First Exposures is the only mentoring program in San Francisco that provides free weekly photography classes for under-served youth, ages 11-18.
Students live with their families in transitional or low-income housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, and some have recently experienced homelessness. We collaborate with a wide range of youth service organizations in order to reach young people with diverse backgrounds.
Praised as a model program by the State of California, First Exposures is unique in its one-to-one pairing of each child with a photographer who serves as a caring mentor and positive adult role model. Mentors are photographers with a commitment to youth empowerment through education, volunteering for a minimum of one year.
First Exposures provides a creative outlet for students to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment, and encourages them to become articulate, confident, and responsible young adults. In 2008 First Exposures expanded its program by introducing a digital photography class in order to serve more youth in our communities.