Changemaker Correspondents: Daniella Zalcman Shines a Light on Mentorship

By Byron Guo | August 15, 2019 | Changemaker Correspondents, Nonprofit, Public & Social Benefit

Daniella ZalcmanHow do you demonstrate the impact of your nonprofit? As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, especially when the goal of your work is to inspire people to take action to give back.

This is especially the case for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Consequently we are so excited to enlist internationally-renowned documentary photographer, Daniella Zalcman, in our first cohort of Salesforce.org Changemaker Correspondents as she covers the work of two local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters in Indiana.

Through her photography, you will be able to see the amazing stories of mentorship, family, and community. She brings with her the perspective and storytelling ability that has made her a multiple grantee of the Pulitzer Center and National Geographic Society.

What makes her work stand out is that Daniella excels at coaxing out a specific story that perfectly captures a cultural zeitgeist superimposed upon a daily slice of life. Her works include documenting the usage of Native American mascots in Ohio High Schools to roots of homophobia and anti-gay legislation in East Africa, with a particular focus on the impacts of western colonialism.

Big Brother Bunmi Akintomide and Little Brother Jerry playing basketball together in Indianapolis. Having a Big (a mentor) has a major impact on education – Littles do better in school, are less likely to drop out, and more likely to achieve a higher level of education than they thought.
Big Brother Bunmi Akintomide and Little Brother Jerry playing basketball together in Indianapolis. Having a Big (a mentor) has a major impact on education – Littles do better in school, are less likely to drop out, and more likely to achieve a higher level of education than they thought.

Meanwhile, Big Brother Big Sisters has been nationally renowned for more than a century for bringing out potential in millions of youth. Successful mentorship makes for successful students. Successful students often make for successful careers. All students have teachers, but many have no mentors. BBBS stands out for their work nationally in helping all children navigate life through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with volunteer mentors. They are one of the oldest and largest mentorship organizations in the country and produce so many incredible stories of love, perseverance, and inspiration.

Big Sister Melanie Walker takes Littles (and siblings) Empress and Corday out for frozen yogurt in Bloomington, Indiana. They spend a lot of quality time together — playing games, reading, and trying new food. Melanie is also teaching Empress how to play the piano.
Big Sister Melanie Walker takes Littles (and siblings) Empress and Corday out for frozen yogurt in Bloomington, Indiana. They spend a lot of quality time together — playing games, reading, and trying new food. Melanie is also teaching Empress how to play the piano.

The local BBBS chapter in Indiana resides in the heart of America. A lot of what children go through in urban Indiana represents a microcosm of what happens in cities across our country. Stories about relationships that are 1:1 are hard to tell, which is why we sent a photojournalist as talented as Daniella to showcase what’s happening on the ground in a cerebrally unique way.

Big Sister Jasmin French and Little Sister Mishelle spend time together at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Indianapolis office. Jasmin is encouraging Mishelle to step out of her comfort zone. There are currently 33,000 youth nationwide waiting to be matched with a Big (mentor).
Big Sister Jasmin French and Little Sister Mishelle spend time together at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Indianapolis office. Jasmin is encouraging Mishelle to step out of her comfort zone. There are currently 33,000 youth nationwide waiting to be matched with a Big (mentor).

Daniella Zalcman behind the scenes at the Big Brothers Big Sisters office in Indianapolis.
Daniella Zalcman behind the scenes at the Big Brothers Big Sisters office in Indianapolis.

Her work to elevate the voices of people less heard makes her a perfect candidate for documenting the BBBS story.

Big Couple Kourtney Clark and Clint Cunningham meet their Little Brother Armani for the first time at his home. Armani had a long wait to get matched due to the need for volunteers.
Big Couple Kourtney Clark and Clint Cunningham meet their Little Brother Armani for the first time at his home. Armani had a long wait to get matched due to the need for volunteers.

If you like to be inspired and intellectually provoked through photojournalism, be sure to check out her work with BBBS on Instagram and Twitter. We will be featuring the photos and stories she captured during her time there.

And if you want to help children realize their potential – you can donate at www.bbbs.org/salesforce.