Photographer nominated for volunteer award

Darren Ferriera, an outstanding professional photographer who has volunteered annually to take pictures of our matches, was recently nominated by Friends for Youth for the Volunteer Center’s 2010 Community Spirit Award. The award is part of National Volunteer Week — April 18 through 24 — celebrations.

Darren has consistently volunteered his time and talent since 2002 to capture the essence of our program with striking and honest photographs of our Friendships. He donates not only his time for the portrait taking, but also the setup for the activity, editing of images, and burning to individual CDs each Friendship gets to keep. These photos are a gift to each Friendship (along with the experience of sitting for a portrait in a professional studio), and also allow Friends for Youth to explain our organization to the community in a direct and personal manner. As a result of Darren’s service, we are able to find and recruit more volunteers to be mentors to the youth-in-need in our program. The wide-ranging impact of Darren’s volunteerism is immeasurable, as his photographs grace our website, annual report, marketing materials, and the walls of our Redwood City office. Friends for Youth could not afford to pay for such professional photography, so his contribution is significant.

Darren’s volunteerism is an example of employee-initiated volunteerism, and as a result, his employer, Gap, Inc., donates its space and equipment to support this annual Friendship Portrait Day. In addition to volunteering his expertise, Darren is also able to bring in financial donations from his employer by participating in Gap’s Money for Time program.

In addition to taking pictures at the annual Gap Studio Portrait Group Activity, Darren also leads Friendships on a tour of his workplace, providing a “real world” office visit so mentees can be introduced to potential careers in the fashion industry. In addition to the obvious careers in modeling and photography, Darren also highlights the many others that are represented at the Gap studio, such as business, marketing, digital editing, information technology, security, etc. This allows mentees to visualize future career opportunities that may be of interest to them.

To date, Darren has photographed 65 Friendships. He has done so because of his support of Friends for Youth’s mission to create quality mentoring relationships for youth who need them most.


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