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Who We Are – The Foundation

The Dr. Barbara Seniors Harkins Foundation was established in 2005 by Elisia Harkins-James to help underprivileged children in the South Dade County area of Florida. This is the cause Dr. Harkins had devoted her life to before she passed in May 2005 and Elisia was determined to continue her good work. At present, Elisia is traveling between Homestead, Florida, where her home is, and Los Angeles, California, where she teaches film to High School children. Elisia has also produced a number of films, one of which aired on national television in July, 2008. Her goal is to return to Homestead to work for the Foundation full time.

In 2015, the Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of a new scholarship being offered in the Los Angeles County area of California. This area has become special in the heart of Elisia as she has worked closer with the high school youth teaching film.

Our Mission – Motivating Children

We’re a non-profit foundation that strives to motivate children to pursue education beyond high school. We believe the way to achieve this is by combining studying with inspirational out-of-school activities. We want to define the next generation of scholars, not only by what they learn in the classroom, but also through their experiences beyond the text books and outside of the traditional learning environments.

The Dr. Barbara Seniors Harkins Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Miami, Florida and Los Angeles, California. The late Dr. Harkins believed that all children, regardless of race, gender or class, deserved to enjoy the best possible future. She devoted her life to providing underprivileged children with the support and encouragement they needed. Through the Foundation, Dr. Harkins’ legacy of compassion will live on.

Our Programs



Each year the Foundation awards scholarships to outstanding students in the communities of Dade County, Florida and Los Angeles County, California. More information about the scholarships is available on our website.

Film Workshops

The foundation is host to the Filmmakers Workshop, which is led by local high school film production students. It identifies gifted young people from traditionally underrepresented groups in the industry and provides them with an intensive once-a-month training program during which all aspects of filmmaking are taught FREE to Middle/High School students from the greater Los Angeles area, held on Saturdays from September through May. The Workshop provides exposure to the profession through: hands-on experience in movie-making techniques, screenings and discussions of important professional works, discussions with filmmakers and industry professionals. Space is limited, please contact the foundation for more information.

Film Camp

Children in grades 6-12 who are interested in filmmaking are invited to attend our Film Camp. The Camp offers unique opportunities for campers to become fully immersed in a collaborative, supportive and creative artistic community. Through the film classes, campers learn to write, direct, shoot, and edit their own short films. In addition to creating their film projects, the group has had speakers ranging from Ms. Ryan Case, Television Show: Modern Family Editor, Ms. Claudette Robinson (Smokey Robinson and the Miracles) and many others. Campers are assigned to small groups with participants their own age and they all attend daily classes in script writing, camera direction and editing. At the end of the week, campers share their film projects.

Youth Expos

Various Youth Expos are sponsored by the Foundation annually. These include art, film, writing and other jobs found in the film industry.

Giving Back

The Foundation believes in giving back to our communities and teaching the young how important it is to support the area in which you live. In that light, we sponsor programs for free backpacks for school children, free supplies for teachers and free televisions for our communities.

Book Club

Celebrate reading with the organization’s book club. Our foundation has teamed up with The Blazers of Los Angeles to provide students with a setting in which they can have lively discussions about the same books and complete fun-filled activities related to the book. Club members will enjoy activities and snacks during each club meeting. The Book Club will feature the beloved classics: “The Lighting Thief” by Rick Riordan, “The Young Landlords” by Walter Dean Myers, “The Red Pyramid” by Rick Riordan and Orpheus Collar and “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio, just to name a few. The Book Club is $25.00 to join (some scholarship funding is available) and is open to ages 9-14. Call the foundation for more information.

College Tours

The Foundation encourages students to continue their education beyond high school by making sure they have opportunities to visit college campuses.

Our Board of Directors

Our Schools








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