Better Youth, Inc.

We're better together...

aka Better Youth   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  www.betteryouth.org

Mission

We validate young people by developing life skills through media and media arts training.

Ruling year info

2001

Executive Director

Ms. Syd Stewart

Director of Operations & Learning Innovation

Mr. Shawn Jackson

Main address

1465 Tamarind Avenue Ste #216

Los Angeles, CA 90028 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-4166295

NTEE code info

Film, Video (A31)

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Bridging the Digital Divide

In 2016, there continues to be a severe ethnic diversity in Film & Television Production. There is still a wide gap between those who have access to technology and the skills to benefit from this knowledge and those who don't. A recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation states that in low-income central-city neighborhoods, 84% of households with children do not own computers. As a result, many miss out on opportunities to benefit from technology by accessing training, learning valuable computer skills, and communicating with others.

Many of the Los Angeles' racial and cultural tensions are caused by the lack of fulfilling job opportunities available to youth living in L.A.'s disadvantaged neighborhoods. Specifically, the shortage of employment and training options that allow them to make a decent wage, establish in a stable career and support themselves.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

AIM-N-INSPIRE

A digital and media arts certificated youth training program where youth are trained on media arts curriculum including filmmaking, animation and interactive gaming. Program youth receive specialized certification of technical skills useful for the marketplace. Assigned mentors support professional development, social emotional learning, program matriculation and completion.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
At-risk youth
Foster and adoptive children
Ethnic and racial groups

A community-based exhibition platform that activates an enterprising cohort of foster and at-risk youth who pair with their industry mentors to further their marketplace pursuits and experiential learning. RTRG provides the opportunity for program alum to forge alliances with a global peer group and industry professionals. The annual fall media showcase is hosted by Los Angeles Film School.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
At-risk youth
Foster and adoptive parents

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

MENTOR: National Mentoring Partnership - Respondent 2012

Boys and Girls Clubs of America 2007

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to deliver our school and community based media arts and training programs to youth in target community areas. Our secondary goal is to assist with job and academic placements.

OUR THREE-YEAR OBJECTIVE (2018 – 2020):
• Serve 5,000 youth, ages 12-24, in our target service areas
• Train/certify youth and provide work/internship opportunities for program participants in their area of interest.
• Improve academic performance in 75% of students, decrease drop out rate and Increase number of high school students applying to college and catalyze 21st century workplace opportunities.
• Evaluate and prove our success with case management data
• Provide an enhanced sense of self and a reduction in violent behavior as reported by parents/guardians and teachers in 90% of direct service youth.

Our end goal is to demonstrate, by measurable results and needs assessment tools, how substantiated models of instructional resources consistent with California standards coupled with a strong creative mentoring and media training arts program, can significantly impact the success trajectory of under-resourced youth.

Better Youth is currently equipped with certified and trained facilitators and is positioned as a certifying organization. We validate through various new media training and certification platforms.

OUR INITIATIVES

• Group, Peer, Virtual and One-on-One Mentoring
• Media Arts Curriculum and Technical Training
• Validating and Certification of 21st Century Skills
• Leadership & Character Development
• Civic Engagement & Advocacy

ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP

SYD STEWART - FOUNDER/ EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/MENTOR
Syd Stewart is a performance poet, actor, and writer and the founding member and Executive Director of Better Youth, Inc. She is a local educator for GirlUp, a teen girls empowerment initiative. Ms. Stewart was a former Director for Ushers New Look Foundation and LAUSD/Beyond the Bell Arts in Education program where she managed a half of million dollar 21st Century grant program for two high schools and five community satellite sites for three years.

SHAWN JACKSON - OPERATIONS CONSULTANT/MENTOR
Shawn Jackson, former Technical Program Director for the Boys and Girls Club, has served as a program consultant by providing assistance with program evaluation, curriculum development, data analysis, and building technology infrastructure. He has worked with organizations such as Special Services for Groups (SSG) to strengthen quantitative and qualitative assessments and
data reporting. As a community resource veteran, Mr. Jackson has spent years researching the growing practice of new media and web-based technology use, specifically among youth-serving nonprofit organizations. We have collaborated on several community projects specific to Watts and South LA and we consider Mr. Jackson to be a program and data collection specialist.

MIGUEL COLEMAN - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/MENTOR
Miguel Coleman is a tech entrepreneur, director and producer of community cultural events for youth and families. He is skilled at coordinating and promoting High Profile/Celebrity events and corporate sponsored non-profit ventures. Mr. Coleman has over 5 years non-profit experience including program development, execution, and supervision of staff. He has over 6 years experience teaching youth film & multimedia production throughout the Inglewood School District and Los Angeles Unified School District and is well versed in digital and social literacy.

JOHNA RIVERS - PROGRAM COORDINATOR/YOUTH LEADER
Johna is a seven-year program alum who has transformed her leadership skills and abilities and now coordinates programs for youth. She is a writer, poet and filmmaker who advocates for foster youth, working in her community with noted leaders including Representative Karen Bass, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Ms. Rivers was recognized by the UN Foundation as a Youth Champion, is an alum of Ushers New Look Foundation, LAUSD's Take Action leadership program and has traveled as a cultural ambassador.

LARRY HUGHES - BOARD CHAIR/MENTOR
A financial consultant working on Wall Street with many investment banks and individuals, Larry Hughes has been active with Better Youth for over five years. His financial expertise is gained by years of experience with corporations such as Nathan and Lewis, Met Life, America Portfolios and Oppenheimer. Mr. Hughes has worked with youth in his community to educate them on economics and fiscal responsibility.

REAL TO REEL: Global Youth Film Festival
Participants receive project management experience and job readiness certification
Participants exposed to networking opportunities and Industry professionals
Participants received paid hands-on and project-based learning internship
Participants engaged in global citizenship and social responsibility
1350 total youth impacted including Other Youth Served
Approximately 150 in 2015, 500 in 2016 and 700 in 2017
Includes youth producers, filmmakers, online engagement, events

BETTER CREW: Media Arts Training & Certification Program
Career Awareness, Training & Exploration
Paid youth internship in micro filmmaking
90% youth retention rate
118 total youth served (2015 / 2016)
64% youth earned certificates, training validations, and/or course completion
100% improved social emotional behavior (according to Youth Development Reflection)
100% demonstrated improvement in soft skills / 21st Century skills
15 youth progressed to internships and/or advanced continuing education, training or employment opportunities

Financials

Better Youth, Inc.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Better Youth, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 11/08/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Camille Wallace, Esq.


Board co-chair

Mr. Larry Hughes

American Portfolios

Jarvis Robertson

Joe Dues Clothiers

Michael Franks

SAG/ASCAP

Ruben Garcia

Music Man Engineering

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/3/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data