Inspiring Young Photographers

Inspiring Young Photographers

The Joy Trip Project is excited to announce two new recipients of used camera equipment! Aspiring young photographers Malia Schoonyoung and Jordan Jennings will receive respectively a Canon 20D and a Canon Rebel T4i digital SLR camera. These gifts were provided by kind Madison area donors who want to encourage their interest and talent as visual storytellers.

“In 2020, I would like to capture people in everyday life smiling and having fun or things that people take for granted like the beauty in life and nature,” wrote Malia in her application.  If I received your camera it would give me the opportunity to show other people my perspective which would be that there is beauty in nature and everything around it and if we all looked a little closer we would be able to see it and possibly live in harmony with it if we tried. I would love to show people that we could all work together to make a better place.”

Malia Schoonyoung

Last year when I retired my trusty Canon 40D I didn’t want to see it collecting dust on a shelf. Lovingly used and cared for as a professional tool for more than a decade it still has a lot of life left it. Though I could have sold it to finance a portion of my next upgrade I decided it would better off as a gift to a young person who could really use it. After a short online promotion, I managed find 8 teenagers with the maturity and ambition to take full advantage of a good quality camera.

“If I got the camera it would mean that I could take cool photos that look professional,” wrote Jordon. “It would be interesting to learn how to use a professional camera and the equipment. I could take better pictures of the landscapes and environments I go to.”

Jordan Jennings

If you have a used but still serviceable digital SLR camera to donate I have a few young people who can really use it.

That first camera was given to Eden Perry-Benton, a student from Charolette, North Carolina. The only thing more difficult than selecting a recipient from among the 8 finalists was informing those who weren’t chosen. As this was technically not a contest, I want every applicant to receive a camera. So I am incredibly grateful to the two families in my community who share my goal of inspiring our nation’s youth to be advocates for the natural environment by becoming visual storytellers. With these two cameras I hope Malia and Jordon will share their vision of the world in which they live to encourage those who see their work to protect it.


Along with the camera the recipients will receive a few accessory items donated by Peak Design and well as a voucher for a pair of KEEN Footwear  or Merrell Footwear The remaining 5 applicants will get shoes as well plus a Joy Trip Project knit cap, a pin and some stickers. But it is my hope that I can receive additional used cameras to keep this project going.


If you have a used but still serviceable digital SLR camera to donate I have a few young people who can really use it. Drop me a note at and let’s talk about how you can make a contribution.

photo by Austin Miller, an aspiring young photographer in need of a used camera