‘Humans of Antioch’ Project Captures Stories from Our Community

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Special Projects: CHSD117

By Karen Ritter
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction

You may be familiar with Humans of New York, a series of interviews and photographs of the common people of New York and their remarkable stories. ACHS’s Ms. Soberano’s Intro to Journalism students took the idea of Humans of New York, and wrote vibrant and creative stories of a variety of inhabitants of Antioch in the Humans of Antioch project. 

A couple of the students from the Intro to Journalism class, Ashlyn Olson and Shawn Shaputis, created projects titled Humans in Love and Struggles of Athletics, respectively. According to these Antioch students, this project was all about sharing people’s stories and getting to know the town and school environment around us. It is about connecting people through what makes us all human. 

Ashlyn and Shawn chose to interview a variety of people within the Antioch community, and the interviews were impromptu, rather than planned out. Ashlyn walked the school community in search of friendly faces. The most surprising part of the stories that Ashlyn wrote for Humans in Love was the way people spoke about their loved ones. When Ashlyn asked them about their first loves, they remembered them with such detail. Ashlyn said it was so amazing to hear stories from people about who they are in love with. 

Shawn wrote about how athletics shapes the Antioch community. He chose people by finding athletes or coaches to interview, and asked them to dig deeper into the culture of a variety of sports. Shawn himself is an athlete, but he learned about sports that he does not play, simply by talking to others who share a passion for athletics like himself. He learned that athletics and extracurricular activities in general shape the way people live and think in the future. 

Ashlyn chose this theme, Humans in Love, because she thinks being in love is such a beautiful part of life. Exploring people’s stories of their first loves and current loves was very appealing to Ashlyn. 

Ashlyn’s project captures the spirit of Antioch, “because there is so much love here. Some people see our town as mundane and small, but it holds so much more value than that because of the people inside of it,” says Ashlyn. 

“It is so important to hear someone’s story, because that is how people connect. Without telling our stories, nobody knows each other. We stay strangers until we share our stories. It brings a sense of connection and community to people who are bold enough to share their stories.” 

Shawn’s reflection was that hearing people’s stories “shows you how much you’re missing everyday when you walk by a crowd of people. I think more people should be open to new people and experiences in their everyday life.”

We are so glad that the people of Antioch shared their stories with Ashlyn and Shawn, and that they chose these themes for their projects. 

Some of the other themes in the Humans of Antioch project include: Dreams of Antioch, Worries of Antioch, Humans of Potential, Motivation, and Finding Humanity