Before heading home for break, a group of Suffolk University students helped 200 children at the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club fulfill a holiday wish.

As part of the annual Help Portrait event, Suffolk students visited a local community center to help children take professional photographs. The holiday-themed images were then printed out, framed, and presented to the children and their families.

“Help Portrait is about giving people who otherwise couldn’t afford portrait photography a chance to capture a moment and a memory,” said Shannon Glynn, the event’s adviser and a graduate fellow in Suffolk’s Student Leadership & Involvement office.

“This is an event that really brings people together, and it was wonderful to see how excited the children were to have their photos taken.”

This service project is part of Suffolk’s Journey Leadership Program, a four year experience designed to develop students’ leadership skills throughout their time at the University.

At Suffolk, the Help Portrait event is a collaborative effort with Fun Enterprises Inc., which donated portraiture and printing services. Suffolk student and Journey volunteer Alexia Baugniet also lent her photography talents to the cause.   

“We had two set-up areas for photos the whole time because there were so many people,” said Glynn, a student in the master’s in higher education program.

Students played and laughed with the children as they took photos with some of their favorite props, including a four-foot teddy bear and sports-related items. 

“When you take a step back and realize the hardship that some of these children may be going through, it makes you want to help them even more,” said Glynn. 

“Seeing how much fun they had demonstrated how important it is to give back to others in the community.”

“Help Portrait is my favorite Journey program of the year,” said Dave DeAngelis, assistant dean and director of Student Leadership & Involvement. “This event highlights how selfless and caring our students are, and how much they genuinely care about the community around them.”


—Tony Ferullo