Voices of Youth: Teen captures how Cody Rogue space provides calm in a chaotic world

This story is part of a series that sees youth partnered with writing, photography, and art mentors to help capture their own perspective and narrative. The program is made possible with funding from the Skillman Foundation.
Tymara Ware has a unique perspective of the world. The 16-year-old student took part in Model D's Voices of Youth program and worked with professional photographer Val Waller to create the photo essay featured above, sharing her view of a corner of her world. 

Tymara Ware. Photo by Val Waller.

Artist's statement:

I grew up in a non-traditional home, my mom is really my auntie. My education started in the suburbs of Detroit. As a single mom of three kids who were not hers, she thought it was best to find us a better school system. I moved back to the City of Detroit in my seventh-grade year. It was a huge culture shock for me and an eye-opening experience. This is where my love for my community and city began. I remember asking my grandmother all about Detroit when she was young and comparing it to now.

I am currently going to Westfield Preparatory High School in the 10th grade. I am an honor roll student. My personality is funny, energetic, friendly, and bubbly. I like to play sports, hang out with family, do art, journaling, dance, and make an impact in my community. I am currently the president of the Youth Council. I am also the youth member of the advisory committee of District 7 under the City Councilman, Fred Durhal, Jr. I am the youth voice for District 7. I want to see peace come back to the community. I want more help for the homeless. I want to see young people have an opinion and take part in the community we live in. When I get older I want to become a politician, artist, athlete, and pastry/executive chef too. 

I chose photography with the Voices of Youth because I have always wanted to do photography and I always looked at different pictures and wanted to make something like the ones I have seen. My mom says I have always stopped and said, “that would be a pretty picture”. The VOY program gave me the opportunity to learn how. I learned a lot from Val. She taught me how to angle the camera, how to capture life in photographs, and how to take a picture in a decent background too. 

One of my greatest accomplishments thus far is the wellness room, because the youth need a space to unwind. The Cody Rouge Youth Council along with myself started a room for people ages 13 to 20 years old. The Cody Calm Center (or C3) is a wellness room designated for teens to have a space to relax, recenter and realign their minds.

The Cody Calm Center is important because when COVID-19 hit Michigan, everything got shut down and teens had no place to socialize with each other or just get away from stressors at home. That’s when the Youth Council created a space for teens to relax and build new positive relationships and gain knowledge that would strengthen their community. 

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