Forest Photo


Kennysha Lyte

Your Experience and involvement with Social Work

I’m currently studying social work on a masters level. I’ve been a care coordinator, shelter caseworker and child protective specialist in New York City, prior to starting my postgraduate course.

Write briefly why you chose this object and what it means to you

When I saw the image of the forest, what drew me in was the bright light in the background. The way the sun brought so much more life to a black and white photo, brought me back to the many smiles I’ve seen, after someone finally pulled through on their promises.

The image also reminded me of the rigid boundaries, and systems in place that can allow others to feel blocked or trapped. More times than not it takes more than just one person to get over those hurdles, in those instances. People don’t always know where to go next, when their luck starts to run out. It sometimes takes someone who is willing to fight through the hurdles beside them, for them to realise that, they are not blocked in by life


Can you spot the hope in someone’s eyes? Or do you only see the remnants of their life’s cycles spinning on loop? Vibrating intensely for someone to see, gain interest, simply to be noticed. To be a point of referral when reflecting on what life is like to stand on what appears to be two broken feet, to me. When undoubtedly there lies within the eyes of a “helpless” person, is someone who longs to be recognised, not only for their fear, pain and misfortune but for their valour, resilience and growth. People just like trees grow with the movements of life and their environment. Trees, though, grow in the forest, with many leaves to cover them with shade. Branches that have sprouted to hang the trophies of their hard work and accomplishments. While their roots are formed solid into the ground of what has started their journey.

People navigate through the complexity of life with bark as stern as a tree trunk, increasing in size, knowledge, experience, of self, community, society. Becoming masters of all that they are, unknowingly. Social work is like the sun in the forest, providing nutrients for the trees and all living things to fortify themselves. Shining in on the abundance of strength individually packed in each being, waiting to be seen again.