Youth in Focus’ mission is to empower urban youth, through photography, to experience their world in new ways and to make positive choices for their lives.
We put cameras in the hands of low income, at-risk youth and place them in a
challenging environment surrounded by high quality talented teachers,
nurturing adult volunteer mentors, and create a strong community of support.
Through photography our students find their voice, identity, creativity,
and gain new confidence in their worth and abilities.
- We work with youth, 13-19 years of age, who face a variety of challenges in their lives on a daily basis, and who struggle with a combination of racial or ethnic discrimination, poverty or homophobia.
- At Youth in Focus, we reach at-risk youth at a crucial time – at or before the 9th grade – when 90% of youth that drop out do so at this time. Studies have found that the majority of kids who drop out of high school do so because of financial pressures, or because they do not believe they can be successful. High school students living in low-income families drop out of school six times the rate of peers from high-income families, and nearly half of all drop outs, ages 16-24, are unemployed. It has been estimated that each year’s class of dropouts will cost the country over $200B during their lifetimes, due to lost earnings, public welfare and crime.
- Nearly 73% of our students qualify for the free/reduced lunch program, 82% are students of color, and 70% of students live with a single parent or have other living arrangements.
- Over 19 years, Youth in Focus has had more than 2,800 youth go through our free youth development photography program.
To download an application for our youth development photography classes, please click here.
Video created by Birdhouse Creative Music: Something to Believe In by Aqualung, used by permission
What We Do
- We are the people who put cameras in the hands of at-risk youth and teach them how to develop negatives into positives.
- Nobody has as much fun creating a safe community of trust and support for youth through photography better than we do.
- Our impact is empowering youth to find their voice and gain self-confidence, as they learn life skills and discover who they are, and what matters to them