About KITS

About KIDS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

KITS is a Los Angeles County-based organization that helps youth impacted by foster care heal and grow from trauma through the power of storytelling and filmmaking. In the KITS flagship Script-to-Screen program, under-resourced youth ages 12-24 write, cast, and star in their own short films, telling their stories their way. KITS envision a pipeline of Black and Brown leaders in positions of decision-making power. By building the pipeline, KITS pursues the restoration of economic stability and generational wealth for Black and Brown youth. 

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About KITS – Our Approach

We are teaching youth that they have the power and skills to rewrite the end of their story and do great things. KITS trains these underserved youth to write, cast, and star in their own short films, which springs a pathway for healing, growth, and viable employment opportunities. KITS partners with entertainment professionals to provide filmmaking programs on-site at foster residential facilities and partnering agencies throughout Southern California all year round.

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Our Filmmakers

Who We Serve: Youth impacted by the foster care system, ages 12-24 – foster youth, system-impacted youth, opportunity youth, at-promise youth
Underserved youth – predominantly Black and Brown students and young adults from communities lacking resources and/or services
Not “education-based” – “take kids as they are” – we’re set apart because we take them where they’re at, but we also provide them opportunities for career paths they might not have every thought about; helping KITS participants pursue their passion for the arts, filmmaking or any area of the creative economy, without education being a prerequisite to involvement

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About KITS – Our Team

KITS was founded by a Black woman who is committed to maintaining mentors, staff, and a Board that reflects the youth it serves. We recognize the importance for underserved youth to see themselves in those they meet through the organization, to learn from those who look like them, and to work in the positions they aspire to be in one day. Our staff are 91% people of color, our Teaching Artists 81%, and our Board 57%. In addition, 10% of our staff and Board have lived experience in the foster care system.

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About KITS – Our Board

KITS was founded by a Black woman who is committed to maintaining mentors, staff, and a Board that reflects the youth it serves. We recognize the importance for underserved youth to see themselves in those they meet through the organization, to learn from those who look like them, and to work in the positions they aspire to be in one day. Our staff are 91% people of color, our Teaching Artists 81%, and our Board 57%. In addition, 10% of our staff and Board have lived experience in the foster care system.

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About KITS – Our Ambassadors

Using their platforms to bring awareness to foster care, and using their skills to support Kids In The Spotlight, ambassadors include: Ty Burrell, Joni Bovill, Kirk Bovill, Patrice Covington, Nadine Ellis, George Lako, Jon Lindstrom, David Mahmoudieh, Alphonso McAuley, Cady McClain, Mo McRae, Kiki Melendez, Robert Munic, Kara Saun – the Fashion Fairy Godmother, Kelsey Scott, Kellee Stewart, Claudia Wells, Ariel Winter

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About KITS – Our Funders

KITS programming has remained free of charge to the youth we serve, thanks to funders who support and help underwrite the costs. In-kind partners – like Radford Studio Center, MBS Equipment Company, and Paramount Pictures Studios – also make productions possible, at industry standard levels, by providing key grip and lighting equipment, props, and camera equipment. With every film you help fund, you change the trajectory of young lives.