Youth in Focus Programs
Our core photography program has consisted of classes in both black and white film and digital photography. In order to be accepted into our program, youth must complete an application, attend an in-person one-on-one interview, and commit to our community agreements and youth development mission. Youth are placed in classes after considering their learning styles, support needs, and the dynamics of the community to ensure a successful experience for everyone. All materials and equipment are included to ensure equitable access to the tools necessary to successfully complete our program. At the conclusion of the quarter, youth present their final images, self-portraits, and artist statements at their public End of Quarter show. This celebration gives each youth the opportunity to share their voice and reflect on their experience.
Youth in Focus also partners with other agencies for fee-based photography services. Options include personalized workshops and classes, head shots and photo booths. Past partners include Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Office of Arts Culture and Seattle Public Library.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The Seattle Public Schools’ Service Learning Coordinator approved our classes to qualify for service learning hours for youth who fully complete our program.
Since 2010, Youth in Focus has worked with the Raikes Foundation to participate in the Youth Program Quality Initiative. Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) scores for Youth in Focus, in Spring 2014, were consistently higher than comparison scores for 1,262 other National Youth programs. Our scores were higher in all main categories, and significantly higher in Supportive Environment and Youth Engagement.
President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities recognized Youth in Focus as a model program in the year 2000, providing “life-changing activities” to youth with limited opportunities.
We also love extra hands at Youth in Focus including additional volunteers, interns and mentors. Mentors with experience in black and white and digital photography provide support to our Teaching Artists and assist our students with developing their voice. We also have needs for volunteers who provide administrative support as well as assist our eBay store and Traveling Shows program.
We also gladly accept in-kind donations of photography equipment. If the cameras aren't specifically used in our program, we sell them in our eBay store to help offset the cost of our photography supplies.
We warmly welcome monetary donations to support our youth development photography program and the at-risk youth we serve.