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.
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
Coreen Lee ~ Director
Shawn Nakamoto ~ Director
Gerald Teramae ~ Director
Dezandria Cambra-Orpilla (2009 participant)
Lia Medeiros (2008 participant)