Introduction: Lee-Daniel Tran

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Hello, my name is Lee-Daniel Tran. I’m 17 years old and a junior at Boston Latin School. I’m a burgeoning photographer and photojournalist, and have been pursuing this work since 2011. I’m excited to contribute my photos and stories of the community to ACDC’s blog! Besides photography, which I'm also involved in at Boston Latin, I'm a violinist in their philharmonic orchestra, I sing Bass in Show Choir, a dancing and singing ensemble, and I sing Tenor 1 in the Wolftones, an all-boys acapella group. I’m also a volunteer tutor at my old school, the Richard J. Murphy School.

I am Vietnamese, and the only one in my family who was born in the U.S. My mother, May, and older sister, Vee, were born in Vietnam and arrived here in 1999. My father, Hien, was also born in Vietnam, but came to the U.S as a refugee in 1975, shortly after the war. He was a professional photographer, and developed this interest in college, and I look forward to also sharing his experience in a future post. As you can guess, my father was my inspiration for becoming interested in cameras and photography.

A-VOYCE, ACDC’s youth leadership program, has been a part of my life for about 2 years. I was first introduced to the program while attending the Films at the Gate event in Chinatown in 2016. It was there that learned about ACDC, and that A-VOYCE was an opportunity for me to give back to Chinatown. I choose to stay involved because of my interest in and commitment to working towards preserving affordable housing, small businesses and public spaces in the Chinatown community.

A-VOYCE has created opportunities for me to contribute my voice and become more civically engaged in the community. With A-VOYCE, I have been able to learn about the effects of gentrification: rising rents and property values for residents and small businesses, which then causes displacement of these community members; as well as its effect on potential public spaces that could benefit the community, in danger of being sold for private use. A-VOYCE provided platforms for me and my peers to address issues around gentrification, such as implementing placemaking projects and using its success to advocate to City officials that Chinatown is vibrant community that deserves to be preserved.

This year, I'm part of A-VOYCE 2.0, a new group within A-VOYCE where older members learn about project management. I will be co-leading this year’s Films at the Gate event, and I'm excited to take charge of a project that helps to revitalize Chinatown and brings community members together.

The community where I live is actually not in Chinatown, but Dorchester. My family and I like to walk to the nearby parks and trails because it’s quiet and peaceful. My friends and I also like to hang out at the park or walk the trails, play video games, and of course, take photographs. In addition to volunteering as a tutor, I stay involved in my community by delivering the Ashmont Newsletter for Ashmont Hill, and I work at Ashmont Cycles, a local bike shop. What I love about Dorchester is that there are a lot of things in the neighborhood to enjoy, from restaurants to parks, and the people here are friendly. I hope that you will enjoy the photos and stories from the community that I’ll be sharing on the blog!

Here's some of my work, which you can check out more of on my Flickr page.

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