William Allen Young
Educator | Actor | Philanthropist
William Allen Young
William Allen Young is a phenomenal man whose lifetime of achievements and service to humanity have made him a respected community leader and exemplary role model for young people striving to reach their highest potential in life.
Mr. Young is a celebrated actor-director who is recognized by millions of worldwide fans for his starring roles in over 100 television, theater, and film projects, including two Academy Award-nominated films: A Soldier's Story and District 9. He is widely respected throughout the Entertainment Industry for his commitment to diversity and education equity in America.
As former co-chair of the African American Steering Committee of the Directors Guild of America, Mr. Young helped to broker the landmark 2000 Network Agreement to diversify the ranks of actors, writers, directors and producers in Hollywood. But far from the bright lights of Hollywood, Mr. Young has had also a powerful impact on the lives of America's younger generation.
Mr. Young is also a respected leader in the American nonprofit sector. Through his nonprofit Young Center for Academic & Cultural Enrichment, Mr. Young has transformed lives and created opportunities for hundreds of underserved youth to obtain a college education. Students from more than 250 schools have participated in the organization's award-winning educational programs and its proud alumni haver been accepted at over 80 U.S. colleges and universities to date.
Hope is born in the hearts and minds of our youth the moment they discover that their lives have meaning and purpose. Helping them realize this is our primary mission.
William Allen Young and Congresswoman Karen Bass strategize at Young Center Education Summit
Young is a distinguished USC graduate and former #1 College Speaker in America when he led the USC Trojan Debate Squad to a National Championship. He holds a Masters degree in Sociolinguistics, a Bachelors degree in Rhetoric & Theatre Arts, and an Associates degree in Communication Studies from El camino College. He has lectured at colleges and universities nationwide and is in demand as a motivational speaker for top U.S. businesses, colleges and national organizations.
Mr. Young is the recipient of a Ford Foundation Freedom Unsung Award, Thomas Kilgore, Jr. Humanitarian Award, NAACP Social Achievement Award, President's Icon Award, Hero in Education Award, and was deemed a Good Will Ambassador by former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Young is married to educator-counselor, Helen P. Young. The couple have two sons and currently reside in the Los Angeles area.