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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

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Daniel M.


Rating: 5

"Be the Star You are" continues to excel each year -- giving literacy a boost for thousands of kids around the country. And, by doing that, giving them a chance to really "make a difference" in this world. It is a well run and efficient charity!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

We have been working with BE THE STAR YOU ARE for many, many years. Our company has donated computers and also done some software development for this important 501(c)3. I am always impressed with how much they get done for a given dollar of donation!! We donate whenever we can, time, money, and advise.

Comments ( 1 )


Be the Star You Are!® 01/26/2011

Dan you are a first class man with a first class plan. Thank you for all the years of being our shining STAR!



Rating: 5

We at the Good-Earth Store have been donating a percentage of our profits to Be The Star You are for over a year. One of their main goals is to promote literacy which we believe reduces other social issues like crime and teen pregnancy, as it gives people self worth. We also know that our dollars are well spent on the cause, not someone's salary.

1 hopeclark

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cynthia Brian manages Be the Star You Are! in an exceptionally gifted manner. Her enthusiasm and motivation serve as tremendous support for not only the people served by the organization, but also the volunteers and staff working for BTSYA! She's a natural leader. I've worked with her, performed on radio with her, and promoted her and the nonprofit's efforts in my publications for several years. She never fails to impress, and her position as role-model has catapulted others into new lives, all because they crossed the paths of Cynthia and BTSYA! Phenomenal example.

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

Be the Star You Are! is a phenomenally empowering organization for teens, teen advocates, writers and human beings period. I've followed their rise for six years, participated in the radio shows, donated to their causes and even written a chapter for their recent project Be the Star You Are! For Teens - the chapter on HOPE. I can't say enough good about these people and their leader, Cynthia Brian, a true Renaissance woman who lets nothing stand in her way to do good for others. Needless to say, I'm a huge fan. C. Hope Clark, Editor FundsforWriters Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers, 2001-2010 Ten years of recognized excellence



Rating: 5

Amid the darkness of drugs, violence, poverty, and illiteracy, Be the Star You Are! shines through, providing empowerment to women, families, and youths-at-risk through various programs and activities. Their charitable works include donating books to various organizations, such as New York Fire Department Family Crisis Center, Wings to Fly, and Community Substance Abuse Center; and a weekly Be the Star You Are! radio program. A great nonprofit always has a great leader; this holds true especially to Be the Star You Are!; its founder, Cynthia Brian, has devoted her time, effort, and love to reaching out to those in need. You can instantly feel her warmth and contagious optimism when you talk with her; I know, for I was honored to be her radio guest four times. Whenever I support Be the Star You Are! I know that my contributions will go directly to motivating, inspiring, and empowering each woman and youth to become the true star they are!

1 goodearthstore


Rating: 5

To find out more about a charity, volunteer for them; and then while you are there, working, take a look around at the other volunteers. Hard work and perseverance goes hand in hand especially with "Be The Star You Are" charity. Volunteers for this charity are willing to give their time; you can see it in their faces, the smiles are unbeatable. A great bunch to work with. Cynthia Brian is upbeat and a pleasure to work with!