The Issue: Empower At-Risk Teens Through Photography
By teaching photography skills at no charge, Youth in Focus helps teens who face significant barriers to success find opportunities for self-expression and develop social skills, artistic sensibilities, and a sense of self-worth. Nearly 73 percent of the teens the organization works with are from low-income households and face a range of challenges, from discrimination to low academic achievement and family troubles. Most are unable to afford high-quality photography training, especially when, as the Harvard Graduate School of Education explains, "[a]rt budgets in public schools are constantly on the cutting block."
The Campaign: Purchasing Digital Cameras for Youth Course
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Youth in Focus to help at-risk teens learn to express themselves through digital photography. For every $300 raised, Youth in Focus can procure one Nikon D70 digital camera for its youth photography program. Youth in Focus's ultimate goal for the campaign is to raise $3,000 to purchase 10 new cameras, which will enable the organization to add an intermediate digital class to its current roster of beginners and advanced classes. The Youth in Focus Board of Directors will match donations up to $5,000.
Youth in Focus
Youth in Focus hosts free afterschool classes for teens facing a range of challenges, such as low income, addiction, and LGBT identity issues, teaching positive social skills and helping students see themselves through photography. In small classes, professional teaching artists and volunteer adult mentors work with students, encouraging and challenging them as they learn technical photography skills, artistic concepts, and how to use the storytelling quality of images to express themselves. Through photography and with a network of caring adults, Youth in Focus helps young people experience success, which can translate to confidence when they face other challenges.
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