Jeffrey McWhorter has worked for The Dallas Morning News as a freelance photojournalist since 2012. A Dallas native and resident of northwest Dallas, he met a group of immigrants at Thomas Jefferson High School while doing outreach to student-athletes in spring 2017 through his church, The Village Church-Dallas Northway.
McWhorter worked hard to establish trust with the teens, their parents and their soccer coach. Over the next year and a half, McWhorter documented the journeys of two key students, César Escobar and Bryan Gámez, and their families and friends. McWhorter empathetically detailed their lives on the soccer pitch and beyond. The result is rich, visual storytelling that shows our audience the struggles of foreign-born high schoolers as they navigate immigration and assimilation. Soccer is an integral part of the boys’ lives. They bond on the pitch, travel to matches together and have a close relationship with their coach.