Young Storytellers Foundation

Rating: 4.98 stars   48 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Education

Location: 923 E. Third Street #307 Los Angeles CA 90013 USA

Mission: The Young Storytellers Foundation develops literacy through the art of storytelling. Using group exercises and one-on-one mentoring, we provide underserved children in the public school system an opportunity to write stories and see them brought to life through performance. Our mission is to inspire children to discover the power of their own voice.
Results: We believe every child has a story worth telling. Each child who participates in the Script to Stage program experiences a life-changing success. Each word and idea in the script is their sole creation. Each child casts his/her own story with professional actors. Each child walks down the red carpet with a VIP badge to a rousing standing ovation. Each child sees their story performed in front of families, teachers, and friends in their elementary school auditorium.
Target demographics: low-income and at-risk youth between 10 and 18 years old
Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 1000 students receive our programs
Geographic areas served: Los Angeles and New York City
Programs: Our programs develop literacy through the art of storytelling. Using group exercises and one-on-one mentoring, we provide underserved children in the public school system an opportunity to write stories and see them brought to life through live performance or film. Our mission is to inspire children to discover the power of their own voice.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review

See How $25 Can Help

Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I was honored to act in a few of these incredible shows and the pride in the faces of those kids make it all worth it. Their imaginations are incredible and their story telling is unmatched. Dont deny these kids the opportunity to express themselves through story telling.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Put it in every school.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Young Storytellers provides an excellent educational program to students that fosters both literacy and self esteem. I have volunteered for 16 years in a row now and I have no plans on stopping. Why would I? The foundation makes it so easy for volunteers like me to make an important difference and a form a unique relationship with our students.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...like it to get to more and more schools, so we can reach more and more students.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

After graduating from college with a degree in Screenwriting, Young Storytellers seems to be the best fit for me as a way to do meaningful volunteer work. I've seen in the 12+ years I've working with this organization, the deterioration of art programs in public education. With more and more funding being cut from arts education, thank goodness that Young Storyteller is there to fill at least some of the gap. Of the roughly 250 children I've worked with over the year, 100% of them were hungry to express themselves creatively. The outlet which Young Storytellers provides is an essential one for the kids we work with. Fortunately, the declining rate of arts education funding in our schools has been paced with the growth and interest of the Young Storytellers Foundation. I've watching the organization grow from being in three schools, working with a total of 30 kids per semester, to being in 30 schools, working with 300 kids per semester. Hopefully, Young Storytellers will continue to flourish!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping children to develop their creative voice, build their self-esteem and foster literacy.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a mentor for 9 years and a board member for 4. YSF is an amazing organization that truly makes an impact in the Los Angeles community. In a time where arts education is being cut from many public schools, YSF exists to make sure children still get exposure to the creative arts and have an opportunity to develop their skills as storytellers. I can't say enough positive things about the mission of the organization, the quality of its programming and the dedication and professionalism of the staff. I was hooked from the first program I participated in and will remain a dedicated volunteer and board member for years to come.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am just a donor because I don't leave in LA for me to volunteer. I am a donor because I believe the work this organization does reaches beyond helping kids but equip them with the abilities and skills to know they are empowered to create whatever life they desire.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Create more opportunities to spread this to all over the United States.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked with several literacy charities -- love them all -- but this is by far the best, most engaging, and most fun of them all. The kids we get to work with are really touched by the program. It's amazing to watch them craft and tell their stories. Their imaginations are amazing -- they just need the tools to become writers, which YSF provides through both group activities and one-on-one mentoring.

The mentors get as much out of it as the 5th graders -- a real connection to the community, and a sense of what children in underserved populations go through day-to-day, and what their goals and aspirations are. Two of the ten children in the school at which I was placed this last semester wrote stories where the goal of the protagonist was to be able to afford to go to college (and in one story, the heroine made sure all her friends could go, too). That's both heartwarming and heart-wrenching.

I can't say enough good things about YSF. I plan to stay involved for as long as they'll have me!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue doing what they're doing -- expanding to more schools and other cities.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This organization is such an inspiration. It's so important to encourage kids to write and nurture their natural talents. I'm blown away by all the good they do for young writers and their communities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand! I would love to see this program across the country, even across the world. I think it's so important and I would love to see it grown and be more pervasive.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This is the best volunteer organization in Los Angeles. It fosters the creativity of all kinds of young minds (from students who crave enrichment to those who may have attention, social, or behavioral needs who may just need a voice). By volunteering, we see a change in our young writers, and the joy they experience by writing a script and then seeing it performed in front of a crowd of family and friends by professional actors is unlike anything else. A truly wonderful program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give volunteers the option of a longer-term mentor program with the writers. Sometimes a 9-week session just isn't enough.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Been a donor for past 2 years through their always entertaining Biggest Shows. It's awesome to see the progress of kids and all the benefits being reaped by all of the communities involved.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I first heard about the Young Storytellers Foundation through our company philanthropy and thought it sounded liked fun so I signed up to be a mentor. This was in 2009. I mentored for three semesters and became a Head Mentor and have been one ever since. We have had apx 150 fourth grade students go through this program and it truly is the highlight of their school year to be a Young Storyteller. Parents of first grade students are already hoping their child will be in line to be picked in 3 years. It's incredible to watch the shy students come out of the their shells and watch all of the kids as they grow in confidence and learn about story elements. My mentors say it is the best part of their week, to come in and work one on one with these brilliant, creative, fun and funny kids. The Big Show is a marvelous time and a huge deal to the students, their families and mentors and the school as they watch their stories acted out by professional actors on stage. It's a one of kind program, and one I wish I had been able to do when I was a kid. It changes these kids and their perception of themselves as being able to accomplish anything in their lives because they have experienced being a star.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The teachers wish there was way that every student could be a Young Storyteller!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I started volunteering as a mentor for Young Storytellers in the spring of 2009 and had a blast. I loved my mentee, loved the program, loved seeing the joy and pride on the kids' faces when their scripts were acted out on stage by professional actors at the Big Show. I mentored for 3 semesters and then became a Head Mentor which I still am today. It's the highlight of my work week to go to the school and get to spend an hour with the mentors and the kids who are so excited and happy to be there that they can barely contain their enthusiam. It's one of the best programs ever created to promote literacy and self-esteem for grade school kids. I wish it had been around when I was 9 or 10 years old so I could have been a young storyteller myself. One of our writers in our session the other day told me he would remember this [YSF] and me for the rest of his life. There's no greater satisfaction than knowing you're making a positive impact on a kid's life.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Young Storytellers for about a year, as a donor. I learned about them through social media; and I follow all their activities via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I have also attended five of their shows, seeing first-hand how the students' stories are brought to life. Nothing brings me more joy than to watch the wonderful reactions of the kids when their scripts are performed live, on-stage by professional actors. And I have heard from parents, grandparents, and teachers as they voice their delight at seeing the creative talents of these children nurtured and developed -- often for the first time. I have also loved speaking with the incredible staff and generous volunteers of this organization. I am beyond impressed with their dedication, graciousness, and flawless professionalism. I was a teacher before I had my own family, and I have to say that the work YSF does to enhance and promote the arts and literacy amongst our youth is second-to-none. Absolutely second-to-none.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None at this time.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful?