Alexia 2017 Professional Winner and 2016 Student Winner Sarah Blesener is having an incredible weekend. Extensive work from both of her Alexia projects is being published in print and online this weekend by some of the world’s the most prominent publications.
California Sunday Magazine is publishing “Border Agents in Training,” which looks at the U.S. Border Patrol Explorer program. With participants ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old, the academy is designed to teach students to become good American citizens and also acts as a recruitment tool for the Border Patrol.
The story is part of the California Sunday A Teenage Life issue and is a chapter in “Beckon Us From Home,” her 2017 Alexia Grant project. The magazine will be distributed with both the San Francisco Chronicle and the LA Times tomorrow, Sunday Dec. 3. You can see it online now.
On Dec. 1st, National Geographic published “A New Generation of Kids Learns to Live Like Soldiers” which examines the Young Marines, another chapter in her 2017 Alexia Grant project. The Young Marines is a nonprofit group with 300 clubs nationwide that draws participants from ages eight and up.
“Her aim” National Geographic explains, “has been to explore how different combinations of religion, love of country, and military-style training come together in the teaching of ‘new Americanism,’ which Blesener defines as a renewed embrace of the centuries-old theme of American exceptionalism and manifest destiny.”
Finally, in Sunday’s New York Times, Blesener’s 2016 Alexia Student Grant project, “Haven” (also known as “Chavi”) will be published. The work is an examination of boyhood, adolescence and belonging in the Bronx.
“In ‘Haven,’ the photographer Sarah Blesener looks beyond the headlines, capturing a group of neighborhood boys coming of age. Her images defy the one-dimensional stereotype of ‘young boys in the Bronx.’ No gang signs or bandanas, no flashing of guns, no clutched Hennessy bottles or blunts. Just kids,” says the New York Times.
The project will be found in the Metro section tomorrow, or it can be read online now.
The Alexia Foundation could not be prouder to support this important work. We are thrilled to see all of these chapters widely published, reaching millions worldwide, and bringing vital conversations about youth, patriotism and nationalism to the fore. Be sure to pick up your copies of this outstanding work tomorrow.