Description Victoria L.Beginning Black & WhiteSpring 2010If this photo sparks you with immense disgust, but is vividly attracting your eyes, taste, smell or overall tingling your senses...I’ve done my job. Capturing a moment that I will never see again gives me this expect-the-unexpected type of feeling when it comes to film photography. It is an anticipation waiting to detonate when I see the images develop and I revisit the moment again, but this time in my hands. I never expect a perfect roll nor do I expect a photo to come out as I meant it to be when I first take it. It is a mystery and a puzzle to unravel. Patience and accomplishments go hand in hand during my life in the darkroom. Perfection is tedious and every photo I’ve developed was magnificent in many ways. The gum wall presents the frustrations I had to endure to make a repugnant subject look momentous! This experience will forevermore be instilled in me in my future works of photography. Awesomeness.
Youth In Focus, Seattle Member Since May 2009 Artist Statement 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.
Why Youth in Focus?
(Critical Time) 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 feel that we reach at-risk youth at a crucial time – at or before the 9th grade – when 90% of the majority of youth that drop out of high school do during that year.
(Statistics) Nearly 73% of our students qualify for the free/reduced lunch program, 82% are students of color, and 70% live with a single parent or have other living arrangements. In 19 years, Youth in Focus has had more than 2,800 youth go through our free youth development photography program.
(Exceptional Standards) Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) scores for Youth in Focus, in 2011 and 2012, were consistently higher than comparison scores for 1,216 other National Youth programs.
(Direct Attention) We intentionally keep our classes small to facilitate maximum student-adult interaction and relationship building. Youth in Focus creates a healthy, positive place where diverse students feel they belong.
(Nationally Recognized) The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities recognized Youth in Focus as a model program in 2000, providing “life-changing activities” to youth with limited opportunities. Our students have shown their work at the Seattle Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery and the Washington State Convention Center. Click here to see the feature KING 5 did on us recently.