$2000 grant from Arizona Federal Credit Union to help fund upcoming workshops - AZEdNews
Sections    Friday March 24th, 2023

$2000 grant from Arizona Federal Credit Union to help fund upcoming workshops

  • |
  • Chris Fahrendorf   |   Highnoon

Students Learning With LCD

Youth in underserved communities oftentimes face an uphill battle to escape the seemingly never-ending generational poverty circle. Time and time again, these communities see inequities in digital arts educational opportunities that can lead to careers that are in demand. According to a recent LinkedIn study the three fastest rising jobs are all in social media. Subsequently, in an effort to combat this issue, Kema Charles founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Lights Camera Discover (LCD). 

Lights Camera Discover’s mission is to develop a sense of pride, self-worth, strength and appreciation of community commitment through performance and digital arts. To execute on this, the organization offers free, accessible and effective STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programming with the goal of closing the circle of generational poverty. They provide these resources in after school, weekend and summer workshops where seasoned film, acting, writing and production veterans teach the performing and digital arts. 

Besides teaching the digital arts, these workshops focus on growing middle and high school students’ creativity, thoughts, views, love and self-worth.

“I know what it’s like to be labeled and someone not know what you’re full potential is till they get to know you,” says Kema Charles. “We try to put the kids in what we call a ‘safezone’ which means you can be your unique you. Being able to express yourself without worrying about any backlash, that builds self-esteem and self-character.”

According to Kema, Lights Camera Discover also hosts these programs as a way to keep their students from falling behind in school and out of trouble. The long-term goal of Lights Camera Action is to help their participants make positive career choices in life.

“Having them come from school and be a part of us gives them an extra outlet to keep them out of trouble,” says Kema Charles. “Our program gives them something to do to get that energy and creativity out and they can also turn it into a career if they want to.” 

Recently, the mission of Lights Camera Discover caught the attention of Arizona Federal Credit Union who granted the organization $2000 through its Local Artists, Local Causes Visa® debit card giveback program. Those funds will directly fund the upcoming workshops that Lights Camera Discover plans to hold during the 2021-22 schoolyear. 

“Lights Camera Discover is exactly the type of nonprofit organization we had in mind when creating the Local Artists, Local Causes program to give our members a way to give back and make a meaningful impact with ease,” says Rachel Galvez, marketing partnerships manager at Arizona Federal Credit Union. “Kema and the team at Lights Camera Discover are doing something that is essential for any community in educating the youth and we are happy to support them in doing so.”

This year is Lights Camera Discover’s 10 year anniversary of service. On Saturday, August 21, 2021 the organization is holding a silent auction fundraiser to raise funds for their youth programs. For more information on Lights Camera Discover, please visitwww.lightscameradiscover.org.