We love high school! Okay just kidding. But we do love helping kids IN high school. Each year, members of the Alliance of Professional Women’s philanthropic arm, The Alliance Foundation, along with a team of volunteer professional photographers, put on a special photography event for a group of graduating high school seniors from New Legacy Charter School in Aurora, Colorado. Coordinated by Alliance of Professional Women (APW) member Willy Wilson of Life Unstill Photography, the Alliance Foundation Community Outreach Committee hosts an afternoon event of senior photos for students.
New Legacy school focuses on helping students attain their high school diplomas and supporting the idea of continuing education for parenting teens. The school offers onsite childcare for infants and toddlers, parenting classes, nutrition classes, and support for young parents. They serve a diverse population of mostly low-income students for whom something as luxurious as high school senior photos is well out of reach. The goal of the senior photo project is to give the teens access to a “normal” high school rite of passage – the senior picture. Many kids entering the workforce or applying for college use their professional senior portraits on applications and LinkedIn pages. Parenting teens are unlikely to have the resources to pay for senior pictures and may not even be able to find the time away from their child to have photos taken. Enter The Alliance Foundation: coordinating with volunteers from the APW and the school, this event provides students a way to capture an important time in students’ lives.
What we do
During the sessions, volunteer photographers from all over the Front Range work with a volunteer helper from the APW and a high school senior to create beautiful professional portraits of each student. In addition to photos, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science graciously provides free tickets to the museum for all the students and volunteers for the day. The museum offers a unique indoor location and the grounds at City Park are the perfect backdrop for senior pictures. Students often bring their partners or family members and take the opportunity to visit the museum during this free event.
Check out some behind the scenes photos of the event here.
After the photo day, the photographers edit the pictures and send each student a private online gallery to download and keep their photos. Students are able to choose a photo for their school yearbook and a photo to print. The Alliance Foundation provides a set of professional prints for each student to keep.
This year New Legacy will have its highest number of students graduating from their program. Because of the high number of students participating, the Alliance Foundation Outreach Committee was able to recruit 12 photographers and seven volunteer helpers to support the program.
The volunteer photographers came from around the Denver metro area and include wedding, portrait, photojournalist, and family photographers. The volunteers included Keiko Matsuno Photography and Jamie Kraus Photography both of whom have been supporting this project from the first year. Flor Blake Photography who has been supporting the project for two years, and a wonderful group of photographers who joined the volunteer team this year for the first time: Deanna Raso of DMR Photography, Molly Garg Photography , Michel Hansen of Evaro Photography, Gabrielle Stowe Photography, Christina Cookson Photography, Kayla Martinez of Kayla Rose Photography, Gabrielle Mundie of Chickadee Kisses Photography, and Rebecca Del Castillo of Reflections Photography.
Many thanks to our volunteers this year: Alina Nikishina, Gina Miller, Cari Harris, Kerry Hammond, Duke Wheeless, Kristi Sullivan, and Claudia Baylon. We couldn’t do it without the help and support of the staff from New Legacy School staff who spent their Saturday with us helping coordinate the portraits. Also thanks to Maura O’Neal from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for her help with getting our groups into the museum each year.
Help Us Help Women Help Themselves!
If your are interested in supporting the Alliance Foundation Community Outreach, please consider supporting our organization through a sponsorship of our upcoming fundraising gala or purchasing an advertisement. Please contact APW Executive Directory Kerry Hammond to learn more. You can also donate directly.