By Yousef Alsdudi
Georgia teen, Autumn Alexander, plans to pay it forward.
After growing up and watching her single mother’s selfless commitment to her, Alexander tries to live by the saying, “I do well by doing good.”
“My mom is my role model,” she said. “She goes out of her way to get me what I need and to create opportunities for me.”
One of the ways she plans to pass along the generosity she received is through photojournalism.
“Everyone has a story and we need to represent their stories,” she said. “The best way I know how to do that is through photography.”
Alexander, 17, also expresses herself on the basketball court and softball field. She played basketball since she was 6, and softball from sixth through 11th grades and desires to continue during her final high-school season. Two older cousins who played baseball inspired Alexander to play softball.
“I wanted to be cool like them,” the Atlanta native said.
By ninth grade, she realized she enjoyed the sport on her own and stuck with it after considering quitting several times. Her commitment paid off for her and her school, Paideia School Pythons. She won the Coach’s Award once, and the Best Teammate award twice.
The coach for her Northside Youth Organization rec softball team was also awarded the outfielder game balls twice – once for catching a fly ball for a game-ending out, and the other for a game-winning RBI bunt.
On the basketball team, Alexander, five feet nine inches tall, won the Best Rebounder award.
“Don’t go to where the ball is,” she remembers her coach telling her. “Go where it’s going to be.”
Alexander also received the Coach’s Award on her AAU team after the 2015 summer season.
Alexander loves softball, she said, and believes she will have a chance to play in college.
Photojournalism is where she believes she can do the most good, though.
Math teacher, Kemi Griffin, introduced Alexander to photography. Alexander became the regular babysitter for Griffin’s children, now six and nine, and Griffin became Alexander’s godmother.
Alexander is glad she was introduced to photojournalism, and brought up the cliché of a picture being worth a thousand words.
“I can say those words without actually having to say them.”