WILLIAM ALLEN YOUNG

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

William Allen Young is an American actor-director-educator who is recognized by millions of worldwide fans for his starring roles in over 100 television, stage and film projects, including the Academy Award-nominated film, "A Soldier's Story," or as Frank Mitchell, the tough-but loving father, on the long running TV series, Moesha.  But far from the bright lights of Hollywood, for over 30 years, Young has had a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged youth through his award-winning nonprofit Young Center for Academic & Cultural Enrichment.

Born in Washington, DC and raised in South Central, L.A., Young was inspired as a child by his mother, a high school drop-out who worked as a maid before going back to school to earn her diploma and a nursing license, then went on to forge a successful 20-year career in the medical profession.  

 

Mr. Young is a distinguished USC graduate and a renowned public speaker who was twice ranked as the '#1 College Speaker in the Nation' when he led the USC Trojan Debate Squad to a National Championship.  He holds a Masters degree in Sociolinguistics, Bachelors degree in Rhetoric, an Associates degree in Communication Studies, and has lectured at colleges and universities nationwide.

 

In 2000, Young founded the Young Center for Academic & Cultural Enrichment to provide opportunities for underserved youth to success in life.  Whether it was mobilizing parents and community volunteers to provide tutoring and classroom support for students at failing schools, providing free hot breakfast meals to low-income school children during the Standardized Testing period, or providing scholarships for college-bound students, Young has used his celebrity and influence to transform lives and create positive change in the communities.

Awards he has received over the years include: Ford Freedom Unsung Award, Thomas Kilgore Jr. Social Achievement Award, President's Icon Award, NAACP Social Achievement Award, Hero in Education Leadership Award.  He was deemed an 'Goodwill Ambassador' by former President Bill Clinton and was recently inducted in the National Forensic Speech Association Hall of Fame.  Young is a resident of Los Angeles and is married to educator-counselor, Helen P. Young.