Pat Bondurant had the privilege of attending the 3rd annual Noche Para Los Ninos event held by Kids in Focus. The Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park was transformed into a festive Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) theme for adults to come celebrate and donate on behalf of the mentoring programs that Kids in Focus has for at-risk youth.
Kids in Focus is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving at-risk youth the chance to see themselves and the world in a new light, equipping them with essential life skills to make the shift from surviving to thriving. Kids in Focus provides ongoing mentor programs, an after school program, camps and workshops, and even a Lifeline Program.
Due to the sensitive nature of this program, Kids in Focus is often privy to the details of these children’s lives, and they are able to provide temporary assistance in meeting the child’s, and their family’s, basic needs such as food, clothing, electricity, rent, and safe housing. This program also provides resources for the children to excel in school. In addition to all these things, the Lifeline Program also helps connect children and their families with federal and state assistance programs, as well as counseling and behavioral health services.
Through ongoing mentoring programs, Kids in Focus inspires hope and fosters positive outcomes in at-risk children starting at age 10 years. Through the restorative power of photography and with the guidance of dedicated mentors, kids are inspired to open their eyes to their own potential as they build the resilience they need to overcome challenges. Not only are the kids taught creative problem solving, they learn to “see,” notice, and explore with with a new perspective.
The kids’ inspiring images are exhibited at venues such at the Arizona Science Center, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Sky Harbor Airport, Arizona State Capitol, and various restaurants and coffee shops. In addition to seeing their work on display, the children are recognized and appreciated by others, igniting a feeling of pride and accomplishment.
When kids experience trauma such as poverty, homelessness, neglect, or abuse, they disconnect from the world and themselves. With the right guidance and encouragement, a camera can help switch the light in their eyes back on. Through the restorative power of photography and with the guidance of dedicated mentors, Kids in Focus opens the eyes of youth to their potential as they build the resilience needed to overcome challenges.
You can learn more about Kids in Focus at https://kidsinfocus.org/