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Volunteers use photography to help underprivileged students

Posted On: 2014-01-24

From / Fox 10...

Posted: Jan 20, 2014 10:19 AM
Updated: Jan 20, 2014 10:24 AM
By Linda Williams, FOX 10 News

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The 300 children who go to Children First Academy in Phoenix are all in families at or below the poverty line, and most of them are homeless.

Yet, a special project called Kids in Focus is underway at the academy that is aimed at helping students.

Valley photographers volunteer their time to work with 20 students on their skills.

The project was able to collect used digital cameras for the course.

After working with at risk kids for 20 years, the founder of kids in focus says she's discovered a way to help kids who come from an unstable home life.

These kids often view their futures as bleak.

"When you're going through struggles, you have the intensity to get stuck in your head and you can't see outside of yourself, you can't see the world around, you can't be happy, you can't be productive and you can't thrive when you're in that place and photography is a tool, a very powerful tool, to get them out of their heads and start seeing their world around them and see possibilities open up and learning to see themselves differently," said Karen Shell, founder of Kids IN Focus.

Shell says she has seen this project change kids' lives.

When students finish the six week course, they present their photography works at an event held at Burton Barr Library in Phoenix.

FOX 10 will follow their journey and show the finale in March when they finish the project.

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