Sunday, July 26, 2020

2019-2020 Middle School Essay Winners

Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Essay Winners! It gives our foundation great pleasure to congratulate the following:
1st Place: Esther Kim (Los Angeles)
2nd Place: Maria Delgado (Ponce de Leon Middle School)
3rd Place: Leo Luis (Ponce de Leon Middle School)
Honorable Mention:  Nicole Claro (Ponce de Leon Middle School

This years contest was opened to all United States public/private/home- school students in Middle School. The winning essays  touched the hearts of those who read them and they showed that these young people  are strong with determination and the will to overcome any challenges that come their way. Keep up the good work and know that our Foundation cares about you and wishes you the very best! Photos shared by our 2nd Place Winner Maria Delgado.

Friday, July 24, 2020

A Twenty First Century Protest: A Personal Experience

Recently our Social Media Blog Manger  attending one of the local protest, “On Black Lives Matter,” and she decided to share her experience with us. By: Hana Tariku

A Twenty First Century Protest

There comes a point when people have had enough of merely talking about the injustices of the world. In this case, the injustice was police brutality against black people. The anger and pain of decades of mistreatment of these people in America, even though they were supposedly “free and equal”, manifested into a movement. A movement to educate and change how people view black people and their lives, whether it’s concerning the police, work environments they have to endure or simply everyday issues. I was one of the many people that was fed up with the discrimination that black people have to endure on a daily basis. From the microaggressions to the flat out bigotry and racism, I, along with a few of my friends realized we needed to be doing something as well. We don’t have large social media platforms or that much money that could help fund this change, so we decided to use our voices and march through the streets of DC with fellow protestors demanding a reform in the police system. What my friends and I learned preparing for the protest, witnessed during the protest and observed on social media is something that will stick with us forever, because we were finally able to see that people care about us black people and do not want us to continue to suffer. 

News sources had been reporting of protests turning into riots and the police continuing to use excessive force even when people were peacefully exercising their first amendment rights. Indirectly, they placed a lot of blame on protestors for what was going on. They ignored most of the conflict-free protests and directed their energy and resources to the riots instead. Even though they were mainly reporting on the violence, they were not advising protestors on what to do or how to help themselves if they are being hurt or being targeted by the police. However, social media was. People that were caught in peaceful protests that turned violent went and posted about their experience, and what to do to get out safely, so others could help themselves as well. Social media users would make and post videos on how to treat tear gas, get out of the city if the police are trying to arrest people for marching, phone numbers of lawyers ready to help were even posted. These social media users were concerned about people’s safety and made sure to let people know that we shouldn’t be taking videos and photos there because it could be traced back to us, or we might get someone's face in it potentially putting them in danger. To me, social media was telling the real, unfiltered story of what was going on. Peaceful protestors were not only being denied their constitutional rights, but being attacked for exercising it. Social media showed how many rioters used the protests to commit their crimes, the riots were not approved of many protestors. There were many videos in fact of protestors stopping rioters from looting and causing chaos and telling others to do the same if they saw it happening. Knowing all this, my friends and I got most of our tips and tricks on how to stay safe from social media. We all made signs, got into the car and headed to DC. That was our first mistake because once we got to the nation's capital, we were not able to find parking anywhere. We kept searching and were ready to pay for the parking, but either all the spots were blocked off or not open. We couldn’t help to think if this was a way to discourage protestors from coming. Finally, we were able to find a spot and park. We had to park far away and didn’t want to miss any more of the protests, so when we passed some of the city bikes we stopped to download the app so that we could ride them over. While we were standing there trying to rent the bikes a cop pulls up right in front of us and stops and watches us intensely. We ignored it at first, hoping he would leave us alone as we were just renting bikes. However, he continued to stare and got closer. At this point we were all freaking out a bit because we understood how things could turn badly in a matter of seconds. We knew we were not doing anything wrong and that this was just a scare tactic to make sure us kids knew they were watching everything, but still, knowing that with one wrong move we could lose everything we decided to leave the bikes and just walk to where they were marching. Growing up, in history classes I was taught that free speech and peaceful assemblies were our rights as Americans, maybe one of our most important ones. I was taught that that was what made America good and appealed to so many people. I soon realized protesting and free speech is only acceptable and praised when it’s not an issue concerning the advancement of black people. 

“Who's streets? Our streets!” “Say his name. George Floyd.” “Say her name. Breonna Taylor.” “No justice, no peace!” These words echoed through the streets of DC, growing louder with each voice ready to make a difference. People walking around would stop to come and join us in the marching. We were marching for a while now and the temperature was rising, but we kept going. Our voices got louder as we neared our destination, ready to be heard. Once we arrived at the White House, speakers stood up and began to explain why we are here today marching and will continue to march everyday until there is real change. I think there might be a misconception about how protestors are angry and ready to cause chaos and hurt people if they don't see a difference. I can’t speak for other cities, but the protests I went to in DC including this one, only spoke about wanting change, wanting better for the black community. Yes, protestors might be angry, but the real problem is if you’re not angry seeing how black people are treated here in America. Anger does not always mean violence and that is something the people looking in on what’s going on, but not doing anything and the rioters need to understand. That day all the speeches given were filled with words of inspiration and hope, but also pain. It hurts us and should hurt everyone to know that the police and other organizations view a black life as something so little and unremarkable. It should hurt to know so many young black kids were not given the chance to grow up because of the color of their skin. It should hurt to know so many black adults were not given the chance to watch their children grow up. It should hurt to know that so many elderly black people that fought in the civil rights movement, who thought maybe America could get better, were never given the chance to watch America truly grow. This has been a discouraging fact that many knew, but now people want change and that’s what these protests and movements were working for. Blacklivesmatter is not a new term or idea, it has been going on for a while now, but it was mainly only supported by the black community itself. So I was very surprised when I saw people of all colors and races protesting with us. I had this misconception that maybe others would think this isn’t their fight or wouldn’t bother to concern themselves with it outside of social media or the news. Seeing how so many people stood up against the police and systematic racism made me feel a different way. It had me beginning to think that this time would be different, this time we’ll see real and lasting results. Another factor that made me think this time would be different is how everyone was looking out for each other. There were small things like how the speakers would constantly stop to tell people to stay hydrated because of the heat. There were people passing out water, gatorade and food and didn’t expect anything in return. Protestors were going around with hand sanitizers so we could stay safe and not have to choose between our health or justice.  A quick protocol was made amongst the protestors for when someone would faint from the heat. They would yell medic and everyone would clear a path so that person could get help as soon as possible. I vividly remember when this one person fainted there weren’t any medics around so everyone got their signs together and used it to give her shade from the sun until medics could arrive. These actions might seem meager, but it was a change. There have been movements in the past where different communities came together. Or protests where people were fighting for the rights of a minority group. To say this movement and these protests are different from the ones that came before them may seem like a distorted truth or naive to some. But it is the truth. When has there ever been a protest where we have people of all races, religions, social and economical statuses, sexes, etc. When has America ever had a movement where we have people in other countries standing with us. When have we ever had companies, major media outlets, rich and famous people apologize for any part they have played in hurting members of the black community simply because of their race or ideologies. And then proceed to now help the blacklivesmatter movement. Their apologies and promises to change may not be sincere, but it is setting a precedent that will not be forgotten. 

As our world continues to become more technology focused, technology has also become more than just a way to entertain yourself and be kept up to date. Social media, blogs, youtube channels, etc. all became another way for people to protest without leaving their homes. All over Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok you would see people talking about what’s going on, ways that you can help and social media users even began exposing people if they weren’t doing anything about what’s going on and they had the means to. Celebrities were called out if they were silent about this injustice and lost many fans, followers and money potentially. Many businesses and even government officials experienced the courtroom of social media and faced the punishments if they were doing too little, or nothing at all. Youtube channels and blogs would write and talk about what’s happening so people that couldn’t be there know every advancement made. Also, it gave people in other countries an opportunity to know what’s happening here in America. I believe the online activity during these protests have helped advance the movement with simple things like telling people where to meet for the marches, which town hall meetings to attend or where to donate. However, I believe the most impactful difference social media and other online sources made is it gave everyone a voice. You didn’t have to be rich, famous or powerful for you to get your opinion across; you could easily just send out a tweet. And it was those voices that held people accountable for their actions. It was the tweets, posts, snaps that let people see what was going on from an average person's point of view and what they saw. Our information no longer came only from major news sources that have to edit out certain things or exaggerate for a storyline. Social media may have a bad reputation, but it gave us the truth when we needed it. 

I don’t know if the protests have actually changed how people think. All these advancements may just be symbolic acts to get people to stop talking and go home. These new bills getting passed and companies promising to change the systematic racism they allowed may not be sincere. Sincerity would be great, but at this point the main goal is to reform the police system we have now that is targeting and killing black people. I believe blacklivesmatter main focus right now is to make sure black people are not being killed by the police because they’re seen as a threat or dangerous because of the color of their skin. If this can be accomplished, then maybe one day everyone will view a black life as important as everyone else’s. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Social Media Documentary Camp Is Here!!!!

Social media is the place where a lot of young people want to expose themselves and speak their mind. Taking into an account the fact that throughout film and video that you can post on social media you can express yourself but also listen to the opinion of other people about the same issue, we created the social media documentary camp that would satisfy your desire to learn more about social media documentaries.
The camp is meant for teenagers at the age between 12 and 17. It is taking place from the 20th of July until the 31st, 2020 from 9am until 12 pm.  The goal of this camp is to enable young filmmakers to contribute to their interest to learn how to produce and direct a Micro Documentary project that they will be able to distribute on Social Media. The camp will be held online and the presentation is live and interactive. The instructors are award-winning filmmakers who will teach you in a fun and creative way plus they will participate in hands-on production learning without ever having to leave their homes. There will also be collaboration from other young Filmmakers across the world during the pre- production stages of their micro docs. The nature of the course makes it appropriate for young filmmakers of all levels.
This is a great opportunity for young people to develop film making skills from the comfort of their homes and to learn from the best. Let’s enjoy the summer and do creative and useful things!
In order to register for the camp you should fill in an application form which can be found on our website . For any questions and inquires feel free to contact us via email or phone (310) 226-844.
We are looking forward to an amazing social media documentary experience together!

Film Camp Is Here!!!!

This is the perfect time to spend a part of your summer in a creative camp that will develop your skills and improve our knowledge when it comes to the film. A perfect opportunity for all film enthusiasts!
Understanding the need for a better knowledge of film making we created our summer film camp, which is meant for teenagers at the age between 11 and 17. It lasts from July 13-24’ 2020
The goal of this camp is to introduce the participants to the art of film making throughout an interesting explanation of the film making process. This is a way to satisfy the need for film production where the concept was created to teach young filmmakers, how to produce a Short Film Project.  The camp will cover all the elements of a successful film making including the processes of pre-production, storyboarding, filming techniques and post-production editing with the usage the most essential elements such as music and sound effects for a better film experience. At the end of the camp, the participants will be able to create their own short film which will be filmed in the fall in September 2020.
This camp will be held online by award-winning filmmakers, so the participants can enjoy this interactive and live presentation without ever having to leave their homes. There will also be collaboration from other young filmmakers across the world during the pre- production/production of their projects.
The registration for the film camp is available from: June 1st - July 16th 2020. You can sign for the camp by submitting an application which can be found on the site .
We are looking forward to an amazing film experience together!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Photography Film Camp Starts: July 6-10 (Online)

Here is some good news for the admirers of photography who would like to participate in our photography camp and learn more about the techniques of photography and to improve their photography skills in order to take amazing and breathtaking photos in future. We all want our photos to look great no matter if it is about photos of ourselves or photos of nature, landscapes or photos of some objects and so on.
Our photography camp has a goal to teach our participants about the fundamental operations, techniques and composition of digital photography. The class is taught by professional photographers who will teach you about important things such as shutter speed and aperture, image quality, and compositional methods to help students develop their vision as young photographers. Students will also have the chance to learn more through practical photography assignments where they will be asked to take photos and those photos will be shown at the end at the Photography Virtual Gallery Showing.
In order to take part in this photography camp, students are required to have their own DSLR Camera and access to a computer and the Internet. This is an online photography camp and the classes will be held on Zoom. The photography camp is meant for participants between the age of 11 and 17. The camp will last one week from July 6th until July 10th (Monday- Friday) from 10:00am – 11:30 am / Independent Learning: 12:00pm–2:00pm (Teachers will be on-line from 9:30am – 2: 00 pm, each day).  Fees required for the camp are 150.00 but there is a discount for those who will apply before June 30th 2020 and the fees for them are 75.00.
 For everyone who is interested in participating in this online photography camp, please complete and submit the application form on our website . We are at your disposal for any questions at (310) 226 – 8441 or e-mail us (
We are looking forward to learning more about photography on our online photography camp. See you there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Summer Photography Workshop Online Is Here!

Our photography club provides the best experience for all pre-teens and teens. It seems that photography is a common hobby these days. There are wonderful photos that could be seen on social, including photos of landscapes, nature, portraits, etc. Understanding the spirit of the youth and in a combination with their energy, creativity and desire for photography we created our photography club.
We have designed a new, fun and engaging Digital Photography Kids Workshop, which is designed for teens and pre-teens at the age between 11 and 17.  This is an intensive workshop which will last for two hours. Professional photographers will take part in this workshop. The participants are required to have their own DSLR Camera. In this workshop will be taught how to venture off of “Program” mode and into the wild, wonderful world of manual settings to get the most out of a DSLR camera and start capturing frame-worthy shots!  Participants will be taught about the ins and outs of a DSLR Camera.
The photography workshop will be held on Monday, June 22nd and Monday June 29th from 10 : 00 am to 11: 00 am and from 12 :00 pm to 1 : 00 pm. The photography club is online and is free of charge. For everyone who is interested in participating in this photography workshop, please complete and submit the application form on our website . We are at your disposal for any questions at (310) 226 – 8441 or e-mail us (
We are looking forward to learning more about photography on our online workshop. See you there!