No Boundaries: Milford photojournalism students tackle heroin epidemic

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MILFORD, Ohio (WKRC) - Heroin addiction is not the easiest thing to talk about, but students at Milford High School are finding a way by using their talents.

Leah Breuer interviewed her classmate, Alexis, about addiction.

Alexis and her father wanted to share their story and how the drug has affected their lives.

"You never know who this epidemic could be affecting because I've had French class with Alexis for four years and I never knew that the heroin epidemic affected her or that her mom was suffering," said Leah.

The students are all in the photojournalism class. The interviews and pictures are part of an exhibit called, "No Boundaries." Students wanted to take the stigma away from the subject and spark honest conversation. They also talked to healthcare workers and police about heroin.

Janelle Schunk is their teacher. "What they learned is this is a complex issue. It not only affects the people that are in addiction but also our community in general," Schunk said.

Senior Gwyneth Kline interviewed and photographed her friend whose mother battled addiction and is now in recovery.

Gwyneth describes the photograph she took of Olivia and her mother. "Olivia, when we were interviewing, said her mother was her absolute best friend. So I really wanted to capture that moment with her and get that friendship."

The students were also challenged with coming up with solutions to the heroin epidemic. They shared those at the exhibit at the Miami Township Civic Center as well.

Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan was photographed by one of the students. He is part of the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition/ Task Force. "To come to an event like this, it just gives you hope. This generation is going to be the generation that solves it and that fixes it. The insight they have, the humanization of it," Chief Synan said.

What started as an assignment for the students has given them and the community a deeper look into an epidemic plaguing our neighborhoods. Usually, the students can edit their pictures. In this class, they could not. The goal was to keep the work as authentic as possible.

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