Exploring Careers and Kindness in San Francisco

This summer, Photo Start embarked on a careers and kindness journey. We provided storytelling and photography instruction in an intensive, 12-hours-a-week, 6-week program to 38 students aged 13-18. Many of them were new to photography theory and writing and were excited by the challenge to think differently.

Based in San Francisco, Opportunities for All (OFA) provides access to career exploration and workforce development for young adults of all backgrounds. OFA was created by Mayor London Breed to address economic inequality by connecting young people of all backgrounds to paid employment, job training, and mentorship opportunities.

San Francisco Students Rise to the Challenge

One student, Ryan Harris, discovered a new passion. “It’s been an incredibly interactive and fun learning experience. In fact, I’m continuing my education in photography and am currently taking a photography/art class at the high school I’m attending.”

The Golden Gate Bridge Shrouded in Fog / Photo by Ryan Harris - Careers and Kindness
The Golden Gate Bridge Shrouded in Fog / Photo by Ryan Harris

We want to give a special shout-out to our Lead Instructor, Jeri Muchura, who conducted these live online classes from her home in Nairobi. Now that’s some long-distance learning! Students also appreciated her talent and energy.

Stephanie Situ elaborates: “Your input and the way you speak about your work was just amazing. I could genuinely feel your passion which made the class more enjoyable…. You also explained things perfectly and I understood every topic well from your teaching. I have learned so much in just 5 weeks which is the most mind-blowing! I enjoyed each class and wouldn’t trade it for another summer experience.”

The Marina / Photo by Stephanie Situ
The Marina / Photo by Stephanie Situ

As part of the storytelling program for OFA, we brought in educator Sebastián Martin, founder of Cambio Labs, who assigned teams to explore kindness with ideas for social innovation in their community. We were quite impressed with their concepts and thoughtful presentations! They covered topics such as climate change, the environment, and homelessness.

Photography can not only change lives, it can also change the world!

Take a listen to a few of our students present their social responsibility proposals.

Exploring Kindness For Giving Tuesday 2021

On November 30, the world will unite for a day of doing good. The Giving Tuesday movement celebrates generosity of all types – everyone has something to give. You don’t have to wait until then to participate. Begin by exploring ways to show kindness in your community.

Take the lead from Opportunities For All – do you know any young adults who have lacked access to education, networking or job training during the pandemic lockdown? Offer to help with a resume, practice interviewing, make introductions to hiring managers, or fill out a college or trade school application.

You can also contact a local school to organize a job fair and recruit co-workers to speak about their current role, past job-hunting experiences, and tips for transitioning from high school to the “real world”.

If mentoring isn’t your thing, a lot of people just need someone to be nice to them today. Keep your eyes open for chances to lend a smile, a kind word, or a helping hand.

Build The World You Want To Live In

One way to explore kindness for Giving Tuesday is to help us build our equipment library with an in-kind donation. Give your old technology a new life with our students! We need:

How to Donate Used Cameras and Photography Gear

  1. Jot down the brand, model, serial number, and fair market value (FMV) of your item. You can find the FMV by searching prices for similar used items online.
  2. Go to photostart.org/donate and complete the form.

Within 3-5 days you will receive confirmation of your donation and shipping information. It’s that easy!

Remember, every act of kindness counts, and everyone has something to give.

Photo Start is Silver-certified on GuideStar as a 501c3 non-profit organization providing children’s education. We partner with youth charities, schools and NGOs in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and the United States, and with your help we’ll be expanding to more countries in 2022.

Discover more about our Partner in San Francisco at Opportunities for All.

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