Distance Traveled


Cyrita Haines
Digital Documentary Photography
December 2007

The goal of my project was to show and send a strong message to others that they
can excel in spite of the environment they may grow up in and how important
education and drive are to that success. I accomplished this by documenting
Andy Smith's social transience from Gaston, NC to NCSSM and his projected path
to Duke--all afforded by his drive and educational success. My work with Andy has
largely resonated with sentiments and issues from my own similar story, such as
a feeling of awkwardness or existing in the peripheral of the family when going
home for holiday breaks. However, this is not my story--exactly. It is Andy's, and so I was not surprised to find differences in our stories, especially differences in respective backgrounds, home environments, and families. Nevertheless, we share a drive, a thirst for success "in spite of." Thus we are united in our paths to success through education. Overall, I fell as though my project was a success. I learned a lot from Andy, and he from me. We look forward to continuing our friendship. I hope to see him in Duke's 2012 freshman class.