KIF Teen Photographer

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $20,000 Grant to Kids in Focus To Support Photography Mentoring Programs for Vulnerable Children

KIDS IN FOCUS (KIF) is honored to announce the receipt of a generous $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to help fund photography mentoring programs for underprivileged children in Maricopa County. Through the healing powers of photography and one-on-one time with mentors, kids gain self-confidence, build trusting relationships, and develop critical life skills.

“Thanks to the Thunderbirds Charities award, we can expand our unique programs to serve more at-risk youth, helping them reconnect with the world and overcome hardship and trauma. We are deeply grateful for their continued support,” said Karen Shell, Founder and Executive Director of Kids in Focus.

The Thunderbirds Charities grant will support the After-School Photography Mentoring program and the year-round Grads in Focus alumni program. During the intensive after-school program, experienced photographers mentor children on a journey of self-discovery. Using the camera as a powerful tool, the kids learn to explore their environment with a new lens, create compelling imagery, and reestablish trust and self-confidence.

The program culminates with an exhibit celebration where the kids, their families, and over 500 guests gather to applaud their achievements. After the nine-week program ends, the kids join the year-round Grads in Focus program, providing a critical continuum of care. This unique program features a safe, private online forum, monthly photo challenges, quarterly teambuilding field trips, and an annual picnic. Kids can stay in the program through high school, allowing them to gain a sense of belonging, form lasting relationships, and continue building resilience.

Kids in Focus (KIF)

This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.