It's important to me to give back to the community I live and work in. Community service has been a large part of my life starting as a teen volunteering at the Yakima Valley Museum. Later in life, I was a VISTA for AmeriCorps, serving our local schools. I'm fortunate to work with two amazing non-profits that allow me to continue this gift of service in the Yakima Valley: The Gold Hope Project and the Miss Yakima County Scholarship Program.
I am so honored to be a photographer for The Gold Hope Project, which is an organization that provides photography services for families of children facing a pediatric cancer diagnosis.
From TGHP's website:
"Many families with ill children are emotionally, physically and finanicially strapped; it is the heart of The Gold Hope Project to take at least one worry off their shoulders and gift them something magical – the smilies of their children frozen in time. The Gold Hope Project’s goal is to make sure that these already over-burdened families have an everlasting documentation of the joy and whimsy of their children while simultaneously raising awareness of and funds for pediatric oncology research and treatment."
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I have been photographing the Miss Yakima County titleholders since 2015 and I've loved having the chance to meet each of these amazing young women. Several titleholders have gone on to larger competitions, such as Miss Washington, and it's incredible to see their strength and growth over time.
From their website:
"The Miss Yakima County Scholarship Organization is a not for profit corporation based in Yakima, Washington. The organization is committed to providing young women with the opportunity to enhance their personal and vocational development through scholarship programs and community service.
The Miss Yakima County Scholarship program conducts the Miss Yakima County, Miss Apple Valley, Miss Sunfair, Miss Apple Valley’s OT, and Miss Yakima County’s Outstanding Teen Pageants, the only official preliminaries to Miss Washington, Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen, Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen!"