (Coalition on Temporary Shelter) in Detroit. Their photos were on display throughout January at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Patton’s photo was of the alphabet painted on a classroom wall. Its theme is a better tomorrow by way of the classroom with the caption, “My dream is to go to school.”

And he is. Patton – who has recently left COTS and moved into an apartment – began his education at HFC in mid-2016.

“‘Pictures of Hope’ is a good project. HFC is a good school. I’ve really enjoyed my classes and my teachers here. It is a great community college, and I’m proud that I got my start here,” said Patton.

Through “Pictures of Hope,” Solomon has connections to Blackburn, who honored Patton with the Hope Scholarship, which is a full-ride scholarship that will cover his tuition, as well as his room and board. Further, a local couple donated a laptop to him as well.

WXYZ Vice President/General Manager Mike Murri presented this scholarship to Patton in late January. Channel 7’s Carolyn Clifford covered this, which was an emotional moment for Patton.

“I was very touched by this, very overwhelmed. I wouldn’t have been able to attend Blackburn if I didn’t come to HFC first,” said Patton.

For further information about “Pictures of Hope,” go to http://www.lindasolomonphotography.com/PicturesOfHope/.