Kids in Focus relies on volunteers to help organize and facilitate our unique service to kids and the community, as well as to support us through fundraising, marketing, and public relations.
We have volunteer opportunities in:
- Events (planning, opening, annual fundraiser, receptions, volunteer gatherings)
- Exhibits (coordination, images, writing captions/bios, setup, take-downs)
- Fundraising (corporate giving, donor management, grant writing, sponsorships)
- Marketing and Public relations (graphic design, newsletter, social media, video editing, website)
- Programs (afterschool programs, camps, field trips, Grads in Focus, outings, workshops)
- Photography (file management, photo editing)
We invite photographers to use their talent and knowledge to make a vital difference in the lives of children who need it most. You can help us expand our mission to reach more kids by becoming a mentor. Our programs vary in length and commitment level but all will transform you as well as the kids you mentor.
Required Photography Experience: Kids in Focus Mentors range in experience from those who are Professional Photographers (Full & Part-Time) to Avid Amateurs who love photography, feel comfortable using their camera, and sharing their knowledge. Ours is not a technical program, in fact, the kids use point & shoot cameras. We look for Mentors who know how to see creatively. Our programs’ goal is to teach our kids composition and basic techniques like using light, shadow, and motion in their photos. We teach kids to create and see the beauty in the ordinary.
Required Skills: Our mentors enjoy working with kids! They come from diverse personal backgrounds and are good at being patient, energetic, and love to explore with their cameras. Our kids come from often difficult home lives. They need someone who demonstrates a genuine interest in them, cares about their experiences, is willing to listen and support them, and teaches them new skills both in photography and socially. Each mentor goes through training in the goals of the program, understanding how the kids are affected by their experiences, and how they can play a powerful role in bringing joy and new skills to their mentee’s lives.
If you feel inspired to help us ensure that this vital work continues to grow, please fill out our online application today to learn how your skills can help make a difference. We would love to have you join us!
What volunteer opportunities do you have available?
Kids in Focus volunteer opportunities are diverse. Although we always have a need for photography mentors, we also offer many other volunteer opportunities including coordination, marketing, graphic design, administration, special projects, event planning, coordination, exhibit set-up, and fundraising.
Who is eligible to volunteer?
Kids in Focus volunteer opportunities are designed for adults 18 years of age or older.
To be a Mentor and work with children, you must be at least 21 years of age, successfully pass a criminal background check, and attend mentor training.
What is the volunteer application process?
Prospective volunteers must apply online and submit a complete volunteer application. After applications are screened and processed, you might be required to complete a criminal background check and specialized in-person training depending on the volunteer role you want to play.
How many volunteer hours do I need to commit?
Kids in Focus welcomes volunteers willing to lend us their time and talents for any amount of time. Let us know your availability, and we’ll create a workable position for you.
Do you accept groups of volunteers?
Group volunteer opportunities are rare; however, we do plan events where group volunteers may be helpful. Groups are encouraged to support Kids in Focus by hosting workplace giving campaigns, planning an event that benefits Kids in Focus, or becoming a corporate sponsor. To further discuss group volunteer opportunities, please contact us at email@example.com.
Do I have to be a Professional Photographer to mentor?
No, many of our mentors are avid amateurs who are hobbyists.
Do I have to have experience working with kids?
No, but it is highly valued. We can also have you shadow a mentor so that you can get some experience before mentoring on your own and you will learn about working with kids in our training.
If I become a Mentor, what kind of camera do I need?
Mentors should bring whatever DSLR camera they enjoy using. The kids will be using point and shoot cameras that we provide.
What kind of technical expertise do I need?
The kids use point and shoot cameras that are set on auto. We don’t require a great depth of technical knowledge other than to be able to set the cameras basic settings. Also, Mentors are required to bring and use their own laptops and it helps if you are familiar with photo file management. We also provide file management training using Adobe Bridge.
What kind of training do you provide?
All mentors will attend Volunteer Orientation to understand the history and impacts of Kids in Focus as an organization.
They will also attend Mentor Training which includes mentor responsibilities:
- Mentor responsibilities
- Information about Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resiliency building
- How to work with kids in the most positive ways
- The types of programs available for mentors
- A separate file management session is available for those that need it
How many hours do I have to commit to at Kids in Focus?
We have no minimum annual requirements. We have a variety of program lengths ranging from one day to once a week for two weeks to the most in-depth, which is our flagship Afterschool program that requires a once-a-week commitment for 9 weeks the afternoon.
We have programs that meet in the afternoons and/or evenings on weekdays and some morning and afternoon sessions on weekends. In the summer we provide programs to kids at numerous camps around the State which provides a great way to get to cooler temps! We let you know when a new program is being staffed and you choose what works for you. We do require a commitment to the full length of whatever program you choose to provide the continuity of the relationship between you and your kids.
I’ve enjoyed the adventures and building positive memories. Seeing them [the kids] on the night of their exhibition, their smiles and how proud they are of themselves, it’s a beautiful thing.
I get a kick out of being surprised by the kids. Just when I think I know their characters, they drop a concept in their photography that reveals a new branch of their creativity.
It’s been a privilege to work with the kids; some of whom I’m still in touch with after 5+ years. To see them shine and truly benefit from the program beyond the aspect of learning about photography brings me so much joy and a sense of pride.