"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." Dorothea Lange



Frame Your Story's Mission is to use photography as a tool to empower refugee youth, inspire global connections and strengthen communities. Project Creator, Beatrice Schachenmayr, facilitates photo workshops where the participants are offered digital Canon point-and-shoot cameras and lessons on how to create coherent photos with a personal voice. For many students, this workshop serves as the initial exposure to using digital point and shoot cameras.

Project Workshops present opportunities to

Inspire self-expression with hands-on activities: photography and journaling

Encourage youth to plan for regular meetings and offer occasions to explore the city of Berlin

Introduce new topics and technology that are fun, inspiring, and beneficial to personal growth

Project Visions grow with each workshop. Beatrice envisions youth from all walks of life around the world collaborating and learning from each other through the platform of visual literacy, using Apps along the way to help form collaborations. Students will contribute to the creation of a global story that will stimulate the lives of their fellow youth and help to develop a community in which the stories of refugee children are supported and validated.

Click on the Gallery page above to enjoy the photographs captured by the participants in Istanbul and Berlin!

Upcoming Spring 2019: Frame Your Story will publish its first book of student photographs, journal pages and Beatrice's personal reflections.



Aspiring Art Therapist, Beatrice holds a BFA in Fine Art Photography from Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. Following the completion of her undergraduate education in May of 2013, she spent a year teaching English and traveling in Southeast Asia. It was her time teaching in Thailand and volunteer teaching in Indonesia that she realized her passion for youth when she connected well with students; creating a space where kids could enjoy learning really inspired her.

Two years prior as a student abroad in Istanbul, Turkey, she had a life changing opportunity to work with ASAM, the Association for Solidarity with Asylum-Seekers and Migrants, a non-profit organization that focuses on “developing solutions to the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers encounter in Turkey and to support them in meeting their basic and social needs.” Beatrice's eyes opened wide when she realized the harsh daily struggles that refugee youth face all over the world.

Shortly after her travels in Southeast Asia she became a Work Scholar in the Development department at Aperture Foundation in New York City. It was the culmination of her experiences abroad, her time in New York City and at Aperture that persuaded Beatrice to pursue her passions to launch Frame Your Story, a visual literacy project that offers refugee youth a medium and the skills they need to heal, grow and share their stories and feelings with the rest of the world.

Beatrice created and launched FYS's first project in Istanbul, Turkey in 2015. Frame Your Story is currently based in Berlin, Germany.


"Beatrice demonstrates tremendous observational skills and already shows very good analytic skills regarding the behaviors of children and possible interventions that can be done. Her calm, sensitive, and reflective character positively influences the atmosphere and has a calming effect on the mainly restless refugee children. She is interested in every single child and finds a connection with each of them in that present moment. In my opinion, and with the experience of having worked for more than five years in the field of art therapy, Beatrice is an exceptionally talented person, who will be a great Art Therapist and have a positive impact on other people's lives." -Maxi Schölzel, Art Therapist

"It's been now about a year that I am in a professional work relationship with Beatrice and my experience can be expressed best by enriching. The passion and effort Beatrice has for her work and for the people are very inspiring. She led a photography project in a refugee shelter where I have been working and gave many people the chance to fill their days with creativity and spark their fascination for photography. She has contributed to helping a group of young people to explore their new surroundings through a lens, and through that, assisted them in their arrival process. After the closing of that particular shelter, Beatrice and I continue to support each other's work and her continuous dedication led to a photography exhibition, in which newcomers were able to present their angles on Berlin, so that insights of an arrival process in a new culture found their way into the society of Berlin. Beatrice is a dedicated artist and her knowledge includes leading social, educations, and therapeutic group processes. Hopefully, we will be able to continue for many more years here in Berlin or anywhere else in the world." -Carlo Schenk, Projektleitung Kompass Program, IsraAID Germany, e.V.

"Beatrice has a burning desire to work hands-on and sees beauty in what other’s may find unappealing. She inspires me with her “what if?” personality, and I have full faith that her creative drive and altruistic personality will continue to touch others throughout the world." -Chelsea Olson, Sage Therapeutics