Our students and mentor need your votes now!
Three Youth in Focus students are finalists in the
International Adobe Aspire Awards!
How to vote:
- Winners will be announced June 17
- Click on the links below to visit the website to vote
- Below each photo on the site, “like”, share or re-tweet the image to vote
Our mentor needs, Sandy, needs your vote!
Earlier this month we announced that one of our mentors, Sandy Novak, was chosen as a Safeco Community Hero. Now, we need your help! Safeco Insurance has launched an online voting event where the public can vote for their favorite Community Hero. If Sandy receives the most votes, Youth in Focus will receive a $10,000 gift from Safeco Insurance!
How to vote:
- Voting runs through May 13-June 3
- You can vote here, once per day
Youth in Focus’s 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 race, 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 2,700 youth go through our free youth development photography program.
Video created by Birdhouse Creative
Music: Something to Believe In by Aqualung, used by permission
What We Do
Everybody wants to know that their own story is meaningful and valuable. Youth in Focus uses the storytelling power of photography to help young people develop skills and attitudes to overcome barriers they face and support them on their journey to a positive adulthood. Take a moment and see their work in the student gallery. Photography is accessible: skills build quickly and anyone who works at it can produce terrific images. Many of our current students struggle with other art forms and have difficulty expressing themselves verbally or in writing; their cameras turn them into artists. But our goal is not merely to train our students as photographers; we want to help them create successful lives. We do this by teaching them transferable skills and engaging them with a network of caring adults.