PLATINUM2024

KIDS IN THE SPOTLIGHT INC

Foster youth telling their stories their way.

aka Kids in the Spotlight   |   Burbank, CA   |  www.kidsinthespotlight.org

Mission

To help youth in foster care to heal and grow from trauma & rejection through the power of storytelling and filmmaking; changing the trajectory of these youth, from adversity to achievement. KITS’ Screenwriting and Filmmaking Program delivers comprehensive and therapeutic arts education/training, which has assisted our youth in mitigating their pain and finding their power; as well as securing entry level jobs, internships and post-secondary school admission. Each year culminates in an annual KITS Awards – our version of the "Academy Awards".

Ruling year info

2009

Executive Director

Tige Charity

Main address

145 S Glenoaks Blvd Ste 124

Burbank, CA 91502 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

35-2364726

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Film, Video (A31)

Vocational Counseling / Guidance / Testing (J21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Children are expected to one day develop into functioning adults, capable of achieving the personal success needed to financially and emotionally support themselves. In most cases, this trajectory of life is the result of a stable home environment, where love and support permit a child to grow into the best versions of themselves; capable of pursuing higher education, maintaining steady employment, and sharing healthy, emotional connections. However, the trajectory for foster children is nothing like that of a child who grew up in a stable home, and the grim realities of the foster care system are devastatingly overlooked: 36% of foster youth become homeless, 25% have at least one jail stay by age 20, and 8 years after leaving foster care, almost half are unemployed. While there are success stories of foster children who rose above the statistic, it is evident that the foster care systems alone lack the structural support needed to transform the lives of these youth positively.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Kids In The Spotlight

A 15-week filmmaking program for foster care youth consisting of (5) weeks of screenwriting, (4) weeks of acting/casting, (1) production day and (5) weeks of editing, where foster youth stories come to life on set with industry professionals guiding the way.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Students

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed a strong sense of self

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Victims of crime and abuse, Unemployed people, LGBTQ people

Related Program

Kids In The Spotlight

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Behavioral Objective: 86% of participants feel that the program has helped them build their confidence and enabled them to find their voices.

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed social skills (e.g., interpersonal communication, conflict resolution)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Victims of crime and abuse, Unemployed people, LGBTQ people

Related Program

Kids In The Spotlight

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Learning Objective: The number of KITS participants who learned how to communicate ideas to others in a positive way.

Number of hours of training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, LGBTQ people, Victims of crime and abuse, Unemployed people

Related Program

Kids In The Spotlight

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Total number of training hours at all locations. This 15 week filmmaking training equates to basic technical, practical, and first semester core requirements at California Institute of Arts (Cal Arts)

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, LGBTQ people, Victims of crime and abuse, Unemployed people

Related Program

Kids In The Spotlight

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Total number of participants accepted into the training program from all locations served.

Number of short films completed by KITS participants (from inception to completion)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people, LGBTQ people, Victims of crime and abuse, Unemployed people

Related Program

Kids In The Spotlight

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Total number of short films produced by KITS participants. (Due to COVID-19, no scripts were filmed but five scripts were written and will be filmed in 2022).

Number of clients placed in internships

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Kids In The Spotlight

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

It is KITS' goal to aid foster care in transforming the system from a pipeline of toxicity to a vehicle that promotes personal growth and self-esteem through transformative storytelling. Our overarching goal is for our mentoring and film training model to help foster care youth develop their organic creativity, intellectual curiosity, academic ability, social values and resilience the young filmmakers need to ensure their success in school, career, and life.

KITS aims to inspire these young people in the foster care system to pursue careers in the film industry through partnerships with successful Hollywood talent. KITS partners with entertainment industry professionals to provide 15-week training sessions on-site at foster residential facilities throughout Southern California throughout the year. The underserved youth are trained to write, cast, act, and edit their short films. Going through the process creates a pathway for healing, growth, and viable employment opportunities. In the last ten years, we have produced more than 75 films. Screening for some of the movies happened at film festivals around the country, including three consecutive years at the Washington West Film Festival as well as the South by South Lawn White House Film Festival. As we continue to see growth in the quality of our films, we know that focusing on the distribution of our films will be imperative to helping our youth achieve personal growth and self-reliance.

KITS aims to expand our program to address the immediate needs of foster care youth. KITS intends to generate a social enterprise for our cause by introducing a 24-hour production studio with standing sets. The enterprise will offer industry professionals the opportunity to pay it forward by renting the studio sets for their productions and hire a minimum of two of our youth to work on their projects. This production studio would allow KITS the opportunity to generate approximately $30,000 a month to support our program and provide our foster youth with ample opportunities for employment and revenue to become self-sufficient.

KITS also aims to open a Performing Arts Boarding Academy. The Performing Arts Boarding Academy will provide foster youth, grades 9-12, with a nurturing home environment that includes love, stability, and community, as well as academic and emotional support through the powerful impact of education and performing arts. Our program aims to improve foster youth academics and engage them in higher a level of understanding to prepare for a school in filmmaking? Our model is designed to prepare foster youth for college, careers, and community leadership.

KITS will continue our 15-week filmmaking program. Currently, we are looking at strategies to expand different areas of the program. For our aged-out youth, who have been in the program multiple times, we are looking to add a solo screenwriting option. This program would allow them to enter their screenplay in our award competition at our end-of-year KITS Awards celebration in the area of the best screenwriter. The screenwriting competition would be a valuable learning experience for young writers as they build resume skills telling their story, their way.

Further, we are currently in conversation with multiple organizations regarding the development of programs and partnerships that will directly benefit our youth. For instance, Lionsgate, an entertainment company, detailed an internship program that we are looking into; CBS Studios and IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) have both expressed interest in collaborating with other unions to create viable training programs in dedicated fields; Studios 60 verbally agreed to hire one of our participants after a discussion on location scout; and we have begun the conversation about paid internship opportunities with both Quixote Studios and Entertainment Partners. We will continue to build industry partnerships like these that will allow us to hit deliverables in the area of finding employment for your youth. We currently have real estate partners looking for properties that might be the right location for the performing arts boarding academy. We will continue to solidify relationships with our community partners and grantors.

Ours is a mixed portfolio of revenue streams. We receive both financial and in-kind support. Warner Bros., Fox, NBC, and other major tv and movie studios and industry businesses provide in-kind and/or discounted resources. Our KITS Ambassador, actor Ty Burrell, uses his celebrity platform to brand and fund-raise. He also is pivotal to our Cocktails-for-A-Cause annual mid-year fundraiser. Numerous media outlets highlight and feature our various events, which are a valuable resource for KITS. The Jim Jefferies Show feature on National Foster Care Awareness Day generated $30,000 in revenue as a social media challenge.

Further, individuals who learned about KITS through the feature opted to give either one time or monthly donations as well. The KITS annual Awards gala (mimicking the Oscars) is our participants' film premiere also generates operating revenue. We have a strategy for Giving Tuesday 2019, as we celebrate ten years of KITS, to help further create funds that allow us to hit our goals. Lastly, the revenue the production studio should generate would be strategic in helping fund the performing arts boarding academy

The most striking aspect of KITS is its program and model design that allows us to be flexible enough to capture and incorporate in our curriculum, the latest industry trends (for example animation, special effects, and other innovations). KITS is a mobile organization. We take our equipment and labor to the Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program facilities, schools, industry studios, or wherever we need to set up shop. KITS partners with major studios, industry companies, and professionals; including professional screenwriters, actors, and editors as instructors and resources. Because of these partnerships, we are well-positioned to hit our goals in serving the foster youth in our programs.

Our filmmakers get an education equivalent to primary first-semester college (which is useful for entry-level jobs and college), a script registered with the Writers Guild-West and an Internet Movie Database (IMDb) profile/credit. These accomplishments give the filmmakers an advantage when pursuing a career in the film industry. Our students are gaining experience and making the connections to help further our goals in employment readiness.

We continue to engage as a strategy more industry titans in our film judging process. We will build on our partnerships to create more resources for our organization. With our staff team, experienced board members (including our own KITS alumni), industry volunteers and celebrity KITS ambassadors, we are well-positioned to meet our goals.

Representatives from The Department of Family and Child Services have admitted that our program is more effective than most therapy sessions because our youth battle their trauma in artistic and collaborative environments—free from the accustomed regulated and confined lifestyles.

Exit surveys show that 93% of our youth have an easier time communicating ideas and working in groups. In addition to the social and emotional progress, our program increases attendance records, academic achievements, and provides them with the skills needed to obtain and maintain steady employment. 86% of KITS participants this year feel that the program has helped them build their confidence, and 88% have been motivated to try harder in academic subjects after being a part of our program.

Because two of our aged-out foster youth were successful in their paid internships with ICM Partners last summer, four of our KITS youth were extended positions this summer (2019). While statistics say 20% of foster youth will become instantly homeless after reaching 18, and only one out of every two foster kids will have some form of gainful employment by the age of 24, it is partnerships like these that provide our kids with hope and a game plan for the future.

We have also focused on creating components within our filmmaking programs that would provide our young adult foster youth with opportunities to gain invaluable vocational skills. Under this directive, we realized the first step was for KITS to create opportunities within. IMDb is like a virtual resume that tracks the number of jobs and positions a person has held throughout their career. With 11 films completed this year, we began to pull from our foster youth to give them dedicated roles that they could add to their IMDb profiles. From Production Assistant to First Assistant Director and Grip, these roles will now provide our youth with a viable, entry-level experience that can get them into the door of most productions—big or small. An additional 20 jobs were given to our youth this year as a result of our in-house productions. Along with creating crew positions, our films created over 40 acting roles for KITS participants which in turn will add to their IMDb profiles.

In addition to internal productions and partner internships, three of our aged-out youth got jobs as production assistants on commercial projects this year; two of our participants are now interns with the producers of our organization's annual KITS Awards Show; three of our participants helped conceptualize and star in a newly created PSA; and another was offered an assistant position with one of our partners—InaviZion Media.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

KIDS IN THE SPOTLIGHT INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

KIDS IN THE SPOTLIGHT INC

Board of directors
as of 03/08/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Gregory Metzger

North Pier Search Consulting

Term: 2015 -

Yvette Bess

Foster Care Advocate

Roceania Williams

Ephraim Entertainment

Jan Coleman

The Walt Disney Company

Stephen Fisch

Entertainment Attorney

Chris Bess

20th Century Fox

Mary Sanchez

Actress-KITS Alum

Nita Schimmel

Mallory Sorkin

Agent Experience Manager, Compass

Robert Sorkin

CEO, Sorkin Strategic Partners

Santiago Chavez

Customer Service, Bank of America; KITS Alumna

Tige Charity

Kids In The Spotlight, Inc., Exec Dir.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/5/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/05/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.