Double your donation to Focus on Youth today!

The Feinstein Foundation is matching all donations to Focus on Youth until April 30th.

The Feinstein Foundation is dedicated to the alleviation of hunger, the importance of community service in education and the values of caring, compassion and brotherhood.

Seeds of Hope

IMG_6629Seeds of Hope is our new youth leadership, photography and organic garden program that is bringing homeless youth closer to nature.  This program gives youth the opportunity to join hands and hearts with volunteers in a common desire to grow their own food, create art, beautify their surroundings and improve the watershed of Fanno Creek.

Seeds of Hope

  • Supports youth leadership
  • Produces food and art
  • Creates green space
  • Encourages community engagement
  • Incorporates science and math curriculum
  • Improves the Fanno Creek Watershed


We are partnering with New Avenues for Youth, Community Legacy Program of Our United Villages, photographers, master gardeners and science teachers.



This program builds on our ten years of success and provides a safe place for homeless youth to retreat from the noise and commotion of the urban environment , grow their own food and connect with the beauty and wonder of nature.

Collage 2-20-14



Focus on Youth students are exhibiting their images  titled “Perceptions of Youth”at ProPhoto Supply in NW Portland.             This is a collaborative exhibit with youth in Perth, Scotland.



What We Do…

For the past ten years Focus on Youth has been putting cameras in the hands of low-income high risk youth and we have seen them transformed by the experience.   Focus on Youth uses photography to empower culturally and ethnically diverse teens by providing them with creative outlets to make positive changes in their lives.  We collaborate with professional photographers, schools and community organizations developing projects that engage students’ imagination and creativity while building their confidence and self-worth.

Focus on Youth nurtures creativity, promotes leadership skills, encourages success and profoundly transforms the lives of our students and our participants.

How FOY makes a difference

Click here for higher quality version of the video.


Why We Do It…

This remarkable letter, written by a student with her mother, describes how many of our students feel about their mentors and the program (though after our classes they are usually better at saying it visually than verbally). Two of the photos are portraits our Spring 2012 class with New Avenues for Youth students took of each other, the third is a “self-portrait” statement by Keenen about who he sees himself to be………

Our lives were shut off…Some blinded by heartbreak…
Others standing alone in a colorless world.
Some suffering in silence, scared to speak, yet longing to be heard…
Others, hiding in the shadows, yet pleading to be seen….
Some searching for a hand to hold…others for a shoulder to cry on…
We all were praying for a miracle…a special sign to point the way…
Someone to show us how to fill the “empty frames” in our lives…
Then together you came…inviting us all into your circle of inspiration!


Breaking through our silence…you offered to share our dreams…
You showed us what we couldn’t see…and how to capture the moments!
To look for the miraculous…in places others miss.
How to write our own stories through a camera’s lens….
To trace our own journey, as each new exposure came into view…
Then, miraculously one click at a time…the shadows disappeared!
Clear new found images of light chased away our darkness…
Empty frames vanished…revealing instead new full impressions of life.


Through you all…our wise and trusted mentors…Our faithful friends…
You show us how to bring into focus…amazing images…
You taught us how to discover our own special legacy.
We found our voice in each landscape you helped us capture…
We were touched deeply by the passion and skills you shared…
Everyone changed forever by the visual autographs you left in our lives.
We feel honored to have been given this fresh glimpse of the world…
A chance to view the beauty of life through a photographer’s lens…
You are our heroes…We are your legacy…Please remember us all…
For…we are your best work yet!

Your personal photographs of hope!

Please like us on Facebook – we’re able to update that page much more often than the ones on this site… and we have many more marvelous photos… Focus on Youth Facebook

 If you’re not a Facebook user, we’d love to have you keep track of our activities by subscribing to our Focus On Youth Email Newsletter. We promise not to overload your mailbox, share your email, or keep sending them if you decide to unsubscribe. We also promise at least one beautiful image from one of our kids in every issue.

Make a Donation

The Feinstein Foundation is matching all donations to Focus on Youth until April 30th. Please consider making a donation today.



Focus on Youth Greeting Cards now available. You'll find more information and images by following the link.

Don't forget that we're going to be selling really beautiful cards (printed for us by our good friend Al Barreth at Digicraft) at Umpqua Bank's Beaumont-Wilshire branch starting in July. For details, please click BLOG up in the tool bar for the site.

Terrific segment broadcast on KGW NewsChannel 8 called Students Focus on Beauty. Our sincere thanks to Pat Dooris and the folks at KGW who really do care about our community and show it every day. Here's a link to take you to the segment: - Focus On Beauty.

Exhibits & Events

Visit our exhibit at the Lloyd Center Umpqua Bank from July 1st until September 30th.

The Albina Bank in the Pearl is hosting an exhibit of our work during the month of August.