Adobe Youth Voices App Now Available

Nine years. 250,000 young artists. 5,000 educators. 60 countries. All of them, creating with purpose. The AYV Community is so amazing, Adobe built a whole app to celebrate it! See the inspiring stories of students and educators and the impact their work has made in their lives and communities. 

Download the Apple or Droid app now!

2015 AYV Award Winners Drive Change with Creativity

Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) came to life in 2006 with a powerful vision: to empower students to develop digital media-making skills and drive change in their communities. AYV has developed into a global movement with about 250,000 youth from 60 countries participating since its inception.

This year’s awards received a record 1,575 projects, attracting young creatives who channel their art, film and music into pieces championing social advocacy.

The AYV Awards Details

Winners are chosen in five different categories: animation, documentary, narrative, visual composition and social venture, a new category that showcases videos from youth pitching ideas on ways to address critical social issues.

A diverse panel of judges – including creative industry leaders, AYV educators, student alumni and Adobe representatives – select first and second place winners. The public then determines an Audience Award winner in each category by voting for their favorite projects online.

This year, we selected the 15 winning projects from a pool of 53 finalists and garnered a record 318,738 votes for the Audience Awards. We’re amazed by all of the powerful work from this extraordinary group and are excited to share the winners with you.

Congratulations to the AYV Award Winners for 2015!

Congratulations to the 2015 AYV Award Winners!




Visual Composition

Social Venture

Supporting a New Generation of Creatives and Changemakers

Today’s young creatives have unprecedented influence on the world around them. They are igniting discussions on social and environmental issues with creativity that can transcend global boundaries. Using digital story making, they can translate personal experiences and perspectives into media that has the power to create real change in communities around the world.

As part of Adobe’s commitment to this next generation of creatives, we have selected 25 students for this year’s class of Adobe Creativity Scholars. Launched in 2013, the program now supports 75 students in post-secondary education and creative pursuits.

Chosen from 12 countries around the world, the students have all participated in the global Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) program where they learned to how to create media with purpose. These young filmmakers, social entrepreneurs, and artists were selected due to their strong academic performance, leadership and global awareness.

“Adobe and AYV gave me the confidence to dream of pursuing a career in film and an outlet to express my frustration artistically,” scholar Ayanda Chisholm says. Her film, Black Beauty in the White Gaze, brings light to the historically underrepresented, including LGBTQ communities, women and people of color.

Scholar Christine Chung (Canada), who created the animation piece Hunger’s Core, says AYV has encouraged her to be a more purposeful creator. “We are on an ever-going exploration of ourselves and what gave us substance as artists,” she says. “We are learning about our own capabilities to influence.”

“I believe that everybody has the potential to do and be anything they want. They just need a bit of encouragement from the right people,” scholar Maya Hirota (USA), creator of the film Aphelion, says. “Thank you, Adobe Youth Voices, for being the right people for me.”

Congratulations to the 2015 Adobe Creativity Scholars:


We are extremely proud of the 2015 class of Adobe Creativity Scholars, and look forward to seeing where they will take their talent and creativity next!

Patricia Cogley is senior manager, Adobe Youth Voices.

2015 AYV Awards Finalists Announced and Audience Voting Has Begun!

Voting for this year's ‪#‎AYVAwards ‬ has begun! Check out the finalists and simply click the "Vote" button for your favorite media pieces. You hold the power to decide the Audience Award winner and your participation helps students worldwide receive Adobe software, hardware, and a donation towards a charity of their choice.

Visit  to see the finalists and vote for your favorite ones! Voting runs until June 15th!‪ #‎CreateWithPurpose‬ 

Feel free to vote for multiple projects on your personal mobile devices, tablets, desktops, and laptops. Don't forget to support your top picks by sharing them on your social channels. Winners will be announced on June 22, 2015.

Remember to watch, vote, and share! 

AYV Awards Now Open: Call for Youth Media Projects Focused on Social Change

Posted by Michelle Crozier Yates, Director of Corporate Responsibility on February 3, 2015

Last year, Christine Chung and Salwa Majoka were 12th grade students at Northview Heights Secondary School in Toronto. Christine describes herself as “a lifelong creative doer” and someone who “explores human conditions, trying to convey them in her work.” Salwa says that she “finds happiness in visually sharing stories and conceptually strong ideas, hoping she can make people ‘think’ about issues.”

These two young women decided to bring their perspectives and creativity together to produce “Hunger’s Core”, an animated short that tackles world hunger – and took first place Animation in the 2014 Adobe Youth Voices Awards. Christine and Salwa hope to continue their studies in animation and illustration so they can direct more films together.

This is one of thousands of stories that show the impact Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) has made on the lives of young people around the world. Since its inception in 2006, the program has cultivated digital media making skills in more than 190,000 youth from 60 countries. AYV aims to give youth creative confidence – the ability to tell powerful stories for social change through the production of digital media projects. Through this experience, they hone skills of self-expression, ideation, collaboration, flexibility, and persistence.

AYV_AWARDS LOGOToday, we open the call for our fourth annual international Adobe Youth Voices Awards to recognize more insightful digital media projects created by youth like Christine and Salwa. If you or someone you know is eligible, and ready to create positive social change, we encourage a submission in one of our five categories.

The competition accepts entries in four visual storytelling methods: Documentary, Animation, Narrative and Visual Composition, which includes photography and graphic design. It’s open to youth ages 13 to 19 who want to use the power of digital media to drive awareness of social issues important to them. Winning projects will receive grants to support a nonprofit of their choice, hardware and Adobe software.

We have been so inspired by these projects, and the promising young leaders behind them, that we added a fifth category, Venture – an invitation for five-minute video submissions that pitch a solution to a social problem. Entrants are asked to propose a plan for implementing the solution over a year’s time and illustrate the expected impact. Venture winners will receive funding, hardware, Adobe software and mentorship from Ashoka’s Youth Venture to support the execution of their proposed plan.

All youth must team with an educator from their school or youth organization to submit the entry on their behalf. Complete entry guidelines are available on the official competition website.

The AYV Award season is always filled with excitement at Adobe because we find out what’s on the minds of youth from around the world. With the addition of the Venture category, we’re eager to see what issues our young social innovators will want to tackle. I’m sure they will continue to inspire and surprise us, and we look forward to sharing these stories with you in the coming months.             

Public Webinar on Creating Impact with Premiere Clip


A free, public webinar on Creating Impact with Premiere Clip will be held Wednesday, December 10, 2014, from 10:00 - 10:30 Central Time (US & Canada).

Teach youth how to create high quality media that sends a message using just a mobile device.  Members of the development team introduce Premiere Clip , Adobe's new iOS app, which lets you select and edit video footage and easily combine it with text, photos, and soundtrack to tell a story.

Download and explore the app  before the webinar from the App Store.

For the webinar, go to the Adobe Connect room at  

Image Credit: Kareen Matushek at TakingITGlobal 



At Adobe, we believe that creativity is the catalyst for solutions that create positive change. So, it’s only natural that our social purpose is part of the fabric of who we are as a company: to inspire creativity and innovation in those who want to make a meaningful impact in the world.

Through our partners and our technology, that impact continues to stretch across the world. I’m happy to share our progress in our 2013 CR report and provide highlights of the impact made through our education, community and sustainability initiatives.

Education – In 2013, we invested $8.8 million in our Adobe Youth Voices program, providing digital media skills to over 33,000 young people around the world. Our 2013 AYV Awards winners demonstrated their ability to think globally and act locally by tackling social issues from tolerance to education to civil rights. Not only are they using these skills to tell powerful stories for social change through digital media, but they are honing the additional skills of self-expression, ideation, collaboration, flexibility and persistence. In fact, 96 percent of AYV youth believe that creativity is important to their success.


Community - Every year, we invest in our employees and partners to drive local social impact. In 2013, $58 million was invested back into communities through grants, product donations and employees volunteering their time and talent with their colleagues or through individual pro bono projects. All Adobe employees who have participated in our Pro Bono Initiative say that it positively affects their job satisfaction and 100% of the non-profits believe Adobe’s support will improve their organization. This connection has created a mutually-beneficial impact on our people and our communities.


Sustainability – Every year, we strive to outdo ourselves on the sustainability front. We are managing our operations very efficiently and cost-effectively, and investing in renewable technologies in our offices and data centers to mitigate against the risks of climate change.  Adobe is incredibly proud to have been recently recognized by Newsweek as the #1 greenest technology company, #2 greenest US company, and #3 greenest international company. And, we increased our CDP score to 99 — a small, but significant improvement from 97 in 2012.

An exciting development is we have begun to track how we make our customers more sustainable through the use of our products. In 2013, 31.2 million Adobe EchoSign transactions saved 31.2 billion pounds of wood and 4 million tons of potential travel emissions were avoided through the use of Adobe Connect. We also estimate an average 70% carbon reduction per customer among the 817,000 Creative Cloud subscriptions in 2013.


A More Targeted Approach to Data Reporting – As you go through the data, you’ll see that we are taking a more targeted approach in which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) we track and report. We made adjustments to make it easier for stakeholders to find the relevant information they seek, and added a GRI index. We have included 25% more KPIs than in 2012, and more than 50% are new – including our diversity statistics.

Employee Diversity – Adobe’s gender and ethnic diversity statistics are in line with our industry peers, and like them, we are committed to finding new ways of enhancing diversity within our current workforce while continuing to grow the pipeline for the future.  To help increase diversity within Adobe and across the tech industry we are focusing on attracting key talent through university recruitment and partnerships with coding initiatives including Girls Who Code, developing leadership skills among employees, offering industry-leading benefits, and cultivating communities for sharing and collaborating.  We firmly believe a diverse workforce drives richer collaboration, innovation, and creativity and we are committed to achieving the longer-term outcome of a more representative workforce.

Next year, you can look forward to our continued commitment to supporting our local communities through skilled volunteering; discovering new ways to conserve natural resources for our business and our customers; broadening the computer science talent pool by highlighting the creative side of coding; and taking our AYV program to the next level by making it accessible to any young person who wants to use digital media tools to create social change.

Sign Up for Free AYV Online Course and Get Adobe Software for Your School

We’re so pleased to announce our free online course on youth media making – and an opportunity to obtain Adobe software for your school! 

For the first time ever, AYV will offer to the public an 8-session online course with all the key elements of the successful program. Adobe Youth Voices: Create Change is designed to prepare educators to lead youth media making for creative skill development and social change. The course will be hosted on the Adobe Education Exchange and is set to begin September 21, 2014. It’s simple – and free – to join the Adobe Education Exchange and enroll in the course. Users can login with their existing Adobe ID or create one. Register for the Adobe Education Exchange and then visit the Adobe Youth Voices: Create Change course page to enroll in the course. This is a great opportunity for educators who can’t participate in standard AYV training to still benefit from all of the resources and ideas in AYV.

If you are in the U.S. and work in a Title 1 school, you may be eligible to apply for a software donation. As part of the White House's ConnectED initiative, Adobe will deliver creative tools and teacher professional development to schools across the United States—all with the goal of helping youth express their creativity and build their skills for future success. To learn more about the Adobe ConnectED donation program for Title 1 schools, please visit

Remember: Any educator around the world is welcome to join the AYV Create Change course. U.S. teachers in Title 1 schools can also take advantage of Adobe’s ConnectED software donation program. Their school may receive up to 30 copies of PEPE and they can start using the skills gained in the online course right away. The ConnectED donation also includes Adobe EchoSign and Adobe’s eLearning tools, Captivate and Presenter. Educators can easily create instructional videos and incorporate a flipped classroom model. Please help us spread the word to your colleagues! 

AYV Award Poster Campaign Winners on Equality

Through Adobe Youth Voices, students age 13-19 are using creativity and digital media to create awareness for some of society’s most pressing issues, including bullying, human trafficking, and equality. Read on to learn how each AYV Awards Poster Campaign winner is using graphic design to send a powerful message and look back at the students behind the Documentary videos here.

1st Prize: Love the Diversity

As a Japanese immigrant who learned English as a second language in elementary school, she knows firsthand how lonely it can feel to be thought of as “different.” Her poster, Love the Diversity, celebrates people from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities and has already been disseminated broadly throughout her high school.

While Sayoko Ariga’s original intention was to provide a safe environment for LGBTQ students and employees at her school, her ultimate goal is for all people to love and accept others. She hopes that her poster will inspire others to create artwork representing equality and acceptance and that it will encourage others to think about this issue more seriously.

2nd Prize: Held Back By Stress 

According to USA Today, more than 27% of teens say they experience extreme stress during the school year, resulting in lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and poor eating habits. Experts are worried that teens are potentially setting themselves up for a future of chronic stress and illness as a result.

Max Stevens knows how stress can affect someone’s life and general outlook. He designed this poster campaign this year to communicate that stress is a serious issue and shouldn’t be taken lightly. More importantly, he says, it’s essential to stay positive, take a step back and breathe.

Audience Award Winner: Be Creative 

Creativity does not begin and end with artwork. 19 year-old electrical engineering student, Abdullah Al-Dahshan encourages everyone to follow their own creative path in order to think differently discover innovative solutions to problems.

Celebrating the Adobe Youth Voices Awards Winners

We’re proud to announce the winners of the third annual Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Awards, a global, online competition inviting students ages 13-19 to use digital media to express their vision for driving positive change in their communities. This year, a record 2,400 students from 50 countries around the world submitted 1,315 projects. Individuals and student teams worked with AYV educators to produce media projects that address a variety of complex social issues, from bullying to body image to climate change.

We’re amazed by all of the powerful work we saw from this extraordinary group of young creatives and are thrilled to share the winners with you. We had a chance to sit down with a few of this year’s winners to find out what this award means to them.

Kennedy Houston, Victim, New York

‘‘There have been many documentaries about bullying. Winning this award will help us get our message across to more people about how damaging bullying can be and how to overcome it. We want more people to have the strength to push through; that doing so will give you the strength to do whatever you want in life.’’

Brandon Charlton and Kennedy Houston filming their documentary, Victim, which shows the damaging effects bullying can have.

Sayoko Ariga, Love the Diversity, Ohio

‘‘AYV has already created a safe place for me to share my voice with an international audience. Winning an award will help more people see my entry work and hopefully take LGBTQ rights more seriously. I believe that we should all support human rights and love people the way they are.’’

Sayoko Ariga working on a poster she designed for her school’s Gay Straight Alliance club's assembly.

AYV Award winners are chosen in seven categories: animation, documentary, photo essay, music video, narrative, poetry and campaign poster. First and second place winners are named in each of the seven categories by diverse panel of judges, educators, student alumni, and Adobe representatives. The public also cast over 200,000 votes to determine the audience winner for each category. AYV Award winners and their affiliated schools and organizations will receive a range of prizes, including donations of Samsung Galaxy Tablets, copies of Adobe CS Production Premium Suite, a 1-year Adobe Creative Cloud membership and a monetary donation to a charity of their choice.

We believe creativity is a critical skill that can positively shape our future leaders. After going through the AYV program, our research shows that 88% of students feel confident about their ability to ideate, collaborate, adapt and express their point of view, and persist through challenges, while 95% believe that creativity is important to their future success. We’re proud to be able to be able to support these students as they work to create positive change in the world.

The 2014 winners are:



Music Video


Photo Essay


Poster Campaign

Congratulations to the 2014 AYV Scholarship Recipients

The 2014 AYV Scholarship results are in! Out of 118 applications from around the world, these 25 talented students have been chosen based on their academic achievements, creative work, leadership, and more. They will each receive a scholarship to support their post-secondary education and career goals. From telling the dramatic and intensely personal story of how to cope when your family comes apart, to creating an unconventional video on bullying that commands attention, to demonstrating humanity’s environmental impact through stunning photography, these youth are passionate about having a positive impact on their families and in their communities through media.

We applaud these students from around the world who demonstrate extraordinary potential and hope that this scholarship paves the way for them to continue to create change in their future studies and careers.

We asked a few of the students to tell us why their work is important to them. Here’s what they had to say:

Julia Tang, Canada
”As long as I am able to create change and impact someone’s life for the better through my creative storytelling, I will consider my job done.” 
Manthan Charles, India 
“Creativity in photography can change our mindset and can move our thinking to a different way. By supporting the power of photography we can tell the realistic story to the audience. We can motivate society to make positive change.”

We’re proud to share the stories of these remarkable youth and help them to continue their education. We urge you to take notice of their work not only because they are the next generation of creative thinkers, but because they have the vision to change the world.

Congratulations to the AYV 2014 Scholarship Recipients:

Vote Now for Adobe Youth Voices Awards!

The wait is finally over – Audience Voting for the Adobe Youth Voices Awards has officially begun! Twenty finalists in each of the 7 categories have been chosen for the running and you have the power to decide the Audience Award-winning media pieces. Help your favorite projects win Awards by watching the media, voting, and sharing the Adobe Youth Voices Awards on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. We want to thank everyone who participated and submitted this year’s amazing projects.

Go to to check out the finalists by category and click on the thumbnail views to see each project. To vote for your favorite media pieces, simply click the “Vote” button. Your votes will decide which lucky winners worldwide will receive Adobe software, hardware, a Creative Cloud membership, and a donation to a charity of their choice, so start voting today! Feel free to vote for multiple projects and don't forget to support your top picks by sharing them on your social channels.

Audience voting is invited April 28th through May 30th. Winners will be announced on June 18, 2014.  We wish the best of luck to all the finalists!

Read more about Adobe Youth Voices Awards Audience Voting on the Adobe Blog.

Hard Work Pays Off

Ceballos_1st post_photo

Alvaro Ceballos is an AYV Scholarships recipient from New York City. He participated in AYV at Urban Arts Partnership. Alvaro is currently studying Film at the Pratt Institute.

When I left the Dominican Republic I was a junior in high school, very close to starting college. Moving to the United States without knowing English pushed back all my dreams. I needed to start from zero as a freshman in high school again. At first I thought that I would never make it to college, but after all the sacrifices my family and I made, going to college became my priority. I went to ELLIS Preparatory Academy, a school dedicated to serving the academic and social needs of recently arrived youth like myself. Its mission is to assist its international population of students in developing their linguistic, intellectual, cultural and collaborative abilities, so that they may become part of this new culture.

From my second year until my senior year at ELLIS, I was required to do internships. It was at this point in my life when I discovered my passion for art. I interned at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (teen council), the National Museum of the American Indian, Lehman College Art Gallery, Barbara’s Flowers, and Scratch DJ Academy. My final internship was with the Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy at Urban Arts Partnerships. All of these internships helped me a lot, not only academically and socially, but also artistically. Now I am a full-time student at the Pratt Institute with the dream of becoming a film director.

The Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy helped me decide on my college career. Before going to the Academy in early senior year, I was undecided on my major. After interning at the Academy, I realized that film was something that I want to do for the rest of my life as a professional career.  Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy was the only place where I took film classes. I came to the Pratt Institute with knowledge of using Adobe Premiere, and it really helped me for my early assignments in my digital cinema class.

Adobe Joins President Obama’s ConnectED Digital Literacy Initiative

Today, I’m fortunate to be visiting the East Room of the White House to be with the winners of the first-ever White House Student Film Festival and their parents, along with cool celebrities like Kal Penn and Conan O’Brien. Without a doubt, this is one of the best things about my job at Adobe – seeing  what students are creating with digital media tools. The winning videos lined up for today will undoubtedly be impressive.

Unleashing creativity in all students and teachers is critical as we prepare this generation for the careers of the future. Today’s students live in an increasingly digital and visual world and must do more than just consume digital media. They must create it in order for their ideas to take shape and their voices heard.

Today, Adobe is happy to announce that it is joining the Department of Education and the President’s ConnectED initiative by making world-class creative tools available to schools across the country, along with innovative professional development and curricular resources to educators.

Adobe has committed over $300 million to help advance digital learning, teaching, and administration in 15,000 U.S. schools.

This is a continuation of Adobe’s longstanding commitment to education. Over the past 20 years, Adobe has empowered K12 teachers and students and celebrated their creativity:

The Adobe Education Exchange is the largest online community of creative educators. 127,000 teachers from across the globe connect with each other, learn from free professional development, and explore standards-based resources.

Adobe Youth Voices is the Adobe Foundation’s global initiative to ignite young people’s creativity through the power of storytelling with digital media. Youth develop original media that highlights an issue they care about, identify solutions, and in the process, foster critical creative skills and a passion to make a difference. Since the program’s launch, more than 5,000 educators and 150,000 youth from over 58 countries have developed original, thought-provoking digital media.

Adobe applauds the President’s bold vision for U.S. schools. We share ConnectED’s goal that all students should have access to the world of ideas and the tools they need to build the future.

How Can You Create Change?


At Adobe, we believe young people have a unique and valuable perspective to share about the challenges we face as a global society. We launched the Adobe Youth Voices Awards (previously called the AYV Aspire Awards) competition in 2012 to give youth a platform to express their vision for driving change in local communities. The competition is an extension of our Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) program, which aims to provide youth with the inspiration, training, tools and technology needed to ignite their creative confidence and empower them to use their voice in both the classroom and their communities.

Since the AYV Awards were created, we’ve seen youth from around the world tap into their creativity to communicate issues they feel passionately about — the environment, bullying, self-image, cultural awareness and other compelling topics. Each year, the entries represent a diverse range of issues and ideas in a variety of storytelling formats, but they’re unified by a common mission – using creativity to find innovative solutions. Last year we received more than 1100 Submission from 51 countries.

We’re thrilled to begin accepting submissions for the 2014 AYV Awards and excited to see what issues youth are tackling this year.  The competition offers seven content categories representing visual storytelling techniques. Entering the competition is easy – students, working in partnership with a community educator or media mentor can submit their work online at

The submission deadline for content produced from 2011-2013 is Feb. 14, 2014, and all projects produced in 2014 must be submitted by April 13, 2014.

In April, the public is invited to view and vote for their favorite project submission. Prizes include software, cash and more — winners’ entries will also be featured at international film festivals and other arts organization events. This year’s winners will be announced on June 18, 2014.

Take a look at a few of last year’s winners.

2013 #AYVAwards Winners

Go to the Adobe Youth Voices Awards web page, or join us on Facebook to keep in touch with the latest news! Complete AYV Awards entry guidelines can be found at the official competition website:

Q&A with our AYV Summit 2013 Creative Insider Alumni

And that’s a wrap! Last month we celebrated youth creativity with more than 100 AYV students and educators from 23 countries at our AYV Summit. This year we were very lucky to have four amazing Adobe Youth Voices Alumni partner with these Creative Professionals to learn the tricks of the trade and share a behind-the-scenes look of week’s events.

Kendall Lui, Zach James, Diamante Horton and Anny Liu* all did an amazing job documenting Summit and were so inspiring to work with (check out some of their photos here!). We asked them to share about their Summit experience – here’s what they had to say: 

What did you learn at Summit? How was this a valuable experience?

KL: Summit was life changing for me. I did not realize how many different people from different countries I was going to meet, listening to their stories and learning more about their background was truly inspiring.

ZJ: AYV Summit gave us a great opportunity to meet with creative professionals and learn about their work while making important connections for our future.

DH:This was a valuable experience because I learned that technology continues to be a powerful tool for communicating globally.

Share your favorite moment during Summit with us.

KL: I loved watching all of the attendees interact during Ado-Bingo (Adobe Bingo) during the welcome/orientation ceremony.

ZJ: During a meeting with some of the educators, I was able to share my knowledge about film and provide a lot of advice. It felt great.

DH:AYV Live! and the celebration that followed was an amazing experience to celebrate everyone's success together at the end of the week.

Did you find yourself feeling inspired at any point during the week? When?

KL: I was inspired throughout the entire week at Summit. Watching youth come together from around the world to collaborate on film projects and overcome the language barrier was truly amazing.

ZJ: I was amazed by the work produced by the students during AYV Summit. They really blew me away and inspired me to keep on making my own projects.

DH: I was inspired during several different moments during Summit: interacting with the other social media journalists and Creative Insider Professionals, listening to the inspirational speeches of the guest speakers, and working with other youth. These moments helped me to develop further as a creative individual and as a person.

What is the best advice that you received from a Creative Insider Professional? 

KL: Make connections with the people you meet at the Summit - you never know what opportunities it may unlock.

ZJ: Trevor Hubbard shared the best advice. He told me how he started his company, and what he did to make it so successful.

DH:When you share important content on your social media networks, you will open up the opportunity for the best possible networking experience.

If you could share any advice with future AYV youth, what would it be? 

KL: “If what you do in the future isn't creative in the traditional sense turn it into something creative.”

ZJ: "Take advantage of this opportunity that Adobe has given you. It might not seem like much right now, but they are giving you the chance to mold your life into an amazing one."

DH:“Come to Summit with an open mind. Make the most of everything, take advantage of every opportunity there, have fun and make network connections!”

Thank you Kendall, Zach, Diamante and Anny for doing an amazing job at Summit. We look forward to seeing your future projects!

*Anny was unavailable to interview. 

A Look Back on AYV Summit 2013


Adobe Foundation hosted more than 100 students and educators from 23 countries at our third Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Summit. Students were immersed in a five-day media arts experience where they collaborated in groups with creative professionals and luminaries, learning new digital media skills.

This year, we were honored to kick-off the Summit with a keynote by Lee Hirsch, a documentary filmmaker and founder of The Bully Project. Lee stressed the power of creative storytelling and the impact creativity enables, encouraging students to use their passion to create projects that can “change hearts and minds.”

Building on Lee’s message of impactful storytelling, AYV Youth Summit attendees worked together throughout the week to create collaborative media projects on issues most important to them. Each group included youth from around the world, and each brought their exhilarating creativity to produce compelling stories about education, environmental protection efforts, human rights, identity and culture and community development.

The challenge for each group is pretty great: youth had essentially two days to produce a media project on a meaningful topic, while collaborating across as many as four different countries in each group.  The energy of the event was palpable, as youth courageously generated ideas together, discussing and storyboarding how they would approach their projects, and in just one day, bring their ideas to life with Adobe tools.

Below is a look at some of the final youth produced projects. For more, check out the Adobe Youth Voices YouTube Channel

At the final culminating event, AYV Live!, youth shared their media projects with a live audience.  The night was filled with all sorts of surprises, including an appearance from internationally renowned recording artist and founder of the Common Ground Foundation, “Common.” In a freestyle rap, he talked about the importance of believing in yourself and using your creativity to realize your dreams. The event also featured Adobe’s CEO, Shantanu Narayen and its CMO, Ann Lewnes who honored the Creativity Scholarship recipients and Aspire Award Winners.

After an exhilarating week, everyone who participated, including volunteers, learned something new about a different part of the world, tried a new technical skill, challenged themselves creatively, and made connections that made the world a bit smaller.

This Summit represents Adobe’s broader commitment to creativity and to making an impact in the lives of today’s youth by providing them with the skills and confidence needed to succeed. Of course, the challenge is to keep the momentum of the fantastic week going. As one student put it, “The journey doesn’t end here. This is your chance to take leadership in your classrooms and after school programs to push the limits on what your peers thought was possible. Look what success you saw from just three days of work. What can you do in three weeks or three months? Anything and everything! Take charge!”

After watching and interacting with such talented youth and educators, during this year’s AYV Summit, I am inspired by their confidence to continue to connect across borders, and create with meaning and purpose.

A few of our talented Creativity Scholarships recipients share their certificates at AYV Live!
A few of our talented Creativity Scholarships recipients share their certificates at AYV Live!
Scholarships recipients show off their certificates on stage at AYV Live!
Scholarships recipients show off their certificates on stage at AYV Live!
AYV students collaborate on media projects that share their vision for positive change at this year's AYV Summit.
AYV students collaborate on media projects that share their vision for positive change at this year’s AYV Summit.

Hip Hop artist Common freestyles for youth at AYV Summit 2013 about believing in yourself and finding greatness.
Hip Hop artist Common freestyles for youth at AYV Summit 2013 about believing in yourself and finding greatness.
Hip Hop artist Common meeting with students at AYV Summit before his guest appearance at AYV Live!
Hip Hop artist Common meeting with students at AYV Summit before his guest appearance at AYV Live!
The amazing group of more than 100 Adobe Youth Voices youth and educators from 23 countries that joined us at AYV Summit. this year.
The amazing group of more than 100 Adobe Youth Voices youth and educators from 23 countries that joined us at AYV Summit. this year.


From Chicago to Santa Clara: AYV Summit Comes Alive

As a high school teacher from Chicago, I have seen the AYV program in action and I know that it can have a profound effect on students and teachers. I traveled to the AYV Summit with two students from my school, Perspectives High School of Technology, who are both extremely passionate about their work.  And, encouraged by their experience with AYV, are now intending to pursue post-secondary education in photography.  During Summit orientation I saw my students Deandrea and Willeahsa jump head first into making meaningful connections with other students and educators from around the world.  


Deandrea Halmon is a bright-eyed senior who was brought up into a very sheltered life due to the violence in her community. As she grew older, she learned about the power of community and formed very close ties with those around her. Deandrea has been involved with AVY since her freshman year, and I have seen her gain a broader understanding of how to express herself and gain confidence in her skills. She has started to work with her production team at Summit on creating a pitch for a project idea, and she will bring this project to life with her group over the next few days.

Willeasha Love has always dreamed of going to a university in California, so to be given the opportunity to see California and be on campus at a top university in California has been a huge moment for her. Willeasha is grateful for the opportunity to see what it is like to work at a professional level with digital technology. She has been able to bring her background and videography talent together to create a project focused on showcasing the city of Chicago from a youth’s point of view, something that is intensely meaningful to her. She has begun to work very closely with her production team and has worked collaboratively to bring yet another video vision to life.

But it’s not just my students that are gaining from the opportunities at Summit. Throughout the year, and especially in these past couple days, AYV has also provided many ways to further my curriculum, professional development and technology and documentary skills. Yesterday, among my peer educators at Summit, I was able to start to talk about my plans for my upcoming year’s curriculum. I have been given so many great ideas that I cannot wait to bring back into my classroom. Having the ability to work with so many likeminded individuals is a dream and fuels my creative fire. I have been shown some amazing documentary clips that I plan to bring into my classroom along with additional ways to help my students with their own pre-production process on their own mini-documentaries. I also have a wonderful idea for having my students use old nineteen fifty’s and sixty’s commercials to create a mini demo real spot lighting social stereotypes. I then plan to have in depth discussion with my students on how we can all work together to fight these stereotypes of sex and culture.


It’s this approach that makes AYV unique. AYV works with educators to develop curriculum and approaches to teaching that help advance students’ creativity skills. We also get the chance to connect and share our experiences through an online network of 15,000 educators. This hive of activity comes alive at moments like Summit, where educators like me get to connect with other like-minded teachers and learn and grow. In doing so, we are better able to deliver on the AYV mission of helping students develop the creative skill sets to express themselves today and compete for the jobs of tomorrow.

Overall, the AYV Summit has been an experience I feel very lucky to have been a part of. I saw how proud Deandrea and Willeasha were to present their projects and how happy they were to meet students that had such similar interests as they do.  As we travel back to Chicago on Saturday, my students and I will take with us new skills, connections, friends and a new spark of creative inspiration.


Kids Take the Mic


Adobe understands that sometimes being heard is everything.

One night in Noida, India, Subbi M., an Adobe employee, was watching a professional dance troupe performance. He was about to head out after the show when he felt a tap on his shoulder.

“Do you remember me?”

It was one of the dancers, but the young man’s face was painted with makeup. Subbi couldn’t place him.


“I was in Adobe Youth Voices,” the dancer said. “I wanted to tell you that the program is one of the reasons I’m here. It took away my stage fright and gave me a voice and the confidence to perform.”

It’s just one of the many stories that define Adobe Youth Voices, the six-year-old Adobe program that serves 130,000 underprivileged kids in 800 sites and 52 countries. The program gives low-income schools free Adobe software and an after-school curriculum designed to inspire them to think creatively.


“Young people learn how to create an original media piece — videos, essays, animations, music — about something they’re passionate about,” says Patricia C., program manager at the Adobe Foundation.

Adobe employees provide creative insight and critiques to students along the way. “The kids come into the office to show us their films and they’re really nervous and excited,” says Mary Anne B., an Adobe volunteer in San Francisco, California. “For our part, we get to be blown away by their talent.”


At the end of the year, the kids at each site have the chance to present their work to a live audience, enter it into Adobe’s worldwide Aspire Awards competition, and apply for Adobe creativity scholarships.

“I love that we celebrate the work that underprivileged students create,” says Matt N., an Adobe volunteer in New York, New York. “These students don’t often get heard. But Adobe cares about what they have to say.”

Meet a few of the Adobe Youth Voices volunteers from around the world.


Domain expert • Noida, India

What is your most memorable experience from the program?

“One of the students who participated in the program is now in college. It’s been six years since that time, and he still calls me to talk about his results and ask for career advice. So it’s a relationship that goes beyond being a part of the program.”

What does the program mean to you?

“When the parents come to you and hold your hands and say, ‘We never thought our child could do this’ — that gets me hooked.”


Quality assurance engineer • San Francisco, California, USA

Can you share a success story from the program?

“I was critiquing the video project of a group of 12-year-old girls. They were so shy, but so proud. One got up to talk and then ran out of the room because she was so nervous. But she came back and started again. So you can see that the program is not only helping to inspire the kids’ creativity, but also the ability to speak in front of other people. Instilling kids with confidence and presence is absolutely something they’re going to use again.”

What does the program mean to you? 

“I’m an artist and I love storytelling, which is why I was drawn to the program. For me it’s all about empowering people’s voices, and if you can do it in a creative way — that’s the ultimate.”


Program manager, Adobe Foundation • San Francisco, California, USA

How does this program influence the kids and their future?

“A lot of them are struggling in school, and this shows them they’re talented. They build incredible skills — handling information, working in teams, and thinking outside the box. They can take these skill sets into a variety of fields in the creative economy.”

What does the program mean to you?

“Being involved in this community has been life-changing. I got my degree in international education because I believe the connections that can happen across cultures are inspiring.”


Worldwide education programs manager • New York, New York, USA

Can you share an experience from the program?

“I take it for granted that we have this really beautiful office overlooking Times Square. We gave 20 to 25 Adobe Youth Voices students a tour, and then we had a panel where students learned about what we do here. It goes beyond creating with our software. It’s a way to show students the options they have.”

What does this program mean to you?

“I have a desire to impact my community. I love that we can equip students who are at a disadvantage with skills that can be helpful for the future.”


Sales support coordinator • Maidenhead, England

What does this program provide for students?

“Quite often their inspiration comes from something troubling them, and they need to express it. Knowing that it’s being acknowledged fuels their self-esteem and confidence.”

What does this program mean to you?

“For me, it’s the whole experience of meeting people who are using our products and seeing what they’re doing with our software. Adobe isn’t just paying lip service. It’s allowing these kids to benefit in a way that fuels their self-esteem and confidence.”

- See more at:

Ready, Set, Create: Gearing up for AYV Summit 2013

Our third international Adobe Youth Voices (AYV)Summit kicks off on August 12, bringing teens and educators from 23 countries worldwide together in Santa Clara, California, to celebrate creative thinking and harness their digital media skills for positive social change. The youth attending the Summit have been hand selected and previously participated in the AYV program, which has touched about 132,000 members spanning from Africa to North America since its inception in 2006.

We truly believe that creativity in education is critical to prepare young people as the problem solvers, critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. During the week-long event, teens will be immersed in a media arts experience, where they’ll collaborate with creative professionals and luminaries, learning digital media skills that help them express their creativity through digital photography, videography, music and animation. Media projects represent difficult issues youth are facing such as bullying, body image, gender identity and human rights, and call for social change.

Here’s a portrait of some of this year’s attendees:

Eva Miller, a high school senior from Hayward, CA, who honed her skills in film production through her involvement in AYV. She was awarded first place in the AYV Aspire Awards poetry category for her piece “Beautiful Words,” and earlier this month, she was also selected to be one of 25 students from around the world to receive an AYV Creativity Scholarship.

Dhenzel Obeng, aquiet and hardworking student in Canada, saw his experience in AYV take off when he won an awardin the animation category at the Toronto International Film Festival, with his film called "I Wish For,"addressing critical environmental issues.

Mirtha Brun, a 14 year old from Uruguay, encouraged her friends to join the AYV program after discovering that by creating a video about her best friend’s struggles with blindness, she was able to inspire others and encourage awareness for youth with disabilities.

Andrew Elias, a 17 year old from Redwood City, CA, recently won second place in the AYV Aspire Awards narrative category for his film Silicon.” The film depicts an ESL student who uses science to communicate and focuses on how solutions can be found through science and art.

This year we’re honored to have Lee Hirsch, a documentary filmmaker, officially open and welcome students and educators to AYV Summit. He’s best known for his 2011 film, Bully and founder of The Bully Project and encourages people to use empathy and creative expression to drive cultural change.

Youth will also mingle with artists, creative professionals, Adobe employees and thought leaders from organizations such as U.S. Department of Education, TED Conferences, The Kennedy Center and San Diego State University. Closing the Summit, we’ll have a special appearance by musical artist and actor, Common, representing Common Ground Foundation (CGF), which encourages students to explore their creative talent as a key to unlocking their unique gifts.

As youth and educators from around the globe begin their journey to Santa Clara for this inspiring event, we’re looking forward to welcoming them and watching them create! We’re honored to be part of the personal journey of all the AYV youth who have found their voice, expressed their ideas and become active and engaged members of their communities through our program, all around the world. 

Check back or follow us on Twitter and Facebook next week to see what’s happening at Summit and join our conversation.

Adobe’s Matt Rozen on the Rise of Social Journalism

The 2013 AYV Summit is only a week away! This year, we invited social journalist and Adobe employee Matt Rozen to talk to the students about using social media to amplify their work and connect with others. We sat down with Matt to ask him a few questions about his role at Adobe and what it means to be a “social journalist.” Here’s what he had to say:

Adobe: First things first – what is your favorite social media platform?

Matt: Is it possible to choose just one? I guess I would have to say Instagram is my favorite right now because the platform provides a quick snapshot of what people are seeing, thinking and feeling. But I love Twitter for work, and Tumblr has so many possibilities for creative people, and Facebook is great for connecting with old friends and family. It’s so hard to choose!

Adobe: What exactly is a social journalist?

Matt: A journalist used to just be someone who put pen to paper in newspaper and magazines. With the Internet, this term has evolved to include storytelling via blogs and social media platforms. It’s citizen journalism, really. The opportunity to be a social journalist is available to everyone, and what I love most is the ability to be at the zeitgeist of all topics at all times and to share our stories with the world, often in small, digestible bites. As the Group Manager of Corporate Social Media at Adobe, I manage Adobe’s social media team and consult with other teams within Adobe on social strategy. Many times we discuss how they, or their teams, can be social journalists too.

Adobe: Why is social media important for youth?

Matt:Just the other day, I took a pic of my 7-year old daughter and within minutes she asked, “Dad, did you share that photo on Facebook yet?” She doesn’t even have a Facebook account. This is the world we live in; there’s no getting around social media now. It is the future of work, commerce, education and government, making it important for all of us to understand what it should (and shouldn’t!) be used for.

Adobe: What advice do you have for youth?

Matt: Take advantage of the amazing media tools available to you today. For the first time ever, we all have the ability to quickly create photos and videos and write essays (or blogs) and share them with the world – all on your phone! The opportunities are endless. Just start creating but be careful, too, about what you share and with whom. The internet has a long memory…

Adobe: How can creativity and social media make the world a better place?

Matt: Creativity always makes the world a better place – and there’s always room for more of it. The more you create, the more creative inspiration will come to you and the more you’ll feel positive about yourself and the world around you. Positive people are the ones who change the world because they make other people happy. And then social media just amplifies that positivity. Like I said, the opportunities are endless.

What questions do you have for Matt? Join @AdobeYV’sCreativity Twitter Chat this Thursday, August 8, at 10 a.m. PT for a chance to ask him and other creative professionals your most burning questions. Join the conversation using the hashtag #AYVSummit13.

All About Creativity: Adobe Youth Voices Twitter Chat

Our 2013 Adobe Youth Voices Summit is quickly approaching and we’re celebrating creativity with a Twitter Chat featuring: AYV Summit Creative Pros, social journalist Matt Rozen, author and comedian Baratunde Thurston, and YOU!

Join the conversation on Thursday, August 8th from 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. PT. Share questions that you’d like to ask our pros – tweet them to @AdobeYVand include the #AYVSummit13 hashtag.

About the Twitter Chat

When: Thursday, August 8th at 10 am PT

Where: Join @AdobeYV on Twitter using the #AYVSummit13 hashtag

How to join:

·  Follow @AdobeYV

·  Visit the #AYVSummit13hashtag August 8th at 10 am.

·  Got questions for our guests? Tweet questions to @AdobeYV, hashtag #AYVSummit13, and we’ll direct them to the creative pros.

·  Jump into the conversation and share your own answers about creativity. The more the merrier!

Get to know our creative guests below and find out what inspires them. Then share your Twitter handle with us here to let us know you’re coming.

Meet our Participants

Baratunde Thurston: @baratunde

CEO/co-founder of Cultivated Wit. Author of How To Be Black. Former director of digital for The Onion.

Matt Rozen: @mattyroze

Social Journalist: Group Manager of Corporate Social Media at @Adobe

On creativity: “The more you create, the more creativity will come to you."

Kush Amerasinghe: @adobe1

Creative Insider: Production lead for Adobe TV and host of ‘Ask the Adobe Ones’

On creativity: “Creativity is the best medicine.”

Tasha Mistry: @Tasha_Mistry

Creative Insider: Business Analyst at @Adobe

Tasha on Creativity: “Creativity is a limitless channel of communication.”

Trevor Hubbard: @butchershopsf

Creative Insider: Creative director and founder of @butchershopsf.

On creativity: “When I was a kid I was always creating something.”

Misha Vladimirskiy: @polaroidmisha

Creative Insider: Partner at @butchershopsf

On creativity: “I live to create and I create to live.”

See you on the 8th! Follow us on the Summit website and @AdobeYV leading up to and during the conference and join the conversation with #AYVSummit13.

Q&A Interview with Adobe Youth Voices Summit’s Creative Pros

 This is the first year we will be hosting four “Creative Insider Teams” on-site at Summit. The Creative Pros will be paired with one of our AYV alumni to teach them the tricks of the trade – these four teams will be known as our “Creative Insiders.” Be sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram to see Summit from an insider’s perspective (find their handles below!).

For the Creative Pros – Kush, Tasha, Trevor and Misha – creativity isn’t just something you do in your free time; it’s a way of life. We asked them to share a little background on how they got started and what creative advice they have for today’s youth. Here’s what they had to say:

AYV: You’re all social media savvy – tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less and where we can find you on the interwebs.


Tasha Mistry (TM)

Business Analyst at Adobe Systems. USAToday College Blogger. Lover of Shoes and Cute Puppies. Passionate Community Activist.Happiest Person You’ll Ever Meet. Twitter



Trevor Hubbard (TH)

Creative director and founder of famed creative house, Butchershop Creative. He is a problem solver and soon-to-be dad. Twitter



Misha Vladimirskiy (MV)

A partner at Butchershop Creative. Misha “lives to create and creates to live.” Twitter



Kush Amerasinghe (KA)

A Computer Scientist and Futurist at Adobe operating in many different fields, including 3d, design, web, vfx, & education.  Twitter


AYV: When did you first have a creative “a-ha” moment?

TM: When I was in the 9th grade, my science teacher asked me to explain the life cycle of an igneous rock. I decided to illustrate the process in comic book form.  I started drawing a rock, but it looked a little deformed.  My frustration led me to draw clothes on this rock (a backwards hat with some nice shoes). It was cute. I named him Iggy the Igneous. I wrote a story about Iggy’s life from his own perspective.  I realized that the “mistake” I made was beautiful and that imperfection is beauty. The story turned out to be a great hit, and Iggy the Igneous is a now a legend at Mission San Jose High School. 

TH: I was 8 or 9 when I created a logo for a car detailing business I started called SPEEDY DETAIL. I drew the logo, created the brochure my hand, and passed them out in my neighborhood. SPEEDY DETAIL had three tiers of service – 1) Super Clean 2) Super Duper Clean, and 3) Super Duper Duper Clean.

MV: The first time I developed and printed film. The smells and images are still burned into my memory.

KA: I’ve been experimenting with different creative outlets since I was a child. It eventually led me to what I do today at Adobe.

AYV: What advice would you give to your seventeen year old self about getting into the field or following your creative vision?

TM: Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not capable. If you want to be successful, you must do anything and everything it takes. Never give up.  Hard work and dedication always pays off! 

TH: You don’t have to be great. Just be good. Make a lot of mistakes because they are the greatest teacher.

MV: Don’t be afraid of getting turned down, don’t be afraid of taking chances. Create and strive for what you believe.

KA: I would tell myself to stay in school and spend more time learning. My advice to youth today is to do the best you can in whatever situation you are in rather than wait for one big opportunity.

AYV: What does creativity mean to you in five words or less?

TM: Three words: Adobe Youth Voices :)  

TH: Creativity can’t be 5 words ;)

MV: Life

KA: Not settling for “as is.”

AYV: How can creativity make the world a better place?

TM: I view creativity as a limitless channel of communication. You can share whatever you’d like with the world, however you want to. That’s what’s so beautiful about it. 

TH: It just does. Look around you. And there is room for so much more. Everyone can contribute a verse to this grand play that goes on forever in the universe.

MV: Since it already does, all we can do is keep on creating.

KA: There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who are happy with how things are and those who feel they can do better. The second group is creative. They are more common that you may realize. A lot of us create things because we aren’t satisfied with the generic or the existing. Not settling leads people to making better things. This is what makes the world a better place over time.

We’re excited to have four teams of creative insiders dedicated to giving you the behind the scenes coverage at Summit this year! Join our #AYVSummit13 Twitter Chat to ask them your burning questions on Aug. 8, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. PT. More details coming soon!

Bringing My Creative Dreams to Life

 I was beyond honored in June when my film “Beautiful Words” was selected as the first place winner in the poetry category for the 2013 AYV Aspire Awards. I created my film with the intent of spreading a message to my community struggling with self-esteem issues, and you how you can build confidence through art, writing and other creative outlets.  AYV has provided me with a platform to share my message and build my own confidence while encouraging others to do the same.

This summer, I was selected to be one of 25 students from around the world to receive a Creativity Scholarship. The Creativity Scholarship is providing me the financial support to pursue my dreams and make a positive impact through my films. This fall, I plan to continue my education at Cal State East Bay pursuing a degree in Sociology and Film Production, while looking for a permanent film school.

Three years ago, my vision for my life was a mess. Since becoming involved with the AYV program in 2010, I’ve discovered new skills, a strong passion and my own unique voice. Receiving a Creativity Scholarship has allowed me to take the steps needed to turn my vision of becoming a filmmaker into reality and to someday share my voice with people all around the world.

Audience Voting Now Open for 2013 AYV Aspire Awards

Audience Voting Now Open for 2013 AYV Aspire Awards

Posted by Michelle Yates, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility 


Today we’re excited to kick off audience voting for the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Aspire Awards , our annual competition inviting youth around the world to creatively express their vision for driving change in local communities.

Over the past 12 weeks, we’ve received more than 1,100 submissions from 51 countries – a record high! We’ve narrowed the field to 20 finalists in each of our content categories, including animation, documentary, music video, narrative, poetry, photography, collage, and collaboration.

Beginning today through June 8, finalist entries will be showcased on our Aspire Awards website . We encourage you – our community members and supporters – to get involved by helping to select our Audience Award winners. You can cast your vote by viewing, commenting on, sharing, “liking,” tweeting, and retweeting your favorite entries.


During the audience voting period, an international panel of professionals working in art, film, and other
creative fields will additionally select first- and second-place winners in each content category and a special category for this year – the UNICEF Challenge – which invites entrants to develop a youth-led project utilizing innovative digital tools and/or digital engagement to bring positive change to their communities.

Winners in our standard content categories are eligible to win software, hardware, and a charitable donation to a cause of their choice. In addition, the UNICEF Challenge winners will receive grants valued at up to $40,000(USD), dedicated to implementing the winning project proposals. Winners’ entries from all categories will be featured at distinguished exhibitions, including international film festivals and other arts organization events.

We’ll announce winners in all categories in mid-June and celebrate the winners and their achievements at the 2013 AYV Summit in August.

To learn more about our commitment to igniting creative confidence in youth, visit our Adobe Youth Voices website. And be sure to watch this space to keep up with what’s happening with the AYV Aspire Awards!

Adobe Youth Voices Creativity Scholarships

Adobe Foundation Creativity Scholarships

The Adobe Foundation Creativity Scholarships program was developed to support the next generation of creative thinkers and propel the future careers of those who create.

The scholarships provide financial support to students who have participated in the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) program through the network of strategic partners.

AYV is Adobe’s global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative focused on teaching youth from underserved communities the power of creative self-expression and global citizenship. The AYV network includes more than 800 sites in 52 countries.

This scholarship is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), an independent not-for-profit founded in 1919. IIE is among the world's largest and most experienced international education and training organizations.

Applications must be submitted by April 7, 2013. The application will be closed at 9:00 am Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8) on April 8, 2013. The application can be accessed at

Submissions for 2013 AYV Aspire Awards are now open!


Now Accepting Youth Submissions for 2013 AYV Aspire Awards

Posted by Michelle Yates, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility on February 25, 2013 2:13 PM in Adobe Youth Voices

Adobe believes creativity not only makes the world a more beautiful place, but it is also a critical component to addressing some of the most difficult challenges we face as a society.

The global State of Create report Adobe released last year revealed only one in four people believe they’re living up to their own creative potential. In response, we’ve aimed to address this “creativity gap” by further imbedding creativity into our products, communities and schools.

Through Adobe Youth Voices (AYV), Adobe’s global philanthropic commitment, we’re working to ignite creative confidence in youth by empowering them to find their voice and make it heard. In doing so, we can help them become more active and engaged members of their communities and society at large. As an extension of this commitment, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of this year’s AYV Aspire Awards competition.

Now in its second year, AYV Aspire Awards is a global, online challenge that invites youth to creatively express their vision for driving positive change in local communities. Participants can convey their ideas using a variety of visual storytelling methods, from videos to photo essays. In addition, a new category for this year – the UNICEF Challenge – invites youth to develop a video proposal for a project they’d like to implement.

The Aspire Awards call for entries is now open, and we’re looking forward to kicking-off online voting for the public in late April.

Last year’s entries showcased remarkable talent. Below are a few of our favorites.

It’s an exciting time for us – please check out our AYV site for more info, and keep an eye out for more AYV-related announcements in the coming weeks.

Winners of 2013 Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Awards Announced

The Adobe Foundation today announces the winners of its second annual Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Aspire Awards, the only online competition inviting youth around the world to creatively express their vision for change in their communities. More than 1,100 submissions from 51 countries were received, and over 830,000 audience votes were cast for the audience choice awards.  Winning entries across the competition’s nine categories address a variety of complex social and environmental topics, such as bullying and climate change; they are featured online at

“The winning projects illustrate the power of creativity and expression among young people, especially when they have access to digital tools that help bring their ideas to life,” said Michelle Yates, Adobe director of corporate social responsibility and Adobe Foundation executive director. “This program focuses on encouraging youth to develop the creative skills that will help them be more deeply engaged in their education in the short term, and better prepared to succeed long term in a rapidly evolving global economy.”

AYV Award entries were invited in eight standard content categories, representing various storytelling methods including animation, music video, documentary, and photo essay. A ninth category, the UNICEF Challenge, gave entrants the opportunity to develop a video proposal for a project they would implement in their local community.  An international panel of professionals working in art, film, and other creative fields selected the first- and second-place winners in each standard category, while a panel of international UNICEF experts selected the UNICEF challenge winners.

“Adobe is creating a meaningful opportunity for youth to come together and share digital content that bravely and creatively helps these teens address issues that are important to them,” said Meredith Lavitt, director, Film Forward Initiative, Sundance Institute and 2013 AYV Awards judge. “I’m excited to be involved in an effort that inspires the next generation and sparks a global conversation.”

Winners and affiliated schools/organizations for each standard category receive software, hardware, a trip to attend the 2013 AYV Summit in San Jose, Calif., and a charitable donation to a cause of their choice. The UNICEF Challenge first- and second-place winners receive $40,000 and $30,000 grants, respectively, dedicated to implementing the winning project proposals. In addition to being showcased on the Aspire Awards website, winning entries from all categories will be featured at distinguished exhibitions, including international film festivals and other arts organization events.

2013 winners are:


o  First Place: Vacant, Dhenzel Obeng, Free the Children, Canada

o  Second Place: Nothing is Impossible, Tansy Piar, Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation, Bonaire

o  Audience Choice Award: It Makes A Big Difference, Jeanviêr Janga, Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation, Bonaire


o  First Place: DREAMS: Un-Deferred, Maymunah Stroud, Whitefoord Community Program, USA

o  Second Place: Life's a Fight, Nkengafac Lekealem, Brian Dunn, Kennedi Caldwell, Christian Chadwell, Appalachian Media Institute, USA

o  Audience Choice Award: Marshall, Angelo Alberto, Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation, Bonaire

Music Video:

o  First Place: Polaroids and Films, Luz Campuzano, MACLA, USA

o  Second Place: Talking About You, Carlos Eduardo Moreno Bernal, Computer Clubhouse Suba Compartir, Colombia

o  Audience Choice Award: Together We Can Do Anything, Angelo Francees, Aaron Francees, Daniel Francees, Dustan Mercelina, Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation, Bonaire

Poster Campaign:

o  First Place: Bullied, Angelo Alberto, Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation, Bonaire

o  Second Place: Infinite MPG, Payton Narancic, Willow Glen High School, USA

o  Audience Choice Award: Women Empowerment, Lahiru Wanigasekara, Madhudshani Sandya, Medha Herath, Shilpa Sayura Foundation, Sri Lanka


o  First Place: Dear Child, Ismael Mora, Daniel Cordero, Casa de la Juventud Mora, Costa Rica

o  Second Place: Silicon, Andrew Elias, Edward Flores, Redwood City Peapod Academy, USA

o  Audience Choice Award: Life=Smile, Sandro Bernuez, Mateo Pérez Dadone, Julia Kazepis, Magalí Aredes, IPEM 23 LES and Instituto Nuestra Seora de Lourdes, Argentina

Photo Essay:

o  First Place: Bowing Down to the Earth, Agata Mroczek, Zespół Szkół im. Ziemi Lubelskiej, Poland

o  Second Place: The Elementals, Alonso Magana, Hood River Valley High School, USA

o  Audience Choice Award: 21st Century Girl, Poornima Meegammana, Mithun Kumarasinghe, Shilpa Sayura Foundation, Sri Lanka


o  First Place: Rhythm of A Refugee, Antonette Paveira, Kaeontae Benjamin, Liala Zaray, Anthony Baker, MACLA, USA

o  Second Place: A Collaboration, Luz Campuzano, Connor Muschison, MACLA, USA

o  Audience Choice Award: Wishes for Canada, Haya, Tony, Sophia, Jaime Munoz, Pamela Guzman, Simeon, Tyler, Silvia, Adassa Mijangos, Jacaranda Education, Mexico


o  First Place: Beautiful Words, Sabrina Tibbertsma, Eva Miller, Tennyson High School, USA

o  Second Place: Creativ., Eduardo Arias, Jeremy Mendoza, Casa de la Juventud Mora, Costa Rica

o  Audience Choice Award: Beauty, Julia Lawrence, Torrance Memorial Healthcare Foundation, USA

UNICEF Challenge:

o  First Place: YES Film Project, Poornima Meegammana, Mithun Kumarasinghe, Wjira Madusanka, Lahiru Wanigasekara, Aadeeptha Samarakoon, Romesh Dhananjaya, Kavinda Promod, Sandya Madushani, Prabhashana Meegammana, Tharika Hansani, Dasun Soyza, Aheshka Rupasinghe, Madhavi Wickramasinghe, Sithma Illunngasinghe, Sumedha Dharmasena, Shilpa Sayura Foundation, Sri Lanka

o  Second Place: The Fotostory, Daniel Marks, Cassandra Fowler, Nkemdilim Chukwuma, Stephanie Vela, American University, USA

o  Audience Choice Award: Healing Paintbrushes Project, Julia Lawrence, Torrance Memorial Healthcare Foundation, USA

About Adobe Youth Voices

Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) is the Adobe Foundation’s global initiative to ignite Creative Confidence in youth by empowering them to find their voice and make it heard. The youth involved in AYV spotlight the issues they care about by creating original media – a process that fosters their passion to make a difference while providing them with the creative skills essential to success in the world today. Through programs like AYV, and by increasing creativity in education, Adobe believes we will better equip young people to be the problem solvers, critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. To learn more about AYV, its point of view on creativity in education and how you can be involved, please visit

About the Adobe FoundationThe Adobe Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created and funded by Adobe Systems Incorporated to leverage human, technological and financial resources to drive social change and community improvements.


Adobe Foundation Announces 2013-2014 Creativity Scholarship Recipients

 The Adobe Foundation today announced the recipients of its first annual Creativity Scholarships, available to teens who participate in the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) program. For the 2013-2014 academic year, scholarships have been awarded to 25 students from 13 countries, including Argentina, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and the United States. Recipients demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, a strong creative portfolio and commitment to pursuing a career in a creative field.

Designed to ignite creative confidence in youth, AYV is helping support the next generation of creative thinkers and equipping them with resources to help advance their education. AYV follows a creativity curriculum and provides the digital tools, training and professional mentorship students need to develop essential skills such as self-expression, ideation, collaboration, flexibility and persistence. All AYV students produce original projects in animation, video, photography and other digital media categories, spotlighting issues important to them including poverty, bullying and climate change.

“The youth receiving our Creativity Scholarships demonstrate tremendous creative potential,” said Michelle Crozier Yates, director of corporate responsibility, Adobe and Adobe Foundation executive director. “We’re thrilled to see outstanding young people from our AYV community pursuing education that will continue building their creative skills and give them an edge in our rapidly evolving, highly competitive global economy."

Adobe’s recent State of Create global benchmark study, published in April 2012, surfaced concerns about a “creativity gap” in five of the world’s largest economies. The research revealed that four in 10 people believed they do not have access to the tools needed to support creativity in the classroom. 

“I believe creativity-focused programs are an important part of education because they allow students to express themselves and build confidence,” said Eva Miller, an AYV participant and 2013 Creativity Scholarship recipient. “Through AYV, I’ve gained invaluable skills and discovered that I want to become a filmmaker. The Creativity Scholarship is giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams and make a positive impact through my films.”

About the Creativity Scholarships The Creativity Scholarship program provides financial support to students who are in their final year of high school, upper secondary school or the first year of post-secondary education. Applicants must have participated in the AYV program through Adobe’s network of more than 800 strategic partners in 52 countries. The Creativity Scholarship program is administered by theInstitute of International Education(IIE), an independent not-for-profit founded in 1919. IIE is among the world's largest and most experienced international education and training organizations.

About Adobe Youth VoicesAdobe Youth Voices (AYV) is the Adobe Foundation’s global initiative to ignite Creative Confidence in youth by empowering them to find their voice and make it heard.  The youth involved in AYV spotlight the issues they care about by creating original media – a process that fosters their passion to make a difference while providing them with the creative skillsessential to success in the world today. Through programs like AYV, and by increasing creativity in education, Adobe believes we will better equip young people to be the problem solvers, critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. To learn more about AYV, its point of view on creativity in education and how you can be involved, please visit

About the Adobe FoundationThe Adobe Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created and funded by Adobe Systems Incorporated to leverage human, technological and financial resources to drive social change and community improvements.