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Lights Camera Discover

Name: Kema Charles

Location: Mesa, AZ 

Type of Business:
Youth Programs

What does your business do?
Lights Camera Discover is a teambuilding program, in which we send our highly trained, passionate leaders lead a workshop for students. We hold our programs after school or during school breaks. Millions of children and youth who are in unsupervised situations at the end of each school day would benefit from participation in quality after-school programs, where learning continues in a safe, supervised environment. Lights Camera Discover offers youth an opportunity to work with a caring mentor to improve their ability to develop a positive attitude toward their future. The long-term goal of Lights Camera Discover is to empower young people to break the habits that are leading to trouble in school and in the streets.

When and why did you start the biz?
Founded in October 2011, Lights Camera Discover decided to became a nonprofit organization to work with our youth providing them opportunities to grow confidence, build self-esteem, and learn teamwork by participating in a series of workshops that teach various aspects of the film industry and also teaches computer coding.

How Many People are in your Company?

Where's your office?
The second bedroom in my apartment in Phoenix. And the couch of my friends apartment in Denver.

What's the toughest part of running your biz?
The toughest part is finding supporters to actually support us financially and not just with words saying what the think we want to hear. We only get people that say we love your idea and keep doing what you are doing it's great.

What's the most fun part?
The kids. We have been doing this for 5 years while working full time jobs because the look on the kids faces are priceless. I don't care how tired we are we are there. When we had our programs this summer i worked 4am-8am and then with the kids from 9am-4 pm. And I will do that all the time just to see their faces.

Anything you would have done differently?
A lot. But the one think I would really do differently is in the beginning not take people for the word so much. I would get it in writing. One summer we flew to another state because a group stated the wanted to work with us. We paid for all of travel and everything thinking we were partnering with this group. Needless to say we facilitated the program they were nowhere around and did not help with the expenses as they stated they would. As I stated before starting out we pay for everything I had to come back and get an extra job just to make sure I would have a place to stay and sold my car and took the bus because I trusted someone for their word

What's next on the horizon for your biz?
We have branched out to Colorado and just got approved to work with the city of phoenix to work with the youth in their housing developments using their apartment clubhouse for free to facilitate our program for their youth to keep them out of trouble.

What advice do you have for others?
Find people who truly believe in you. Don't think just because someone is family or a friend for years truly believe in you. I call them verbal supporters but when you really need them make sure they are someone who will be there.

How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
I love coming here to get business forms and seeing things I would have never even thought of using. From marketing, legal to HR forms, its good to have those all in one location

School (where, still in school, degree)?
University of West Florida

Prior jobs or business?
Phalanx Entertainment Trailer Park Inc Sprint

Favorite Food?

What are your pets' names?
I don't have any

Is there any one person or event in your life that led you to go into business for yourself?
My parents. They are not around anymore but I remember growing up how much our community loved them because they always did things for the youth. My mom being a girl scouts and putting on events for kids. And my dad always dressing up in a costume to entertain the kids in the elementary school.

Anyone you publicly want to thank?
My business partners without them believing in me and motivating me I would have quit a long time ago

Contact Info:
Kema Charles
546 S Country Club Dr #2018
Mesa, AZ 85210



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