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Young Storytellers

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult & Child Matching Programs, Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Young Storytellers engages creativity through the art of storytelling. Using the timeless techniques of mentoring, collaboration, and performance we provide public school students with an opportunity to write stories and see them brought to life on stage or on film. Our mission is to inspire young people to discover the power of their own voice.

Results: Our mission is simple: we inspire young people to discover the power of their voice. Using one-on-one mentorship, low-income students learn how to write original stories and see them brought to life on stage and film. Thanks to thousands of volunteer mentors, actors, and professional teaching artists, we serve more than 50 public schools in Los Angeles and New York City, serving 1,000 students in elementary, middle, and high school each year. As a result, young people learn that their voice matters.

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.

Community Stories

86 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the best experience anybody can possibly have! The process of watching a young child find theirvoice and tell their story through stage is the most rewarding thing ever. I'm so glad a friend introduced me to this program! Pictured with spring 2017 Linwood Howe Storytellers and fellow Mentor Meredith Thomas

inwardeleven

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve mentored with Young Storytellers for almost 20 years because it is a fun and easy way to make a measurable positive impact on the life of children. In 10 weeks, the program fosters literacy and self esteem that will last a child a lifetime.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

2016 marks my 18th year volunteering with Young Storytellers. The reason I am so committed to this organization is because of the undeniable positive effects it has on the children. Year after year, semester after semester, I have personally bore witness to the maturation of kids achieved in just a 10-week period. They learn to focus their creativity, share their personal stories, and unleash their boundless imagination. Every time we finish a Big Show - the culminating event where the children's screenplays are brought to life on stage - I've come to rely on (but not take for granted) the gratitude, joy, and sheer amazement expressed by the kids' peers, teachers and families - all of whom have just been so completely blown away by the wholly original and entirely entertaining creative achievements birthed from the minds of our students.

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Lori167

Donor

Rating: 5

This is such a quality organization. Feeding the fuel of young imaginations. Allowing their natural curiosity to explore and create for our benefit. Well done, Bill Thompson

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Though I'm not part of the LA community, it warms my heart to see an organization that encourages, mentors and brings to life the incredible imagination of children. Well done!

Eli J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful, woderful, wonderful organization. Thank YOU!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a long-time donor with Young Storytellers and feel confident that I see exactly where my dollars are being used. The program has an incredible reach with a relatively small budget and staff. It's a model other non-profits should use!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Happy to have been a mentor, would like to know more about use of funding.

Hunter C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization that makes a positive difference in the lives of the students they work with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with Young Storytellers in their 5th grade, middle school, and high school programs. They're all incredibly rewarding, and easy to volunteer! (Most programs are just an hour a week on your lunch break.) Plus, they make everything really fun. You basically show up, play some games with the kids, and then help them bring their own stories to life. Validating kids who are continually undervalued, and watching them blossom over the course of just a few weeks is one of the most rewarding ways to volunteer your time. SIGN UP!!

Devon Michael J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Young Storytellers on and off for over 15 years as a mentor and as an actor in their Big Shows. It is a privilege to be a part of an organization that gives children a creative space to develop their imagination and writing skills while helping to strengthen their self esteem at an early age.

Hannah J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a great organization helping kids express themselves while improving reading and writing skills

Kimberly H.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing organization that has a staff that is out of this world!

Donor

Rating: 5

YS does an outstanding job in bringing an arts programs to students who would otherwise never have the opportunity to explore their potential creativity. They support the program with tremendous fundraising efforts and an army of volunteers. All donations are wisely used.

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Donor

Rating: 5

As a former elementary administrator in a District served by Young Storytellers, I applaud their program. They provide an invaluable arts access to students who otherwise would never have the opportunity explore their talent. YS is able to support its work through donations and the dedication of hundreds of volunteers.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I mentored with the Young Storytellers P.O.V. program for the last year. This program not only inspires youth to tell their personal stories, but encourages them to collaborate and communicate. This curriculum also teaches them the entirety of the filmmaking process from preproduction to writing to cinematography and editing. Students play, create, learn, and reflect in every class. The program also works hard to bring in guest mentors from the industry to provide students with a master perspective of the world of filmmaking and storytelling.

I hope to see this program expand across the country in the near future. Every child has a story to tell and Young Storytellers is here to listen.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Young Storytellers for several years. As a donor, I have attended events and spoken with staff, board members, volunteers and student participants. And I have always been BEYOND impressed! These people are INCREDIBLE!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Young Storytellers creates a safe, creative environment for young writers who would otherwise not have an opportunity to share their stories, and the program's impact on those students is immediately apparent. Not only do the writers grow from their experiences, the volunteers grow, as well.

My time as a Head Mentor has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've had. I cannot recommend the program highly enough, both for students and volunteers.

- Nick Lazo, Head Mentor

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for Young Storytellers has been an amazing part of my life! Mentoring the children that are a part of this program has been rewarding, challenging, and above all fun! This organization is an essential part of the schools it's in because it breathes a breath of fresh air into the arts education of the children it touches.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

YSF is an amazing experience for all involved. As a mentor, spending time working with the students and being a part of their processes in developing their scripts is so much fun! The best part of the program is seeing the kids' faces light up when the script they have written in the matter of weeks is brought to life by professional actors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have loved volunteering for this organization! It is great that they help children use their imaginations and see it come to life either on stage or film. I hope to work with for many years to come!

Sarah299

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Young Storytellers is more than just stories and fun plays. It's a hands on, one-on-one approach to unlocking a student's potential, capabilities and power. It's an organization where you don't sit idly by and watch things happen from afar. As a volunteer, you're in the thick of it and really transforming the life of a young student right in front of you. Not to mention, you transform your own life in the process. I've worked with Young Storytellers for over 8 years and it never ceases to amaze me the joy I get from the process as much as the students get. Can't recommend it highly enough.

Tyler16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Young Storytellers for about four years now and am supremely thankful for the introduction. The organization itself is so incredibly well put together and run that being a head mentor is probably one of the easiest forms of volunteering one can do. That being said, the work I put in as a teacher to 9, 10 and 11 year olds is some of the most rewarding you could ever find. My years with YST has reinforced my own knowledge of the story telling process as well as my passion for passing it along to the younger generation. To work towards a goal after a number of weeks with children and then watch their faces and reactions when their goal is met by actors playing out their stories on stage is one of the coolest things I've ever been able to do. I think it's one of the greatest groups and programs in LA and I look forward to being affiliated for many, many years to come. Thank you Bill, Pierre, Pilar, Russell and all the rest of the team!

1 Erin Y.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been with Young Storytellers for well over a decade now and there's a good reason why it's captured my heart completely. Through the years I've had the pleasure of meeting young, shy and often apprehensive children who've struggled with self- confidence who, through this program, have completely blossomed into strong and independently creative thinkers. The expansion of the programs has allowed me to continue to witness the further growth of these children and the results are nothing short of life-changing. Regardless of your knowledge of the "industry", Young Storytellers inspires not only young minds but even the adults who mentor them to gain a new creative outlet and a positive sense of self that they may have otherwise not experienced. I am so very proud to be a part of this incredible organization and look forward to continuing in the years to come!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having the opportunity to witness the impact this program has in a child's life is an invaluable gift. In my 8+ years I've been honored to be a part of Young Storytellers, I've seen countless numbers of children grow out of their shells and despite the adversities they may be facing, blossom into confident and happy children again. The role Young Storytellers and the mentors play will never be forgotten - by the children or the mentors. It creates a cycle of positivity and support for children who may be lacking in some form or another and the results last a lifetime. I am an avid fan of YSF and continue to support their dedication to enriching the lives of young children and exposing them to creative outlets that they may not have known were available. All children have a story to tell and deserve to be heard - YSF allows a child's story not only come to life, but inspires them to continue exercising their creative spirit long after their semester has finished.