Creative Career Cohort

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2022 Cohort Session Three

We are proud to introduce and showcase the work of our 2022 Creative Career Cohort youth. This 17-week, three-part cohort explores photography, graphic design, lighting, styling, and editing. In collaboration with corporate partners, youth receive real-world opportunities for content creation, as well as mock interviews and portfolio reviews. (update second sentence with highlighted text)

Session Three: Portfolios and Interviews

Mock interviews, independent studies, and portfolio refinement

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My name is Xandra Y., and I came to Youth in Focus in an artistic slump. I didn’t really know what to create, so I wanted guidance. I got a lot of guidance here! Other than photography, I love filmmaking, drawing, and poetry. I think my art is one of my best representations of myself. I like to create art because it gives me a way to express myself in a way that doesn’t have to be so direct.  And I have three photos to show you today!

My self-portrait reminds me a lot about strength. In August, it will be a year since I started pole dancing and this photo reminds me of how far I’ve come. I couldn’t do this on the first day that I started and I worked really hard to get here and I’m grateful for my instructors Ascendance Pole & Aerial Arts. It’s been a really long journey of bruises and making mistakes, but at the end of the day- I’m reminded that despite my mistakes, I have accomplished a lot with all the practice I am doing. On top of that, I love the studio where I take pole lessons at. I even started working there recently. I think that being a part of a community that accepts me as I am is really important to me.

This image is of my Lola which is Tagalog for Grandma! My Lola started living with my family a couple months ago, she used to live in California- and I’m really grateful for her. She does a lot for the family, whenever I leave home my Lola always tells me to take care. My family is really important to me. This image was at Seattle Center- on mother’s day, I got to take my entire family including my mom, dad, sister, and Lola to the Chihuly Glass museum because I actually got tickets from CCC! This internship has given me so many opportunities to make new experiences with my loved ones. It was a beautiful experience and I really love this photo of my Lola because she looks really happy and overall this picture is very lively.

I really loved this image, because of the emotion. Of the joy. I want to end this internship full of a lot of joy for the experience and all of the people I got to meet. Because of this internship, I got to be a photographer for ACT Theater’s annual Gala- and I am so so grateful for this opportunity. It is a significant memory. I have never been to a gala event before, and my favorite performance was definitely these dancers- they danced and the whole room lit up.
It was so elegant and beautiful. And as a dancer myself- I want to show love to the dance community! I hope to be a photographer for more events in the future because I love to photograph experiences that become beautiful memories.

I’m really going to miss this program and everyone here- because everyone has been so supportive. I learned a lot here from the teaching artists, Ronnie, Meg, & Dene. And I can’t believe that it is already ending. In the future, I’m going to create more art, and I hope to have a lot more meaningful experiences like this internship. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be here and to everyone for taking the time to come here!

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My name is Eddie and what brought me to Youth in Focus are the great opportunities, learning new skills, and my lost creative mind needing to go somewhere.

For the theme of my picture of my friends, I tried to focus on colors but it changed to being more the grunge aesthetic. I ended up kinda mixing them up. My self-portrait represents that we are also stuck in our phones and we honestly see ourselves in our phones but don't take accountability for ourselves as humans for being such zombies to our devices. My final image is of a beat-up ol’ van. There's not a lot of meaning but it makes a great album cover, for sure. My goals after Youth in Focus are to put all the skills and talents in my resume and use the open doors given to me. I discovered that I can be more creative than I thought and I underestimate myself. I'm grateful for being able to join such a charismatic and open arms community.

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Hello everyone, my name is Ndiaye and I’m proud to say I was one of the youth that was accepted into CCC.

I had the honor to be chosen to be interviewed by Shida, Tara, and Ronnie for CCC after submitting my application online. After looking for programs with a friend to participate in, we came across Youth in Focus and instantly I was attracted to it. During my interview, I told my interviewers how I could see photography in my life, and my future career. I explained that I was interested in aerospace engineering and made the connection between reading and making visual manuals, like how you would read a photograph. Something I noticed was that visuals and photographs are both a form of art in some way. I noticed that they both seem to share some fundamental elements of art. For example in a visual manual sketch, you must consider space, lines, sizing and balance. The same can be applied in photography as well.

I chose my self portrait for this session to be this photo. At first, you may just think it’s a close up of some purple flowers, but I really think there’s more than that. Of course everyone is different, but when I look at this photo the first thing I notice is the beauty of it. The vibrant colors, the one flawless flower close to the camera. But then after some time when you start to notice the dry grass In the background , the dried up flowers surrounding it, and other things we call imperfections, you may start to criticize it. Then we let the beauty that we saw before slip our minds. I love this photo because it reminds me of what reality (for me) is like sometimes. When we meet people we often see one “perfect” side of them and set them to that “perfect” standard. “Oh this person is always happy”, “this person has no issues In life”, “it’s definitely not normal to see them in a bad mood”, “their life is perfect”….  But is it though? Just because you have only seen one side of a person doesn’t mean that’s all there is to them. Just because they are your friend and never show any other side doesn’t mean you don’t need to check up on them. And just because they choose to show you a smile, and the most beautiful side of themselves doesn’t mean they are fake or “not human”.

The message I get from this photo : So instead of judging others based on only what we see, get to know the person, have conversations, and see them no differently from yourself. Instead of distancing yourself when you see them on their bad days, embrace them whole, and instead admire the fact that they always show up with a smile even when going through tough times. In short, I believe We need to be more positive and think positively of other people.

After youth in focus, I’ll be leaving with better writing skills, more knowledge about camera settings, knowledge about how to use a tool like Lightroom, new vocabulary, and of course new friendships and connections.

Something that I learned about myself here is that I can actually write OKAY I just never actually tried.

I am beyond grateful to the Youth In Focus team, and for Evo for hooking us up with amazing gifts, and I’m excited to see where the decision to participate in this program will lead me towards in the future.

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Hi, my name is Julie Y, I use She/Her pronouns and I'm a part of the CCC Youth in Focus.

Photography is what drew me to Youth in Focus! I enjoy photography and consider it to be one of my favorite hobbies. This opportunity allowed us to use a camera to shoot images while being taught by expert photographers, which prompted me to enroll in this session since I wanted to learn.

Lightroom and making a banner were two of the techniques I did this quarter. It wasn't easy, to be honest. What was challenging to me was not getting used to the tools of editing but I received a lot of help from Dene and a few of my peers, which was fantastic. It motivated me to keep going and learned the comparison of different exposure while adjusting the editing tool.

I've been separating myself from the natural environment lately, so I decided to take a self-portrait in this lovely setting. I also learned that spending time in nature is beneficial to one's mental health. It improved my concentration and calmness as I was working on my final school projects with my siblings. I adore how beautiful my backyard is, so I'd like to photograph myself in it.

For my final images, I chose the beach landscape and the sunset. I truly love going to the beach as you can tell. When observing the seashore at a distance, listening to the sound of the waves, and feeling the cool breeze is a feeling of satisfaction and peace every time. This is why I chose these two images as my final.

My goals for myself after I leave Youth in Focus are to take more pictures and express my thoughts, creativity, and ideas. I want to maintain those goals throughout my entire life because it has impacted me positivity throughout the day.  

I discovered that I may be confident in sharing my ideas and expressing my thoughts as a result of taking this program. I tend to keep my feelings and opinions to myself, and this class has pushed me out of my comfort zone due to their comfort and encouragement. I also learned how to prepare for job interviews, and the youth in focus and the Evo team gave me such positive, and great feedback I'll learn from.

I am grateful for the support of my family and friends throughout my life, as well as this opportunity to share and express my creativity. Everyone here is optimistic and trustworthy, and I'm grateful to be a part of Youth In Focus.

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I am Richany S., a 16-year-old Khmer American who grew up in Seattle, Washington.

Recently, I’ve noticed that the people around me seem to have a fascination with hummingbirds. Creatures that mind their own business, making several stops each day. They make me think of all the people who are constantly in a hurry to be somewhere, or get something that’s going to be there for a long time. It reminds me that sometimes I need to slow down, and take my time. What’s the rush?

You need to stop to really see how amazing things are. There lies beauty where and when you least expect it. You don’t realize, but it’s right in front of you.

I took a liking to creating art because it's a way for me to express myself and share with others who I am. I think it’s good for me to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things. Photography allows me to learn new skills, and occasionally, make mistakes.

I’ve learned that you need to have patience, be flexible, cooperative, communicative, and kind. If you work hard enough, eventually you will find your reward, just as I have. You won’t always be satisfied with the result, but you have to keep trying until you do.

You don’t need much in order to take a good photo. As long as you have a place.

I decided on my bedroom. It’s somewhere that I take comfort in. There are days where I am drifting in the dark, but there will always be a little light to pull me out.

I never imagined I’d have been where I am now. But I am inspired and encouraged by those who come through my every day. They are what push me to succeed.

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Oromia (Mia) K.

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Hello, my name is Oromia, and I go by Mia.

What brought me to Youth in Focus was my interest in photography. At first, I was hesitant to apply, and it had almost been one of those opportunities I was going to have skipped, but I’m glad I didn’t. Working with cameras was really cool to hear because I loved taking photos.

Some themes and techniques I learned were with lightning on how the same picture could be shown differently which I thought was very cool.

For my self-portrait, I think it was something I just took in the moment, but I do enjoy those speak through your eyes sayings and that it was nice

For my final images, I thought to choose what looked the coolest to me, and things show simplicity like the moon and tree picture the moon looks so small, but it’s in the middle of an open sky making it so that the pic is so focused on it.

The goals I have for myself are to keep what I learned in mind which is not only the photography aspect but with the community and my new social network I have gained through this and use it to my advantage.

I learned that I can grow so much with a group of strangers especially when everyone is growing at the same time and that there are always new skills to learn or even skills that I am familiar with to learn more about.