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BokehFocus Remodeled … Now Bolder & Modern

Youth Photos, Youth Focus: a platform for professional, amateur, and youth photographers to showcase justice/youth-centric photography. Here at BokehFocus we love stories, and photographs tell the best stories. We want to hear from our community …from our world. BokehFocus is sister websites to and , and our reach is not just national but our viewers come visit us from around the world. BokehFocus was created to allow photographers an opportunity to display their work. Influenced by our sister websites any photographs with respect to Youth development Juvenile justice Gang and violence prevention Adolescent health Teen pregnancy, sex, and […]

Kids Compete, Learn in Juvenile Justice Jeopardy Game

Text and Photos by Ali Sardar   Spending a Saturday morning in a classroom is not something most kids want to do. So why did 110 kids between 9 and 17 years old in Lawrenceville, Georgia, do that in mid-May? They received basketball instruction from retired NBA stars and learned how to deal with police, tense situations and about Georgia law via Juvenile Justice Jeopardy. “Young people are learning about the law, juvenile justice and police … from media, family and friends [and] it’s all wrong,” said Steve O’Reilly, staff attorney for Strategies for Youth, which originated the game and […]

Rally Held to Support Jessica Colotl’s Immigration Fight to Keep Dreamer Status

Text and Photos by Ali Sardar ATLANTA — Advocacy groups and protesters rallied this weekend downtown in support of Jessica Colotl, whose Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status was recently revoked. Her story made headlines in 2010 when she faced deportation as a 21-year-old undocumented student after being arrested for driving without a license. Since then Colotl received DACA status, graduated and went to work as a paralegal for Kuck Immigration Partners. Organizations participating Saturday were the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia; the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, which has joined Colotl’s legal team; Asian Americans Advancing Justice; Black Lives […]

Community-based Organization Battles Chronic Absenteeism in Queens

Text and Photos by Becky Holladay “Good morning, Love Bugs, it’s a beautiful day!” Meaghan Holley sang through the door of an apartment. “Psych. It’s actually really gross out. But we still have to get up and go to school!” Holley, a 30-year-old community worker who runs Rockaway Rising, which works with youth and families in Far Rockaway, Queens, personally escorts to school kids who would otherwise be absenteeism statistics.

Nonprofit Art School Helps Youth Thrive in Skid Row, Los Angeles

Text and Photos by Sean Myers   LOS ANGELES — Nestled among nondescript warehouses and infamous streets, Inner-City Arts in downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row is an oasis for artistic growth and self-exploration that serves more than 8,000 students each year. (Click on photo gallery, above.) The school provides free classes each day for students in grades K-8 education through a partnership with the L.A. Unified School District and other charter schools. The nonprofit organization also offers after-school and weekend programs for high school students, as well as summer programs for children of all ages. The out-of-school time classes typically have a fee, […]

Young People Protest U.S. Election in Washington, New York, Nationwide

Text by Karen Savage | Photos by Devin Khan   NEW YORK — Chants of “not my president” and “love trumps hate” filled the air as thousands of young people stood shoulder to shoulder Wednesday night, filling the blocks around Trump Tower with signs reading: “Trump = Racist Rapist,” “Black Lives Matter,” “She Got More Votes” and “Trump, I’m LGBTQ and I’m not afraid of you.” While Donald Trump’s election victory pointed a spotlight on vast racial, economic and cultural differences across the country, New Yorkers united to show their sadness, shock and anger over Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential […]

Violence by Police, Against Police Risks Tearing Country Further Apart

Text by Daryl Khan | Photos by Karen Savage and Marco Poggio   NEW YORK — Gavin Long was not among the peaceful crowds on July 10, the week before he savagely murdered three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers. He was nowhere to be found among the mostly young protesters who gathered to call for justice in the shooting death of Alton Sterling by police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, and for reforms of a department they said was rife with racism. He did not participate in the demonstrations, carry signs, deliver speeches. And that should come as […]

Searching for a Solution Where ‘Fear and Weapons Meet’

Photos and text by Rebecca White   NEW YORK — “And I soon gathered that being perceived as dangerous is a hazard in itself. I only needed to turn a corner into a dicey situation, or crowd some frightened, armed person in a foyer somewhere, or make an errant move after being pulled over by a policeman. Where fear and weapons meet — and they often do in urban America — there is always the possibility of death.” —Brent Staples, “Just Walk on By: Black Men and Public Space,” a 1986 essay in Ms. Magazine Brownsville in Brooklyn seems to […]

Unspoken Truths: Young People in Recovery

Video by Roger Newton Youth Today spoke to six young people July 2 at the 2015 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in Atlanta, asking them a series of personal questions about alcoholism and sobriety. To maintain AA’s dedication to anonymity, this video will not show faces or name names. This article was first published on   See more work by Roger Newton HERE Read more from at  

Broken Promises, Broken Lives

Text by Daryl Khan / Photos by Robert Stolarik   The mostly black electorate of Baltimore elected a white candidate to be the next mayor in 1999. My editor at The Boston Globe asked me to go find out why. I was walking the derelict blocks of the city when I came upon the answer: a picture fastened to a splintering telephone pole that residents had turned into a makeshift memorial. The picture was of Angus Breen, a grinning teenager, much younger looking than his 14 years, who had been savagely murdered — stabbed to death during a robbery over […]