Description by Sonia S. Advanced Black and White Spring 2008
Artist Statement: 'In order for me to fully develop as an artist I needed to learn and understand the fundamentals, which is what Youth in Focus has helped me achieve. Youth in Focus has given me the resources and guidance to establish and hewn my skills in the darkroom and understand the importance of the photographer's job while creating the perfect print. Photography is a way for me to share my point of view with people. Images are the easiest way for me to convey how I view the world. I feel that my skills are getting better and my voice and communication are still growing. One of my favorite parts of photography is the challenge of capturing the personality or emotions of a persona and transcending it through a two dimensional image. I have been seriously pursuing photography for two years, with this class being the first stepping stone into the darkroom.'
The purchase of this photo goes to support Youth in Focus, a non-profit organization providing free photography classes to teens; proceeds are split between the student artist and Youth in Focus.
The mission of Youth in Focus is to empower urban teens, through photography, to experience their world in new ways and make positive changes in their lives.
Youth in Focus gives local youth the opportunity to express themselves visually in a supportive environment. Classes with Youth in Focus ignite the imagination and provide valuable life and work skills. For information, call 206.723.1479 or visit www.youthinfocus.org.
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.