About ProjectFocus Hawaii

ProjectFocus Hawai’i, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established in 2005 as a means of giving at-risk children and others with challenges including our aging population, a healing voice through the medium of photography.

Each year ProjectFocus selects a different group to be the recipient of its photography workshops.  The program strives to enhance self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-reflection, all critical components in fostering the resilience necessary to make a fulfilling life from challenging ingredients.

Project Focus Hawai’i encourages participants to have a “voice” through the camera lens.

Collectively, youth participants have suffered poverty, homelessness, drug addition, prostitution, substance abuse, physical and mental abuse, life-threatening illnesses or other medical issues, physical and cognitive challenges, mental illness, incarceration, domestic violence, and the death of a parent or sibling.

During the workshop, student participants are trained in the use of medium format film cameras and tasked with photographing someone whose presence has made a difference in their lives. These photographs and accompanying narratives, along with the participantsʻ photographs taken by ProjectFocus co-founders, Laurie Callies and Lisa Uesugi, are paired to form the basis for the exhibits.

Most recently, ProjectFocus Hawai`i has expanded its mission to include bridging the gap between Hawaiiʻs youth and its aging kūpuna.

ProjectFocus Hawai`i is independently funded through monetary and in-kind gifts received from the generous support of foundations, individuals and community and business leaders. Co-founders and professional photographers, Laurie Callies and Lisa Uesugi, conduct all aspects of the program on a pro bono basis.

Board of Directors

Lisa Uesugi ~ President & Co-Founder
Laurie Callies ~ Executive Director & Co-Founder
Shanlyn Park, Esq. ~ Vice President & Secretary
Deneen Nakashima ~ Treasurer
Cecily Ching ~ Director
Cheryl DeAngelo ~ Director
Coreen Lee ~ Director
Shawn Nakamoto ~ Director

Gerald Teramae ~ Director

PFH Fellows

Tyler Holck
Kate Uesugi

Program Interns

Jami Alamar
Natalie Benjamin
Dezandria Cambra-Orpilla (2009 participant)
Rachel Deliz
Caelan Hughes
Lia Medeiros (2008 participant)
Jenna Minami
Alison Nichols
Macy Ring
Kate Ryan
Kalia Schuster
Matthew Shimura
Annie Uesugi
Jack Uesugi
Cesile Uno
Devin Washington
Kelsey Yamanaka

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