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"I’m so grateful we found First Exposures"

Dear Community,

My name is Nancy Gales and my daughter Miranda is a young photographer in First Exposures. I’d like to share with you a little bit about the impact this program has had on our family. We first found First Exposures last summer when Miranda was 13. The program seemed like a good fit for us since it would allow her to explore something new but we wouldn't have to pay for her to learn a skill that can be very expensive. Plus, one-on-one mentoring is something you just don’t see in a lot of programs. So I wanted her to try it out and was hopeful she would like it.

To my excitement, she enjoyed it so much that she has continued, even taking on more leadership at First Exposures! The program has helped Miranda become more social and make new friends—and she loves learning about photography—so when she came home one day wanting to get more involved by joining the Youth Advisory Board, I wasn’t surprised. Now she’s one of the YAB co-chairs tasked with serving on the First Exposures Advisory Board, and she has also enjoyed the special honor of speaking at the annual fundraising event Looking Forward, Giving Back. It’s important to me that Miranda has space to grow as a student and a person, so I’m proud to see her taking on such roles.

As a parent, I’ve been really moved by the way First Exposures supports young people and their families. When Miranda was dealing with a fracture, program staff reached out to me to discuss accommodations and ensure her ongoing engagement. With so many young mentees and mentors in the program, this type of genuine care and inclusivity sets First Exposures apart from other programs. It truly feels like a close-knit community that embraces and supports everyone.

With the program’s new school year just a month away, I hope you will consider making the most generous gift you can to help First Exposures serve more young people and families like mine. Your gift—of any size—provides meaningful support that empowers young people to thrive, express themselves creatively, and become leaders in their communities.

I’m so grateful we found First Exposures. Through this program, my daughter has developed new friendships, learned from mentors, and become more involved in the community. It's been so much fun celebrating First Exposures’ 30th anniversary this year at community events with supporters like you, and I’m excited to see what the next 30 years bring. Who knows, maybe one day Miranda will be a mentor!

With appreciation,

Nancy Gales,

First Exposures parent

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