About Kids In The Spotlight (KITS)
KITS is a Black-led, Los Angeles County-based organization that helps foster youth heal and grow from trauma through the power of storytelling and filmmaking. In the KITS flagship Script-to-Screen program, foster youth ages 12-22 write, cast, and star in their own short films, telling their stories their way. KITS envisions 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.
KITS Origin Story:
When Kids In The Spotlight Founder and Executive Director, Tige Charity, first visited an all-girl's group home in 2007 she had no idea the seed that had been planted in her heart.
In May 2009, with no prior experience and only the help of family and friends, Charity created Kids In The Spotlight, Inc. (KITS), a unique and highly specialized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides a platform for foster care youth to tell their stories.
KITS trains these underserved youth to write, cast,
and star in their own short films; from which springs
a pathway for healing, growth, and viable employment opportunities.
KITS partners with entertainment industry professionals to provide 15-week filmmaking programs on-site at foster residential facilities, and partnering agencies, throughout Southern California all year round.
Over 80 films have been produced since its inception and have been screened at film festivals around the country including three consecutive years at the Washington West Film Festival as well as the 2016 South By South Lawn White House Film Festival, where our youth met President Obama.
Each filmmaking season concludes with the KITS Film Awards (formerly known as "Movies By Kids, For Kids Screening and Awards"). The highly anticipated celebration of achievement has taken place at a variety of venues including Fox Studios, The Writers Guild Theater, Sony Pictures, Raleigh Studios, and on the historic Paramount Pictures lot.
"We are teaching kids that they can re-write the end of their story."
KITS helps foster youth heal and grow
from trauma through the power of storytelling
KITS envisions a pipeline of Black and brown entertainment industry leaders in positions
of decision-making power. In this way,
KITS contributes to building generational wealth in communities of color, strengthens and grows Black and brown entrepreneurship, and pursues the full and equal agency
and participation of Black and brown Americans in economic life.
KITS provides space, experiences, and tools that enable youth to write, cast, and star
in their own short films.
KITS’ purpose is to disrupt the negative outcomes associated with youth from the foster care system, change the narrative,
and redirect the life trajectory of
L.A.’s foster youth.
Independence and resiliency are as important, if not more so, than hard skills gained through KITS programs. In the words of KITS alumna Aliah White, "Kids In The Spotlight showed me that my voice is powerful and gave me the confidence to connect with the rest of the world."