Young Storytellers Foundation

Rating: 4.98 stars   60 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.
2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review

See How $25 Can Help

More Info

EIN 55-0827731
323.962.4500
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 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? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Love YSF. Great people, great mission. They're helping kids, allowing them greater access to the arts, while also promoting literacy. Could not be happier with these guys.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Young Storytellers Foundation is an absolute gem and a welcome miracle to the students they serve. The leaders and staff of this organization are incredibly dedicated, kind, passionate, and incredibly hard working. I've had the pleasure of visiting a school and seeing the volunteers at work and how much value and knowledge they bring to the students and how much joy the students get from taking part in the program. I've also been fortunate to attend multiple Big Shows where Hollywood actors act out the scripts written by 5th graders. There is something uniquely special about how YSF makes sure the KIDS are the stars and that their work is celebrating. YSF is invaluable because they not only help kids learn to love to read and write, but they teach them the power of their own voices and imbue them with a love of storytelling that will last a lifetime.

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

Put this program in even more schools all over the country.

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  

1 person found this review helpful

It is amazing to see the students over the course of eight weeks transform and come together to experience the art of storytelling. Even the most shy or uninteresting kids become engaged. It is also a treat for the mentors and I look forward to my YSF session every week - my favorite power lunch!

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Volunteer
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I am proud to be part of the YSF family. This organization teaches literacy through the art of storytelling, but the kids (and mentors!) learn far more than that. The transformation of these children in the 8 weeks they are a part of this program is impossible to quantify- but as a mentor, you can't help but notice the drastic positive changes in these children. I have seen children who hid in the corner for the first four weeks do stand up routines at the wrap party. I have seen children who couldn't sit still for 30 seconds sit and for an entire hour focused on finding a creative solution to a problem in their story. It is life altering for the children and adults who participate. You will not meet a single person who has been a mentee, mentor, actor or audience member at a Big Show who has not been insprired to do more.


In addition to that, the Young Storytellers Foundation as an organization is outstanding. I am constantly in awe of the amount of things that their small staff is able to accomplish on a day to day basis. While focusing on big picture ideas, the small stuff never falls through the cracks. They are truly top notch!

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?

2013

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

2 people found this review helpful

I cannot say enough about what a wonderful program Young Storytellers is. There is no set reason a child is picked to be in the program so you have a tremendously diverse group of children. Some are excellent writers, others are perhaps the class clowns, some need a little extra one on one time- all are amazing! My mentee this past year was a brilliant writer, but extremely shy. You couldn't have gotten him to speak up in front of the group no matter how hard you tried. A few weeks in to the program, after getting a ton of praise for his written work, he would waive his hand in the air almost begging to read his story aloud to the group. It was amazing to see a change in such a short amount of time. As a mentor, I can tell you that my time at Young Storytellers is my best hour all week. To be surrounded by these intelligent, silly and fearless children is an experience of a lifetime. I was amazed how easy it was to get out of my comfort zone in order to inspire these children to do the same. And the pride on their faces at the Big Show while watching actors perform their work in front of their fellow students will forever remain engraved in your mind and heart.

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

.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My son, Radley Balboa, a 5th Grade student at Wilshire Crest Elementary School was mentored by Mr. Terence Anthony. As a parent of an 11 year old boy, I was surprised to watch The Big Show to find out that he wrote a script entitled, "Johnny and Chase's Adventure". I was so proud of him. I didn't know that he could do it. The YSF opened a new door for my son that anything is possible and that he can do it. I hope that he can participate more and write more scripts. Thank you very much YSF.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

It's an honor to be a part of something like YSF. Seeing these kids come out of their shells is the highlight of my week.

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Youngstory Tellers is a great organization, youngstory teachs the children so much more than just literacy and the art of story telling it's such an awesome experience for both the students and volunteers

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Young Storytellers Foundation is a wonderful and inspiring organization that helps to encourage kids to be themselves! All the while teaching them to unitize the fundamentals of writing, acting, and to think outside the box. As a mentor I was able to really see the kids progress and become confident and empowered by their own scripts. It gives them a sense of pride and it enables them to really open up. As a volunteer and mentor I couldn't have been more proud of my group, and my student. This was a remarkable experience for me, and truly rewarding. The kids have so much heart and so much to give and with programs like these it allows them to use their imaginations and really dig deep. In a generation with so much going on and life moving so fast its crucial for groups like the Young Storytellers Foundation be accessible to kids everywhere.

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

Reach out to more schools!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful?