Film & Media Education Program

Each year, the Reciprocity Foundation works with leading directors, producers and editors to co-create a compelling piece of media. Twice a week, youth receive training from career professionals in both “hard” (i.e. technical) and “soft” (i.e. life) skills that are required to work in the media sector. Since many foster care and homeless youth aspire to creative careers, Reciprocity focuses on teaching youth to create media using cutting edge software programs (Final Cut Pro) uploaded to Apple workstations. In our course, youth learn how to shoot footage, edit film reels on computer workstations and produce production-ready media (short films, documentaries, music videos and commercials).

In addition to hard/technical skills, our staff also teach project management, time management, stress management, personal organization, network, teamwork and budgeting. Classes take place in the evenings and are followed by additional coaching and support. After youth have attended career preparation classes, we place them in internships where they can gain real-world experience, earn a higher wage and build a portfolio to support their college application.

Educational Support Program

The Reciprocity Foundation offers out-of-school, classroom-based instruction and individual support two days per week to assist with completion of high school and/or GED attainment, and preparation for college. Youth in school receive one-on-one support from Reciprocity staff with homework assignments, curricular challenges and interpersonal issues faced by clients in high school. Reciprocity staff focus on creating customized solutions to enable youth to stay in high school, complete academic requirements and graduate, and plan for college. Youth work closely with their primary staff contact to develop and progress through all elements of their educational plan and performance goals.

Holistic Servic

We believe that all homeless youth have the potential to become future leaders—but in order for reach their potential, they will need to access Personal Transformation tools and receive the ongoing support of teachers/coaches who can help them on their journey.

Counseling: To help clients develop an authentic personal vision we offer holistic counseling to:

  1. Offer individual support to help them reflect on their lives, talents, and interests to gain insight into a viable career path.

  2. Group counseling and discussion to help youth articulate their goals, set clear milestones and build supportive relationships with each other and with staff.

Yoga & Meditation: We enable homeless youth to develop a toolkit for dealing with life’s stresses and disappointments. Using yoga, meditation and other stress reduction tools, we teach youth how to manage the challenges they will face in college, in the workplace and on media projects.

Mindfulness Retreats: Every spring and fall, we take small groups of homeless youth to a retreat center in upstate New York to experience contemplative activities such as yoga, sitting meditation and walking meditation. On retreat, youth are also invited to take part in nature walks—mostly practiced in silence—where they can connect with their own inner voices and experience the healing power of nature.