Young Storytellers

Raising Voices, One Story at a Time

aka Young Storytellers   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  www.youngstorytellers.com

Mission

Young Storytellers sparks creative self-discovery through storytelling. Our programs highlight young people as the center of their own narratives, emphasize that their stories matter, and celebrate their unique voices as the ones telling them.

Ruling year info

2003

Executive Director

Mr. William Thompson

Main address

923 E. Third Street #307

Los Angeles, CA 90013 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

55-0827731

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

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

We believe in the power of storytelling; how stories impact young people and the people around them, and how they have a part in creating a more just and equitable world. Even in rapidly changing times, stories can be used to speak truth, mobilize people, and shift power. In our programs we emphasize to our students the importance of Social, Emotional, and Social Justice skills, such as managing emotions, building healthy relationships, solving interpersonal problems, and making ethical decisions that are equitable for all. We encourage our students to draw from their own lives, cultures, and identities in their writing. We primarily focus on public schools that lack appropriate funding due to generations of systemic racism but we believe that our programs can make a lasting impact on young people everywhere. Our goal is not to shape the next generation of screenwriters but to empower young people to know that they can use their ideas, experiences, and voices to impact the world.

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?

Script to Stage Program

We engage adults from the community to mentor 5th grade students as they conceive, write, and develop their own original script. In a culminating event, called the Big Show, we invite actors to perform the students' stories for their families, peers, and teachers. From this experience, their communication skills improve. They learn that writing can be enjoyable and immensely rewarding. And perhaps most importantly, they discover the power of their own voice.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

A condensed version of the Script to Stage program, Day of Story workshops see mentors help students to create their own story outline and descriptive poster. At the end of the workshop, each student presents their poster to the rest of the group, and their hard work is celebrated with a pizza party. Young Storytellers has run the Day of Story workshop with variable sizes of groups (anywhere from 20-100 adult mentors), with corporations such as Disney, ABC, Verve, and STX Entertainment.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

WM Story Lab, developed in partnership with Warner Media and LAUSD’s Arts Education Branch and Division of Instruction, delivers original curriculum to sixth-grade middle school students that focuses on core storytelling skills while reinforcing confidence, empathy, and personal voice through self-reflection and creativity. Warner Media and DC Entertainment lent the use of its DC Super Heroes as a tool to get students to think about heroes in their lives and their own “superpowers.”

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

A mixture of adult mentorship and collective exploration, students in our middle school program work collaboratively with a group mentor to create first person narratives about challenges they face and then work with actors who later perform those pieces.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

In this teacher-led program, high school students create stories that represent their communities. With the help of mentor support and coaching, students identify communities that bring them a sense of belonging and unpack how they see their communities represented by various types of media. Then, students work in groups to create stories they believe represent their self identified communities. The program culminates in a live show where actors perform student pieces.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

This 9-week program is based on the foundation of Script to Stage, but facilitates more collaboration as writers work together to tell a story through large group sessions guided by 1-2 mentors. When their story is complete, they watch it come to life with the help of professional actors at a Big Show. As part of this program, students reflect on challenges and unfairness they’ve seen or experienced in their own lives, and work with the group to find nonviolent solutions to these events through metaphor and story.

Population(s) Served
Children

Where we work

Awards

Honorary Service Award - Burbank 2013

California State PTA

Winner - Most Innovative Pitch 2016

Social Venture Partners

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.

Allow students to explore storytelling through writing work and play, imagination and innovation.
Provide an individualized learning experience for our young writers;
Give students an experience where they feel confident expressing themselves creatively;
Empower students to share their story in their voice;
Help our young writers view writing as something creative and fun (not just a school assignment);
Enhance skills of social interaction, communication with peers and adults, and language (written and oral);
Give students an opportunity to work together, and individually, toward a common goal;
Connect working professionals and influential adult sponsors with students, giving both groups exposure to sections of their community of which they may otherwise not be aware.
Give students of all ages a voice in their school and neighborhood communities.
Allow students to experience the impact that their thoughts, feelings, and words can have on the world in which they live.

Through a creative storytelling program that engages youth at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, our organization offers a Common Core-aligned, scaling curriculum to address targeted needs in public education. Young Storytellers programming is designed to act as a tool for educators to more deeply engage students who might be struggling or could use the extra attention a one-on-one mentor provides.

Young Storytellers has harnessed the good will of more than 2,500 volunteers, who provide mentorship in all of our programs. Volunteer mentors work with students to create and perform original plays in elementary, middle, and high school.

We have grown from a scrappy group of committed volunteers to an established organization with a clear strategy and the staff and Board to execute it. As we endeavor to be more specific and intentional in our work, we have identified five strategic “pillars” which, over the course of the next three years, will provide structure for our ongoing efforts to support and amplify our students as they discover the power of their own voices.

Pillar 1 - Program Sustainability & Development
Pillar 2 - Human Capital Development
Pillar 3 - Fund Development
Pillar 4 - Marketing & Branding
Pillar 5 - Data & Information Management

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Public school students in Los Angeles, New York, Little Rock, Denver, Austin, Akron, and San Francisco.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Young Storytellers
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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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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Young Storytellers

Board of directors
as of 12/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ani Shehigian

Conde Naste Entertainment

Term: 2021 - 2023

Jay Gibson

Writer

Divya Menon

Marketing Strategist

Lani Monos

Executive Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Franklin Leonard

CEO, The Black List

Tess Sanchez

EVP Casting, Fox

Tendo Nagenda

President, Film Production, Netflix

Mauricio Mota

CEO, Wise Entertainment

Gina Reyes

Director of Development, Story House / Univision

Peter Principato

CEO, Artists First

Rory Pullens

President, House Studios

John Hall

VP, Commercial Banking, US Bank

Koko Archibong

VP, Capital Group

Brittany Little

VP Development, NBCU Television

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
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/03/2021

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
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/03/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.