Not-for-profit project Kids in Focus, based in Phoenix Arizona, is using photography to inspiring at-risk young people to reach their full potential.

“The kids are given cameras and are mentored by photographers to open the kids’ eyes to the world around them, changing their perspective about themselves and their environments. The resulting images by the kids are a tribute to the restorative power of creative self-expression. With those images, Kids In Focus shares the kids’ vision and voices with the community through exhibitions and books.”

Kids in Focus was founded in 2012 by commercial photographer Karen Shell, who has been an active volunteer for at-risk young people for the past 20 years. Current programs include Children First Academy Phoenix Mentorship program, in which twenty students, aged between 12-14, are participating in a 10-week Kids In Focus project, culminating in an exhibition at the Burton Barr Central Library on N. Central Ave., Phoenix, which opens on March 19th 2014.

For more information check out the project’s website at