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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

87 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Hannah J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Young storytellers has helped thousands of children tell their own stories. They are helping kids with reading and writing while brining their creative visions to life. Watching the stories be performed at the end of the semester is always so magical. The happiness and pride beams out of each child.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

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

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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.

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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2

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.

Troy6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The opportunity to be a small part of what YS is doing, and seeing the joy the students experience watching their imaginations come to life was nothing short of life-giving for me. I am very grateful to have been asked to be a part of the Carthay Big Show, and thus am most certainly looking forward to doing more in the future

Shaun7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Was such a great time participating in one of the shows, seeing the kids faces as their stories came alive was amazing!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Young Storytellers for a few years, as a donor. I have attended many events and have had a chance to meet and interact with the staff, the volunteers, and the students involved in their programs. I have been so impressed with the work they do and all the ways the organization continues to grow and develop.

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Donor

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is great to help young children get acquainted with the art of storytelling. I admire the worth this foundation is doing and encourage people to help them out all them can.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A FANTASTIC organization to be a part of, the kids grow a LOT and have an amazing time. It really does make an impact...but not only on the kids...I've seen grownups cry when the session ends, hehe...I've seen kids cry too :(

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love witnessing the talent supported and developed by this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Young Storytellers Foundation is, hands down, my favorite organization that I get to support as an artist (I both mentor and perform for them). The work we do with kids is so unique and so uplifting and empowering; I've seen child after child transform. Children really find their voices through the program -- many experiencing creative expression and public recognition for the very first time. I love everything about YSF, and I intend to be a lifelong supporter of this beautiful organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Young Storytellers Foundation as a mentor and as an actor and it was one of the most rewarding and fun times I've ever had. The pride we see in the kids when their script comes to life is indescribable and the parents are so proud and grateful that I'm touched every time I volunteer. As an actor bringing the kids' scripts to life is so fun too. The laughter you hear from the kids and their classmates as their watching is so great and really makes your day. I love you guys at Young Storytellers Foundation and definitely will keep volunteering!

Annie45

Volunteer

Rating: 5

fantastic group! i volunteered as a mentor last year and had a wonderful time getting to know these brilliant kids and watching their creative minds flourish.

Lesley G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with YSF last fall in its first San Francisco program at Daniel Webster Elementary. The training and leadership provided by YSF and our lead mentor, Michael Karsh, were so helpful — I knew nothing about writing screenplays, but they guided me through the entire process with understanding and care so I could be a great mentor to our kids. And the kids . . . they were simply amazing. It was so unbelievable to see these kids who were so quiet and shy — or distracted or bored — become engaged and excited about writing and telling stories.

YSF is simply an amazing organization. Highly recommended.

Brian47

Volunteer

Rating: 5

"Some are volunteers. Some are volun-told."

YSF really speaks to the creativity in one's soul and compels them to keep coming back.

I've been involved with this program for the past 6 years and the impact it has on not just the students but the mentors can be life-changing.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Young Storytellers is nothing if not addicting. The impact on our students is one thing, but the experience is beyond rewarding for those of us who volunteer. For the head mentors who teach the class, the mentors who guide the kids one-on-one and the actors who perform in the BIG Shows have all found it hard not to get sucked in and need more. We get to play once a week, and when our schools aren't in session, we miss it terribly.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Quite honestly, one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences I've ever been a part of. I was lucky enough to get involved with YSF in 2001, and am thrilled with how it's grown over the years while still staying true to its core and mission. As both a mentor and head mentor, I witnessed time and time again how this simple idea -- how this kind of attention, feedback and encouragement -- affected and transformed the lives of students involved. I've watched kids discover a voice and a focus that surprised even them; I've been hugged by grateful and tearful parents; I've been thanked by teachers who say they see the positive effects throughout the classroom. (All this from something so incredibly fun as well -- can't tell you how many mentors I've heard describe this time as the "best hour of my week.") Bottom line, an incredible organization that supports the arts in schools, builds community, and inspires children in a very real and lasting way. Amazing.

Chad11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the honor of working with this program as both a mentor and an actor. No matter how many shows I do, I'm still always floored by the creativity of these great kids – and the joy they get from seeing their work performed onstage. It's almost criminal to call volunteering because I feel like we get so much out of it.

1 Phil A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Art transforms people! YSF is at the vanguard of helping to create empathetic members of society by valuing our children's creativity and words. I have been incredibly fortunate to be an actor in the YSF's Big Shows for the past several years at a few different schools. It is so easy to see the transformation that comes over the students whose work is being read/performed by the cast and to also hear in their own words the positive effect of having worked with their mentors. Hooray for YSF!!!

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a fantastic opportunity for creative children to experience their words coming to life on stage in front of their very eyes! The love and care given to every aspect of this organizations purpose is truly wonderful and certainly makes a difference in the lives of the kids who participate and watch the performances. As an professional actor who has had the pleasure of performing in several BIG SHOWS, I know that the gifts I receive are immeasurable, as well! Thanks YSF!!!

Rob_29

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Tracy64

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

mpcarter

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 Analie B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 Denise55

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

1 Cara10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 MattS

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are so many wonderful aspects that it's not easy to articulate just how amazing of an organization YSF is but I'm going to try anyways. As a Head Mentor/Mentor/Volunteer Big Show Performer over the last 3 years, I've been able to see first hand the impact of this organization's work on children. Giving students the ability to use their imagination in a supportive, positive environment enables these students to create brilliant stories they might not have ever been able to write. The volunteers that work for YSF are fantastic and are alike in the tremendous enthusiasm they bring to their work with the young writers. YSF gives an outlet to those all students to express their creativity especially the shy, reserved ones.

My favorite story from YSF is that we had a young girl in our session that was painfully quiet and reluctant to share throughout the first 7 weeks. We did everything we could to try to encourage her and create a safe environment for her to share. The 8th meeting came and she had a chance to see her story performed on stage by professional actors and her face absolutely lit up. The final wrap-up meeting we couldn't stop her from talking! Unprompted, she shared one thing that she liked about every one of her peers' stories and even thanked the YSF mentors for their hard work over the semester. It was a total transformation and an absolute joy to witness.

The staff that runs YSF is fantastic, easy to talk to, and goes out of the way to ensure that you are set up for success as a volunteer. Get involved with this organization - you won't regret it!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been such a great experience to work with both those in the office and the kids. Those in the office have so much passion for what they are doing it's contagious. And I get to take that into the classrooms and watch how words become stories become screenplays become actors bringing it all to life. A journey worth traveling every session. What I love the most are the moments when a student comes across a problem in the story and finds their own solution ---- the light the flashes over the faces --- so very momentary, and such a gift.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Young Storytellers Foundation is both wonderful and inspiring to be apart of inside and out. I've performed in their shows, written stories with the students, and led groups as a Head Mentor. For me, seeing an idea come alive first in the face of a student, and then see that idea move to the page is more than enough to complete my day. Being a part of a student's journey over a 7-8 week period, seeing how they begin to find their voice, express what they want, and seeing their own satisfaction at bringing their vision to life is exactly why this foundation is so integral to the children throughout Los Angeles.

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1 Hesort

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As a former K-5 teacher, literacy is an important part of a child's education and helping those that do not have as many available resources is imperative. Helping kids find their voice is invaluable. This is a wonderful program that inspires kids, helps them succeed and makes them feel like they have accomplished something by seeing their end product come to life.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an actress and got an email through a group that I belong to that the YSF were looking for actors to help bring one act plays of fifth graders to life at the Wonderland School in LA. I'm always up for something new so I said, Yes. And I have to say that it's one the most fun and most gratifying things I've done as an actor in a long time.
To see these young creatives being mentored, encourage and supported made me smile for days after the event. And I'm still talking about it. And I look forward to doing it again.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My first experience with Young Storytellers Foundation was at their Biggest Show back in October 2012. I had never heard of the program and decided to attend on a whim (drove 5 hours to do so). As it turns out it was the best decision I had made all year! Before the show started I got some background on the organization & thought "That's pretty cool!" But then I listened to each child & mentor's story, not the one they wrote for the show but the one telling about their experiences through the process, & I was moved. Then to see what these students put together & to see the joy on their faces when their stories were performed...Amazing! I am so glad this program exists for these students and I am looking forward to attending this year's Biggest Show!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've seen Young Storytellers Foundation productions and have absolutely adored them. As a teacher, I think their process and ethos has a profoundly positive effect on students. The attention they give to individuals is so unique, and it is a significant ingredient to creating a force that will push students curiosity and creativity into adulthood. Awesome group!

Maritza J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have experienced all levels of this outstanding program and I must say that the lives being transformed are immeasurable! Freeing the creative mind is a gift that never stops giving. Arts Education brings communities together and this program sparks hope and joy in all who are involved!

Melanie-Anne P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just finished acting in my first Big Show a few days ago, and I have to say - the kids and mentors are so inspiring! I fully support YSF, and I will continue to support it any way I can. It's amazing reading and performing scripts written by 5th graders! So imaginative, bold, and uninhibited!

Brittany12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful program! Inspires so much creativity in children, and empowers them to use their unique voices!

Brittney K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered regularly throughout my life and have never felt more strongly about a program than I do about Young Storytellers. Not only does the program promote creative writing and give kids a place where they are consistently listened to and respected, but it gives so much back to the mentors at the same time. Each week I hear mentors exclaim how their weekly volunteering with YSF is the brightest spot in their week. Being able to teach the students how wonderful writing and the arts in general can be is so special, as is the bond that develops between the mentors and the kids over the course of the program. Seeing their faces absolutely light up when their scripts are performed at the Big Show is nothing short of amazing. I've seen the shyest of children absolutely blossom when they see their words acted out on stage by professional actors. Giving kids this amazing opportunity to participate in a program that allows their interests and talents to flourish is something I wish everyone could be part of.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A great help to kids in Los Angeles lacking arts programming. An even better resource for those same kids finding their own often amazing and unique voice. It's an honor to have a small part in the work being done by YSF.

Stefanie B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I moved to Los Angeles, it was for a very selfish reason, to pursue my dream. I soon realized, that for me to be able to do that, I had been lucky enough to have had a long history of education and encouragement. For me to feel good about what I am doing, I felt it important to find a way to give back and that is exactly what I am able to do with The Young Storytellers Foundation. I am able to be that support and education for a kid who may not be able to get it through the current LA school system. YSF is such a an amazing organization, the staff and all the volunteers are inspired. I feel so honored to get to spend that hour every week with these kids and see just how truly incredible an imagination can be. The constantly evolving curriculum and continuing training and education of the mentors will keep this organization around for a long time and thank goodness for that!

Maggie25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is amazing how in just a two month time period, I saw kids go from shy or uninterested to completely overjoyed with their writing. As a volunteer, I had the privilege of working with a young girl named Johadi. She started out shy and nervous, but then her voice grew stronger and stronger. Seeing her glowing face as she watched her story come to life during the Big Show was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I hope to continue working with Young Storytellers and helping more students find their creative voice and confidence.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have watched children literally blossom in the span of seven weeks. In just one hour per week, mentors are able to give elementary school children the one-on-one attention they need to feel confident, intelligent, and creative! The children tell us that they perform better in their classrooms because they feel stronger about their abilities to share ideas. I love this program!