• Treson Thompson interviews a subject for The Perspective Project.
    Treson Thompson interviews a subject for The Perspective Project.

SCOUTING AROUND: Student shares others' perspectives

   Last year, Treson Thompson took a photography workshop in which one assignment was to approach a stranger, get their story, and take a photo. Over the summer, Thompson, a high school senior, inspired by that assignment and the Humans of New York series, started The Perspective Project.
   “Naturally, I’m shy, so I wanted to do it to challenge myself,” Thompson said.
   For the project, he approached strangers or acquaintances – mostly at The Daily Grind & Wine or at Tri-County Community College, where he has dual enrollment with his homeschool – and asked them if they’d like to participate. He posts a photo and the person’s story on his website and Facebook. He hasn’t had anyone say no yet.
   “I think it’s pretty cool that people are willing to do it,” Thompson said.
   In fact, he said he’s made some people feel better by asking about their lives – some have never had someone else show that kind of interest in them.
   Just like Humans of New York, Thompson doesn’t use names, even though he admits in a small community people are not as anonymous as in New York.
   “I’m glad I chose not to use names because some people asked not to take a photo of their face,” he said.
   For those people, Thompson took photos of their hands or glasses.
   He said he’s gotten some good feedback and really likes doing it.
   “For the people it has reached, it’s been a blessing and an inspiration,” he said.
   Many people have reached it through Facebook, and once at the website, people can subscribe for email updates. Thompson wants more people to see his gallery of “small glimpses” in other’s lives.
   “It’s called The Perspective Project because I want people who read it to get a different perspective,” Thompson said. “Not necessarily change their minds... at least have empathy for other people.”
   For the 18-year-old, he got more out of it than expected. He got a lot of advice from people telling stories about their decisions, he learned more about the area, he improved his photography skills, and he learned a lot about himself. He feels the project also has helped him manage his fears.
   “This project really helped me to walk up to someone and ask them questions,” Thompson said.
   One person who was really interesting to talk to was an older woman who knew a lot of history, he said.
   Thompson is hoping he can use the project for his senior thesis for homeschool classes. Whether it is accepted or not, he plans to continue the project for as long as he can. He even plans to take the project with him to college, whether he ends up in Chattanooga, Tenn., Young Harris, Ga., or somewhere else, as he pursues a degree in biology. He wants to continue doing it because it fits with his beliefs that God loves everyone and helps spreads that message.
   The Perspective Project can be found at perspective.thecuriousrobot.com.

Fire department raising funds
   This Sunday’s lunch could help a local fire department purchase a new building.
   The Brasstown Volunteer Fire Department is holding a fundraiser at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Brasstown Community Center.
   For $10, each attendee will receive a lunch including Brasstown beef chili, buttermilk cornbread, vegetable curry with rice, homemade cookies, hot coffee and cider.
   The event also will feature live music by the Pressley Girls.
   To help with the fundraising efforts, there will be live and silent auctions of local arts and crafts.
   The Brasstown Fire Department serves both Cherokee and Clay counties.
   Samantha Sinclair is Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.