For Passannante, the ability to share his experiences through photography is a treasured skill. "The process of creating a gallery has been exciting and rewarding. For me, photography not only allows for the sharing of experiences, but it also captures split second moments previously unseen by the naked eye, offering everyone a new perspective on the scene."
Passanante was part of a Retreat Leadership Team consisting of five Regis Seniors, Kristin Ross (Assistant Principal), Christine Badi (Guidance Counselor and Catalyst Service Club Moderator), and Joe Carroll (Latin Teacher) that traveled to the Kibera slum. While there, the group led two Quest Retreats with the students from the Junior class at St. Aloysius Gonzaga (one for boys and one for girls). Extensive retreat preparation was performed in advance—via Skype and email—with the student and faculty retreat leaders from St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
During the trip to Kibera, the team also focused on learning about a variety of Jesuit-related community organizations dedicated to issues of social justice and devoted to working with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. Among other activities, the team celebrated the tenth anniversary of St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School, spent time in the Kibera Slum, visited the homes of students, met with administrators at the Jesuit-run center for social justice efforts in East Africa, and volunteered time at the Nyumbani Orphanage, a Catholic orphanage for HIV positive children.
"Being a part of this remarkable trip and having the opportunity to share it with others makes it all the more worthwhile," said Passannante. "The experience itself and the photographs taken would not have been possible without the help of family, friends, and the Regis community."
Set the World Aflame opens on Wednesday, August 28 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Rye Arts Center located at 51 Milton Road in Rye, New York. To attend the gallery opening, an RSVP can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds from the sale of photographs will benefit St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School. The Gallery will be open until September 7.
Update | 8/28/2013
The following news stories highlighting Passannante and the Kibera service trip were recently published:
Regis H.S. Student Holds Photo Show to Raise Money for Kenyan Orphans | August 28, 2013
Student Photographer Brings Views Of Africa To Rye | August 30, 2013
Regis High School Service Trip to Kenya Captured in Photo Exhibit | September 4, 2013