One of the most rewarding volunteer experiences this year was the two quarters I mentored young people in photography at Youth In Focus. Founded by Walter Bodle , the mission of Youth In Focus reads is:

to empower urban youth, through photography, to experience their world in new ways and to make positive choices for their lives.

For six hours a week I had the privilege of working with some of the brightest, most thoughtful, creative, and talented people (not just youth) I've ever known. I honestly believe I learned more from them then they learned from me. I could go on and on about what these students mean to me and how they've improved my skill in photography and my outlook on life, but I'll suffice it to say that I emerged from this experience a much better person and much more skilled artist. Thanks to all the wonderful people who make this program what it is.

Chris creating video clips for a project he is doing for Youth In Focus. Kate Burnley mentored with me in the Beginning Black and White class. I really love the work she does in and out of the classroom. Check out her site. Image created with Leica M6 + Ilford HP5+.

Chris creating video clips for a project he is doing for Youth In Focus. Kate Burnley mentored with me in the Beginning Black and White class. I really love the work she does in and out of the classroom. Check out her site. Image created with Leica M6 + Ilford HP5+.

The end of quarter show where the students display their work to their friends and family. This is the show everybody works towards.

The end of quarter show where the students display their work to their friends and family. This is the show everybody works towards.

Trina Gadsden, Executive Director of Youth In Focus (black dress), looks on proudly as the students individually present their work.

Trina Gadsden, Executive Director of Youth In Focus (black dress), looks on proudly as the students individually present their work.