Results tagged “corporate social responsibility”

The AYV Awards Narrative Winners: Empowering Creativity and Encouraging Change

Creativity takes many forms, but the winners of the Adobe Youth Voices awards prove that its highest purpose is social impact. Through their inspiring digital media creations, these 13-19 year-old students showcase powerful messages, from creative empowerment to embracing diversity. We’ve already heard from the Poster Campaign and Documentary winners, so this week we’re taking a deeper look into this year’s Narrative winners to find out what drives them to create change.

1st Prize: Vanished

13% of drivers age 18-20 involved in car accidents admitted to texting or talking on their phones at the time of the crash, but 77% of young adults are confident that they can safely text while behind the wheel.[1] After seeing many of their friends tempted to text and drive, Venessa Fuentes and Alicia Carchitorena felt compelled to produce a film that would drive the message home in a new way.

Filmed from the perspective of a teenage girl who lost her life while texting and driving, Vanished clearly shows viewers what a tragic toll this seemingly innocent act can have as she walks through the various facets of what was once her everyday life.

“Everyone has some talent within them,” says Alicia. “You don’t die alone – all your dreams and passions die with you.” Inspired by the Freedom Writers’ message, “What will you leave behind?”, the girls hope their video inspires others to lead long lives of  value and meaning.


2nd Prize: Aspaunity

The splash of paint on canvas, the tapping of heels on the ground, and the hum of a computer as it turns on. It’s all part of the creative process. And yet, says the team behind this film, there isn’t one word to describe that moment and its significance.

Enter “Aspaunity,” a new word created by high school students Josh Gutierrez, Lizbeth Cisneros, Denise Panuco, Jesus Gonzalez and Jonathan Carrasco to describe the creative process. Inspired by the AYV program and its teachings, their film encourages others to express this creativity freely and to catalyze positive change.  “There’s much more to it than just creating. The challenge is finding a way to ignite someone else’s passion, spark, inner voice and dreams,” says Josh.

Wondering how to kick-start your creative process? Try watching their film:

3rd Prize: Get A Life!

In the short film Get a Life, Bianca Toderean and Paul Turean showcase the importance of living life beyond the walls of technology and cell phones. By showing how valuable in-person interactions and friendships can be, these 11th grade students from Romania hope to encourage people across the world to get off their computers, out of their rooms, and into the real world.

 Patrica Cogley is senior program manager, Adobe Youth Voices.



[1] Stop Text Stop Wrecks. (16 July, 2014). Retrieved from

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.

AYVAwards_Poster_Diversity1st 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 thatit will encourage others to think about this issue more seriously.

AYVAwards_Poster_Stress2nd 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.


AYVAwards_Poster_CreativeAudience 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.

Patricia Cogley is senior program manager of Adobe Youth Voices.

Featuring the AYV Awards Documentary Winners: Bullying, Trafficking, and the Human Spirit

What did you struggle with most in high school? Academics, family dynamics, maybe even bullying?  Students today deal with many of the same problems – and they have something to say about it.

Brandon-Kennedy_BehindTheScenesThrough Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) students from around the world create digital media projects about issues that matter to them most. Last week, we unveiled this year’s AYV Award winners across seven categories, from photo essays to music videos to poetry. Over the next seven weeks, we’ll be featuring the winners of each category – starting today with the winning Documentary submissions.

1st Place: Victim

The 1st place winner of our Documentary category is Brandon Charlton and Kennedy Houston’s video, Victim. Inspired by a friend’s devastating struggle, Victim examines the effects of bullying through the individual stories and interviews of those personally affected, from students, to parents, to school counselors.

Brandon-KennedyBrandon and Kennedy are a great example of how creating awareness can help improve the lives others. Students have already opened up to them about their own struggles, helping them form closer, more meaningful relationships with each other and with their fellow students. “If you’re being bullied, don’t let it bring you down,” says Brandon. “Keep pushing – it shows you have heart and the potential to do whatever you want in life.”

One third of students report being bullied at school, and 77% of those bullied experience psychological or verbal abuse. Learn more about bullying is and what you can do to help at


2nd Place: International Boulevard

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. When Rebecca Dharmapalan and Zoe Yi learned that the Bay Area is one of America’s top markets for human trafficking, they wanted to learn more about the issue and how they could help prevent it. This powerful video, also submitted to the 2013 Girls Impact the World Film Festival, includes thought provoking interviews with Holly Joshi, Oakland Police Sergeant, and Nancy O’Malley, Oakland District Attorney. Rebecca has since become the chair of the Oakland Youth Commission to help further combat this issue and is attending UC Berkeley in the fall to conduct human trafficking research. Zoe is attending NYU to pursue film and television, where she plans to continue to produce films that convey a meaningful mission and educate audiences.

To learn more about human trafficking or report an incident, visit the National Human Traffic Resource Center.


Audience Award Winner: Support

14 year-olds Ziyang Ding and Tianyao Xu took a deeper look at the increase of materiality in society and the erosion of morality that has accompanied it. Just like a building needs a strong foundation to survive, so does humanity. “We believe,” say Ziyang and Tianyao, “We will once again be able to support the building of the spirit.”

These three projects present a compelling look into bullying, slavery, and the human spirit, but there are many more amazing projects to see: View all of the AYV winners here.

Patricia Cogley is senior program manager, Adobe Youth Voices.

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 can 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.

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:


  • First Place: Hunger’s Core, Christine Chung, Salwa Majoka, Northview Heights Secondary School, Canada
  • Second Place: Train of Life, Tess Denham, San Marino High School, USA
  • Audience Award: TechJunk, Sesh Sadasivam, Abhishek Krishna, Inavamsi B. Enaganti, Sri Kumaran Children’s Home – CBSE, India


  • First Place: Victim, Brandon Charlton, Kennedy Houston, Maysles Documentary Center, USA
  • Second Place: International Boulevard, Zoe Yi, Rebecca Dharmapalan, Oakland School for the Arts, USA
  • Audience Award: Support, Ziyang Ding, Tianyao Xu, The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, China

Music Video

  • First Place: Patience, Yvan Gonzalez, Seven Trees Community Center, USA
  • Second Place: Let Me Dream, Sebastian Tuma, Tsote Valashiya, Shriyansi Khanal, Immanuel Yeboah, Daniel Mandache, Spotlight, United Kingdom
  • Audience Award: Love Mission, Tautvydas Marcinkevicius, Petar Karapenev, Krzysztof Wlodarek, Abdalla Ali, Sude Simsek, Luke Wallace-Esnard, Dikembe Cabey-Lee, Amina Azong, Anya O’Mahony, Sandra Mikosinska, The Lammas School, United Kingdom


  • First Place: Vanished, Vanessa Fuentes, Alicia Garchitorena, MACLA, USA
  • Second Place: Aspaunity, Josh Gutierrez, Lizbeth Cisneros, Denise Panuco, Jesus Gonzalez, Jonathan Carrasco, Mt. Pleasant High School, USA
  • Audience Award: Get a Life, Bianca Toderean, Paul Turean, “Alexandru Papiu Ilarian” High School Dej, Romania

Photo Essay


  • First Place: Life, Mihai Tiu, Colegiul National “Ecaterina Teodoroiu”, Romania
  • Second Place: Destination: Earth!, Joseph Steve Jiménez, Randall Quesada, Casa de la Juventud Mora, Costa Rica
  • Audience Award: We are…, Gyanna Adino, Joanah Diala, Randolph Massachusetts, USA

Poster Campaign

About Adobe Youth Voices
Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) is the Adobe Foundation’s global initiative to ignite Creative Confidence in youth by using digital media to express their views on social issues. 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

Patricia Cogley is Senior Program Manager, Adobe Youth Voices.

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_croppedJulia 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_resized




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.


Biana Mitchell-Reyes of Canada shares her excitement with two thumbs up.

Ackeem Durrant celebrates with his AYV Educator  Amy Schumacher as he receives his scholarship.

Ackeem Durrant celebrates with his AYV Educator
Amy Schumacher as he receives his scholarship.

Congratulations to the AYV 2014 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Manthan Charles, India
  • Ackeem Durrant, UK
  • Heba Elshatoury, Egypt
  • Sebastian Farias, UK
  • Venessa Fuentes, USA
  • Jennifer Galeana-Vasquez, USA
  • Celine Gil, USA
  • Ashley Hiatt, USA
  • Moinuddin I, India
  • Salwa Majoka, Canada
  • Biana Mitchell-Reyes, Canada
  • Zabihullah Mohammad Hassan, Canada
  • Kenia Najar Miranda, USA
  • Dhenzel Obeng, Canada
  • Joanna Okey-Ogunjiofor, Nigeria
  • Conor Paul, UK
  • Suresh R, India
  • Dantorie Reeves, USA
  • Alexandra Runceanu, Romania
  • Evellyn Lima dos Santos, Brazil
  • Kate Sexton, Ireland
  • Ahmad Suleiman, USA
  • Julia Tang, Canada
  • Maria Antonette Tayag, USA
  • Alyson Yee, USA

Learn more about the Adobe Youth Voices program here.

Patricia Cogley is senior program manager, Adobe Youth Voices. Scholars_PicStitch

Newsweek Ranks Adobe World’s Greenest IT Company

As a global company, we feel it’s our responsibility to not only manage our environmental impact, but to actively improve it. This commitment to the community has been a part of our culture since we began, and we continually seek new and creative ways of maximizing efficiencies for our business while also minimizing our impact on the environment.

newsroom-marquee-sustainability.jpg.adimg.w.709For instance, Adobe is among a handful of Fortune 500 companies to achieve carbon neutrality at our owned facilities in North America in 2013. We are also a founding partner of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Building Health Initiative and an early adopter of new renewable-energy technologies, including Windspire wind turbines and Bloom Energy. Today, Adobe is considered the most water-productive software company on the planet, generating over $5 million in revenue for every cubic meter of water used.

These accomplishments stem from a core belief: It’s not enough to silently work towards a more sustainable future. We believe in the value of transparently communicating our progress and our commitment so that others might be inspired to take action. That’s why, each year, we release a corporate responsibility report that clearly outlines what we’re doing to help reduce our impact, all verified by third-party experts.

This year, we’re honored to be ranked the second greenest company in the United States and the third greenest in the world, according to Newsweek’s 2014 Green Rankings. In the category of IT companies, Adobe tops the list both in the U.S. and globally. Released just this week, these rankings are based on data evaluations of the world’s 500 largest companies, compiled by independent research company Corporate Knights Capital and sustainability experts from NGOs, academic, and accounting organizations. Companies are scored on eight specific indicators, including “productivity” in energy, greenhouse gases, water and waste. They also take into account the existence of a sustainability board and third-party environmental metrics, as well as “sustainability pay link,” which attempts to tie the earnings of senior executives to the achievement of certain corporate environmental targets. You can learn more about the ranking methodology here.

While we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far, we will keep pushing forward to improve results for our employees, our communities and the planet.

For more information on our corporate responsibility program, please visit

Creating Meaningful Change through Photography

Yasser Alaa Mobarak lives in Egypt as an AYV program alumni and a 2014 AYV Awards Photo Essay Judge. He has been a contributing photographer to PBS NewsHour and has won photography awards from The International Federation of Photographic Art, National Geographic Egypt, Photographic Society of America and Youth Journalism International. You can find more of his work in his Flickr gallery here.

Photography is a powerful tool that captures not only moments, but can spread ideas and create meaningful change. While I have worked with digital media for many years, it wasn’t until the Egyptian Revolution in 2011 that I first picked up a camera and started to pursue a career in photography. At the time, I was angry with the local media for misrepresenting the facts of what was really happening in my country. I soon realized that I had the power to share the truth and make a positive impact through my photography. It became my personal mission to photograph the truth and share it with the world.

Photograph by Yasser Alaa Mobarak

Photograph by Yasser Alaa Mobarak

Creating a meaningful and positive impact doesn’t just involve documenting events, it can be something as simple as spreading joy and hope within a community. One of my favorite projects has been through the non-profit, Help- Portrait, an organization that helps photographers to share their skills in their local community through pro-bono work. One of the main initiatives of the program is to provide portraits for people and families who normally wouldn’t be able to afford them. I believe that the value of capturing these moments is priceless and I enjoy bringing this happiness and meaning into the lives of the people I photograph.

Photograph by Yasser Alaa Mobarak

Photograph by Yasser Alaa Mobarak

As I continue to use photography to share my voice, spread ideas and create change, I’ve noticed that others are doing the same. This year I had the honor to participate in the AYV Awards as a judge of the Photo Essay category. I was amazed by the extremely talented pieces of artwork that share a unique vision for making a positive impact in the world. One of my favorite pieces was Privileged because it presented a powerful message about poverty in a simple and direct way. I look forward to seeing the winner announcements on June 16th. It gives me great hope to see others using digital tools such as photography to share their voice for the purpose of making the world a better place. I encourage all photographers young and old to define success not by the awards you receive or the places you’ve been, but by putting yourself out there, creating change through your work.

Photograph by Yasser Alaa Mobarak

Photograph by Yasser Alaa Mobarak

Photo Essay by Angelo Merendino, Professional Photographer and AYV Awards Judge

Each year, Adobe Youth Voices hosts the AYV Awards, a global competition that recognizes young people from all walks of life for their extraordinary projects created to change our world for the better. Together, we’re inviting you and our international panel of judges to help us to determine the 21 winners.

All month long, we’re sharing photos, videos, and blog posts from our AYV Awards judges that provide a sneak peek into the life of a creative professional. Today, we kick the series off with photographer and AYV Awards Photo Essay Judge, Angelo Merendino. You’ve likely seen Angelo’s work before – his photo-documentary, The Battle We Didn’t Choose – My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer, provides a look inside the day-to-day life of a young couple facing breast cancer together. In the blog post below, Angelo shares his hopes and dreams for the work he has created – to help people follow their dreams and never let go.

Today, students around the world are raising awareness for issues that matter to them. You can help them pursue their dreams by casting your vote for your favorite AYV finalists from now until May 30 (up to once each day).

This blog post was originally shared on Angelo’s personal blog on May 9, 2014. Our thanks to Angelo for allowing us to repost it here.

Patricia Cogley is senior program manager, Adobe Youth Voices.

Closing Exhibition at The Salt Institute

By Angelo Merendino

From April 4 to May 2 my photo exhibition, “The Battle We Didn’t Choose: My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer,” was on display at The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, in Portland, Maine.


The day before the closing event my brother Frank and I made the 12 hour drive from Cleveland, Ohio, to Portland. We faced a bit of rain but the sun ultimately made its way through the clouds…Sunshine and The Clash helped the miles to pass.


The next morning we woke up rested and ready to explore Portland. After eating a delicious breakfast at Hot Suppa we headed out to see the coast. Waves were crashing, catapulting over rocks, reminding me of Mother Nature’s great strength. Humbling indeed.

Salt_Blog_Image_3[1]   Salt_Blog_Image_4[1]

As we prepared to go to the gallery I thought about seeing these photographs hanging on the wall, the life Jen and I had together, and the emotions that would surely pour out of me. It still feels unreal that all of this even happened, that Jen isn’t physically here any more…that I can’t hold her. Sure enough, the minute I walked into the gallery I felt that feeling in my stomach – the reality that Jen passed.

Since Jen’s death I’ve been blessed in many ways. People have responded to our story with incredible kindness and Jen’s legacy is growing into something beautiful, something that is inspiring people all over the world to embrace life. These are two of the biggest reasons why today I am not a complete mess.

As I watched people looking at our life I wondered what they were feeling. My hope is that people see beyond cancer and death; that after seeing our story they will hold their loved ones closer. I hope people will see the beauty in life, the simple things that make difficult moments bearable. I hope more than anything that people will see that these photographs are about love and life, about following your dreams and never letting go…no matter how hard life gets.


Adobe Youth Voices Scholar Featured By the Institute of International Education

AYV 2013 Scholar, Poornima Meegammana

We are proud that one of our Adobe Youth Voices scholars, Poornima Meegammana, was featured in the Institute of International Education‘s 2013 Annual Report. Poornima discovered her passion for digital storytelling through the Adobe Youth Voices program. To bring global attention to child soldier rehabilitation, she produced a short film about children who were forced to serve as soldiers in the Sri Lankan civil war.

Poornima says that the program has given her global recognition as a creative person and she will be using the scholarship funds to “learn filmmaking to help change society.” She is currently attending the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing and is using the skills she gains there to learn how to better market her films.

Get inspired by her story and watch her short film Child Soldier.

The Finalists Are In! Audience Voting is Now Open for Adobe Youth Voices Awards

At Adobe, we believe in the power of creativity and want to give our youth more opportunities to express themselves. Today, we celebrate the creativity of students around the world via the Adobe Youth Voices Awards, an annual competition that invites students to express their vision for driving positive change via digital media. In its third year, 2,402 students from 51 countries around the world submitted 1,315 projects this year – the largest batch of submissions we’ve ever received.

Aspire13 Narrative_DearChild

Dear Child, 2013 AYV Award Winner

We’ve narrowed it down approximately 20 projects in each of our seven categories. From today until May 30, you’re invited to vote for the Audience Award winners. They’ve shared their voice with the world – now it’s your turn. Audience Award winners will each receive a $500 donation to the charity of their choice and a one year membership to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Our esteemed panel of judges will also be hard at work over the next month to determine first and second prize winners in each category, who will receive everything from a charity donation, to a Creative Cloud membership, to Samsung Galaxy Tabs for their school.  Of course, all award-winning media will also be featured prominently on our Adobe site and distributed in a number of print and digital platforms.

Aspire13 Poetry_Creativ.

Creativ, 2013 AYV Award Winner

Just click on your favorite project’s “vote” button to get started. You can cast one vote per project every 24 hours, so we encourage you to vote soon and often! Be sure to spread the word about your favorite projects on social media using hashtag #AYVAwards.

This is your chance to support these amazing artists. Vote now.


Patricia Cogley is the senior program manager for Adobe Youth Voices.


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