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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Be The Star You Are Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Education, Literacy, Radio, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: OVERVIEW The prevalence of violence in the media and its potential harm to everyone is a concern for many family and community members.; Today's youth are finding it increasingly difficult to recognize that they have the ability, responsibility, and power to determine their own destiny and choose their own future. To help women, families, and youth we provide access to positive and productive information and role models through books and our first class good news radio program. We help individuals discover their passion, learn life skills, gain effective conflict management skills, and build self-esteem through increased literacy and positive programs.

STATISTICS: According to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Survey on Children, Violence and the Media: ∑ An American child will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the age of 18 ∑ Modern music lyrics have become increasingly explicit concerning sex, drugs, and violence against women ∑ More than 10 million web sites exist on the Internet dedicated to violent words, music and images

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reported that juveniles under age 18 were involved in 27% of all serious violent victimizations, including 14% of sexual assaults, 30% of robberies, and 27% of aggravated assaults. 

Nearly four in 10 fourth-graders nationwide failed to achieve even partial mastery of the reading skills needed for school success. In our highest-poverty schools, nearly seven in 10 fourth-graders fail to read at this basic level.

Individuals with poor self-esteem are more vulnerable to peer pressure, more likely to have depressive reactions, eating disorders, and low achievement standards. They are at higher risk to abuse alcohol and drugs, partake in violent activities, and risky behavior.

MISSION Be the Star You Are! is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation empowering women, families and youth through improved literacy and positive media. Be the Star You Are! collects and distributes books and other resources as a way to raise their life skills and self esteem. This media ranges from education and advisement to inspiration and guidance and covers every aspect of life, from abuse through money management.

Be the Star You Are! is an ALL volunteer organization that operates through contributions, in-kind donations, and proceeds from fund-raising events.  Be the Star You Are! does not receive state or federal funding and is solely dependent on contributions from the community and corporations.

Be the Star You Are! has no religious or political agendas or affiliations.

Results: With no paid staff, since receiving our 501c3 status in 1999, Be the Star You Are! has served approximately 403,800 individuals and families within 101 organizations and has logged almost 469,890 volunteer hours, while distributing over $1.8 million in resources and broadcasting 1500 unique hours of positive programming. Be the Star You Are! was nominated for the California Governor’s and First Lady’s Service Awards and has been touted with five star ratings as a Top Rated Non Profit by GuideStar and Great Non Profits for the Women’s Empowerment, Arts and Culture, and the Arts Appreciation Campaigns since 2010. Be the Star You Are! radio program broadcasts to 4.5 million listeners in 219 countries and Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio, the #1 most listened to YA program on the Voice America Network reaches 132 nations. More than 2500 authors, experts, and professionals have been interviewed on our shows. Over 1000 books have been read and reviewed by our Star Teen Book Review Team . www.BTSYA.org NATIONAL OUTREACH SUCCESS STORIES 1. Operation Ground Hero¬–With the attacks on America on September 11, 2001. Several hundred local volunteers as well as volunteers around the country helped us ship over 50 pallets of uplifting materials valued at over $57,000. 2. Operation Hurricane Relief–After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, Be the Star You Are! partnered with volunteers in the South to deliver $27,000 worth of books and resources to libraries, schools, groups, and shelters. 3. Operation Fire Relief–Southern California experienced over a dozen wildfires raging for two months from October to December of 2007. With thousands of families left homeless, Be the Star You Are! worked with relief agencies to deliver over $10,000 of books and holiday gifts to children. 4. Operation Tornado Disaster Relief-in 2011 a devastating tornado swept through the Midwest. The city of Joplin, Missouri was hard hit, destroying 262 classrooms and 16 schools. Be the Star You Are!® shipped $48,000 worth of brand new books for ages k-12 plus additional resources for parents to the Joplin schools. In addition, Access Family Care medical facilities in Neosho, Missouri were shipped books for newborns to the elderly. 5. Operation Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief: Approximately $20,000 in resources were shipped to the East Coast 6. Operation Midwest Tornado Disaster Relief-in November of 2013 severe storms swept across twelve states in the Midwest with multiple tornadoes damaging thousands of structures. Be the Star You Are!® delivered 2000 brand new books valued at $40,000 to fire departments, churches, schools, and shelters. 7. Operation Valley Fire Disaster Relief-September 2015 the Lake County. $2500 worth of books and resources donated to the victims. Operation Hurricane Matthew Disaster Relief-October 2016. Be the Star You Are!® shipped over $16,300 worth of new books to organizations, children’s centers, non-profits in Georgia, Florida, N & S. Carolina.

Target demographics: Be the Star You Are!® supports all ages with a targeted demographic of women, families, and youth to increase literacy and positive media programming.

Direct beneficiaries per year: An audience of millions of listeners to the radio show, StarStyle-Be the Star You Are! (http://www.BethestaryouareRadio.org) broadcast to 219 countries. Our teen program, Express Yourself!™ is heard in 192 countries. (http://www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com) Numerous charities who receive our books and their clients benefit from receiving our donated books. In addition, the hundreds of books reviews written by our teen volunteers help parents, teachers, and librarians choose appropriate books for children and we give a voice to the voiceless through our creative site, http://www.BTSYA.org.

Geographic areas served: Outreach programs and volunteers are global. BTSYA serves areas in need of increased literacy and positive media as well as ships books to disaster areas.

Programs: Starstyle-Be the Star You Are! Radio Program- http://www.BetheStarYouAreRadio.com Express Yourself!™ TEEN Radio Program-http://www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com Express Yourself Creative Community-http://www.BTSYA.com STAR TEEN Book Review Team Letters for Literacy Community Events Book Distribution Program Reading SPELLS Success Audio Program TEEN Mentoring Speaker's Bureau Amazon Discounted Book Store Program Operation Disaster Relief Annual National Essay Contest Important URLS to follow us: Here are a few web sites you'll want to visit to get to know our programs, people, and products. 1. Starstyle-Be the Star You Are! Radio Show Cynthia Brian interviews authors and experts who help you excel in life. In T42, Heather Brittany discusses pop culture http://www.voiceamerica.com/worldtalkradio/vshow.aspx?sid=764 Always archived with descriptions, photos, and information at http://www.bethestaryouareradio.com 2. Radio Show PODCASTS: http://www.podOmatic.com/people/index/starstyle http://starstyle.podOmatic.com http://www.switchpod.com/users/starstyle/feed.xml http://bethestaryouare.mypodcast.com http://www.podfeed.net/podcast/Be+The+Star+You+Are/20565 http://podcast.com/show/228304/Be-The-Star-You-Are http://www.podcastdirectory.com/podcasts/115092 http://www.digitalpodcast.com/detail-Be_The_Star_You_Are-24233.html http://starstyle.podbean.com/ 3.Free on ITUNES: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=310762728 4. SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP while helping Be the Star You Are! http://astore.amazon.com/starstyleprod http://www.goodsearch.com/goodshop.aspx (choose Be the Star You Are! to support) 5. YOU TUBE-See our movies! http://www.youtube.com/Bethestaryouare 6. BUY BOOKS ON AMAZON at deep discounts http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity 7. MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION THROUG NETWORK FOR GOOD http://www.networkforgood.org/pca/Badge.aspx?BadgeId=109461 8. SHOP YOUR FAVORITE STORES WHILE MAKING A DONATION http://www.iGive.com/BTYSA http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882 9. VISIT BE THE STAR YOU ARE! http://www.bethestaryouare.org . VIDEO: ABC Salutes Be the Star You Are!® charity http://volunteers.magnify.net/video/Be-The-Star-You-Are

Community Stories

133 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Heather30

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Year after year this Non-profit continues to encourage and inspire me and many others to, " BE THE STAR YOU ARE". Empowering youth and spreading the power of positivity through outreach and literacy is one of many wonderful things BTSYR does. Please join and support their honorable cause!!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Be the Star You Are, is a true gift to our community. Countless of individuals have improved their lives by supporting Be the Star You Are. whether it's being a volunteer with the charity and participating in numerous events that better the community or receiving some form of positive media and/or books donated by the charity, personal growth has come as a result.
I am especially impressed with the charity's involvement with youth. These tweens and teens will one day be the voice of our future. Be the Star You Are helps makes that voice strong and philanthropic !

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ccheng26

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Be the Star You Are! Charity is filled with positivity and constantly aims to empower teens across the world. I've worked with this charity for the past ten years and continue to support it because I believe its mission is one of which everyone should always be reminded.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started working with Be the Star You Are! Charity just before I began 8th grade, back in 2007. It's now 2016, I'm graduating from UC Berkeley in May, and although the amount of time I can now dedicate to working with Cynthia and the rest of the team is now limited, I still appreciate every opportunity I receive to work with them. Be the Star You Are! has given me so many opportunities to explore my personal interests, all while supporting an amazing cause. I will always be grateful for Be the Star You Are! Charity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with Cynthia Brian for Be the Star You Are has been one of the best opportunities and decisions of my life. As a volunteer for Be the Star You Are, I have been able to expand my communication skills in both writing and speaking. With the world constantly changing and advancing, people are becoming busier and busier. As a result, we often find less time to read and write for entertainment or take a moment to reflect on the positive aspects of life. Be The Star You Are reminds people about the small and large sources of inspiration and encouragement in life and ways to overcome obstacles and move forward toward goals. After entering high school, my priorities veered toward non practical and academic-oriented objectives. I can confidently say that volunteering for Be the Star You Are has reminded me of the importance and joy of positive messages and has rekindled my love for reading and writing. Be the Star You Are promotes positive media and literacy in such an inspirational and memorable way that it not only impacts its listeners and readers, but is also a transformative experience for its volunteers.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Of my volunteer organizations, Be the Star You Are is definitely my favorite. It’s unique in that it helps you as much as you help others through it. I really feel like being a reporter for BTSYA has helped me gain confidence and comfort in speaking. I recently did a speech in my english class at school and couldn’t help but think that reporting through the BTSYA radio contributed to my ability to speak conversationally and connect with my peers in the class. Above all, our wonderful founder Cynthia Brian takes great care of all of us. Everyone I have met through this organization has been so welcoming and friendly. Be The Star You Are is rewarding in every sense, and I hope to continue working with BTSYA for many more years.

eaguilar_2018

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BTSYA is a phenomenal organization that goes above and beyond to help communities throughout the U.S while allowing its volunteers to grow with it. I'm extremely fortunate to be a part of the BTSYA team and have the opportunity to work closely with so many passionate people who are motivated to make a difference in literacy and more. As a second year volunteer with the organization, I've felt nothing but support and understanding with those who I've worked with. I'm excited to continue to see where this group will go! BTSYA rocks! - Liz

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing non-profit! I've only recently started working with them but I know that I will be able to make a great impact with them as I continue to help. I'm beyond grateful to be a part of such a passionate team and I'm looking forward to seeing how I've grown professionally throughout the course of my internship. Cynthia is very friendly and encouraging. These guys rock!

- Liz Aguilar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I highly recommend “Be The Star You Are!” and give it a very enthusiastic 5 star rating! I have volunteered for several other organizations, but I can honestly say that “Be The Star You Are!” surpasses them all for the contributions to its cause and what it has meant to me as volunteer. Over the past two years, I have had the exciting and rewarding experience to volunteer as a field reporter for the teen radio show “Express Yourself”, from the “Be the Star You Are!” charity. In this capacity I have had the chance to report on numerous topics that are interesting and inspiring to teens. I strongly support founder Cynthia Brian’s life-changing message to listeners to “Read, Lead, Succeed!” and I love the fact that I am helping to provide a positive and empowering message to teens across the country and beyond! “Be The Star You Are!” does so many things in addition to broadcasting, such as publishing inspirational books under the same name, for which I am so proud to have contributed a chapter in its most recent edition. This past year, the organization made a difference with the Hurricane Matthew Relief Project, donating books to organizations in the affected area. It also has many other outreach programs that promote literacy to help women and youth. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this organization and what it means to me to be a part of it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Be the Star You Are is one of those unique nonprofits that helps its volunteers just as much as it helps the community. I can personally attest to the many different benefits and opportunities that it provides. Whether it's empowering young people through various forms of media or sending books to relieve victims of natural disasters, Cynthia Brian and Be the Star You Are truly care to help. On a weekly basis, teens are able to share their viewpoint on important issues that affect them and others. Our thoughts get broadcast for the entire world to hear. At its core, Be the Star You Are fosters the next crop of world-shakers to develop into their full potential and express themselves!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of working with Cynthia Brian for multiple years. As part of her team at BTSYA, I witnessed firsthand how meaningful and effective nonprofit charities can be. As a collaborative team, we truly made a difference through a combination of volunteer outreach, book events, and community-based programming. Besides gaining valuable event-planning experience at the charity, I found a unique springboard for my current writing career. I'm still thankful for the wonderful opportunities BTSYA afforded me and the friendships I made during my time there.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience volunteering with Be The Star You Are! Cynthia Brian's positive attitude empowers everyone around her and encourages Lamorinda residents to give back. By far the best charity work I've ever participated in!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

"Be The Star You Are!" is an incredible organization. Cynthia Brian has created such an amazing program through positivity, real-world/true-to-life information, and guidance for young people. Her organization helps young people steer through growing up and allowing them to be the best version of themselves. As a firefighter working in Watts (Los Angeles), California, I know how important it is for young people to have direction, mentors, and support throughout their lives. This charity is the exact type of program that every community needs; and, through the widespread outreach of the "Be The Star You Are!" organization, Cynthia Brian is able to affect development all over the world. Truly inspirational!

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2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I could never say enough about Be The Star You Are! The work that the organization as a whole (and especially Cynthia Brian) does is incredible. They are able to touch the lives of so many young people in such an amazing way. The guidance that they provide is so crucial and it gives the youth community a better road to take. Congratulations on another great year, Be The Star You Are!

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Tamie W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Cynthia is such a great leader not only my daughter, but our youth. I appreciate the time and dedication she puts into Be The Star You Are, Inc. and the opportunity she provides!

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3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wow. Be The Star You Are is a top notch program. In a world where you have to censor content and hover over your child to make sure they aren't listening to anything questionable, it has been the complete opposite with this program. My husband and I do not worry about what our three kids are listening to as the content is very positive and educational. I want Cynthia and the entire crew of BTSYA to know that we appreciate them!!

cheerful

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This amazing nonprofit is so very fortunate to have such a dedicated and professional leader in Cynthia Brian. She leads by example and never hesitates to give credit to others for helping along the way. Many children benefit from the tremendous work of this organization.

I had the privilege of meeting Cynthia Brian several years ago, and she has continued to be a role model and inspiration in all that I do.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Be The Star You Are consistently goes above and beyond to serve others. Their Executive Director, Cynthia Brian, is an amazing leader who is always willing to lend a hand and to positively reinforce everyone who supports her cause.

This is what "great" nonprofits are all about!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love BTSYA! I joined in 9th grade and the organization has become a big part of my life. I'm proud to be part of Be The Star! You Are and I personally think that this organization is unique in its message and goal of literacy and positive media. BTSYA has brought me so many opportunities. I've interviewed best-selling authors, TV show stars, anime voice actors, artists, and even a numerologist, a cryptologist and video game creator on Express Yourself, our teen outreach service radio. I talk with other teens every week on the radio, discussing our views on current events and societal values. Through BTSYA I get to host and volunteer at local events and see how books and positive media impact the citizens in my town, and I've been able to give back to my community in an innovative way that really matters.

BTSYA is made up of purely positive energy. Being part of it has helped me pull negativity away from my life so well that I've even been able to see my political views from another light; I am rather more liberal in terms of beliefs and views and when I am on Express Yourself! I interact with people who identify as conservative and they have helped me realize that at the end of the day, we all hold the same human-ness inside and we all wish to make the world a better place no matter what our political views are. I think with America's recent political climate that this is the kind of thing that is important---positive media that reinforces the good within us and pulls us away from squabbling over who's on what side. And I think BTSYA really accomplishes just that.

In the three years that I've been part of Be The Star! You Are, I feel that I've really grown as a person and as a volunteer. With the help of the support network BTSYA provides and under the guidance of Cynthia Brian I've been able to learn and find a path to the good in my everyday life. Right now, I'm improving my communication skills by finding and helping to coordinate guests for the radio show! I'll close this review by letting everyone know that honestly Cynthia Brian is the positive force behind this positive media charity---she is absolutely wonderful and she is key to our efforts and improvement. Working under her guidance for these past three years has been incredible and she is so positive even when times are tough; I can't claim Cynthia as my specific role model because honestly she's so inspiring that she's everybody's role model!

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a starting volunteer, I feel that BTSYA is an amazing program that truly seeks to broadcast a positive and uplifting message to the world. This charity's every action contributes to the good in the world, be it on a larger scale or just the small everyday kindnesses that brings warmth to our hearts. Cynthia is a wonderfully ebullient and enthusiastic individual--a joy to work with.

StarLady

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's been such an honor to work with all the volunteers of Be the Star You Are!® for the past 18 years. I have watched young, shy pre-teens grow into confident, successful adults. The young adult radio program, Express Yourself!™ is especially gratifying in that teens learn to interview and become excellent hosts and reporters while providing positive, life-affirming information to audiences around the world. Thanks for the opportunity to share with you. Be the Star You Are!® will be my favorite charity for a lifetime.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Out of thousands of individuals who apply to be volunteers with Be the Star You Are!® charity annually, only the most qualified are accepted resulting in a team of highly dedicated, motivated stars. It's been an honor and a privilege to be among these people, especially the teens and young adults who truly are inspiring. Make sure to check out www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com where teens talk and the world listens. Impressive!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started with Be the Star You Are when I was in just seventh grade and I have learned incredible things, from organizing events to being a leader. Through the help of the charity I was able to reach out towards others and help the young adult community become positive, empowered, and more open towards literacy. The opportunities with this charity have been boundless and I'll always come back to BTSYA for anything.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm taking over the reins of being event coordinator for Be the Star You Are!® since my sister has gone off to college. It's been fun working with everyone and I look forward to a long term relationship with the organization. Best of all, I get to sing on the radio to a global audience. It's wonderful to be involved with a charity that truly cares about sharing the opinions and voices of teenagers. I've had such an incredible experience working for BTSYA.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering for BTSYA for a while, and I absolutely love what they have done to make a difference in everyone's lives throughout all these years! Keep up the good work!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with this organization almost since the beginning. When volunteers stay for the long term, I don't think there's a much better statement about the organization. We support the mission with gusto!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What an incredible organization! Be The Star You Are truly uplifts and supports those who need it most. They are game changers!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BTSYA was absolutely necessary in my personal growth and my path towards encouraging positivity in today's youth. I worked as a co-host on the BTSYA radio called Express Yourself!, and I loved every moment of it. Truly an irreplaceable experience.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since I've been volunteering with BTSYA, I've been able to use my research skills to find authors and guests for our award winning radio program as well as stretch my abilities by interviewing various professionals and reporting on the air with my segment, Pro Parlay. I am now learning to write scripts and co-host programs. It's fun, educational, and spreads our message of the importance of literacy and positive messages. It's definitely a program that has positively impacted youth around the world and will continue to change lives around the world.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cynthia Brian leads this nonprofit with unbelievable passion and expertise! Her vast experience and many skills are what has created and sustained this successful organization. While a tremendous leader, she is always the first to recognize her wonderful volunteers and supporters.

Be The Star You Are is an excellent role model for nonprofits who want to be great!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Cynthia Brian does an amazing job of leading this great organization with real passion and unending energy! Her efforts have resulted in a positive outreach of our future generation. She is a wonderful role model for all who want to serve others. I have greatly appreciated her friendship and support!

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2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

“In these times of violence and chaos in the world, it’s great to know that we have a non profit that wants to help young people “read, lead, and succeed!” For over 17 years, I’ve witnessed the difference that Be the Star You Are!® makes in the lives of teens with an all volunteer crew. Bravo to Be the Star You Are!® for helping individuals find their self-worth with positive values.”

Previous Stories
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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

"My strength is with numbers so I have always admired the outreach programs of Be the Star You Are!® because they stress the importance of literacy with their motto, "Read, lead, succeed." With their creative community web site at www.BTSYA.com to encourage the young-at-heart to "Express Yourself!" and the new radio show of the same name produced by founder Cynthia Brian, I really have hope for the youth of the world. Be the Star You Are!™ is an amazing grassroots charity that deserves donations and financial support."

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Be The Star You Are has enriched the lives of many. From those like me who have gained valuable experience working side by side its fantastic leader, Cynthia. And for those who lives have been bettered by what BTSYA has to offer. It is one of the best charity's in the Bay Area.