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"There comes a time when young people must learn how to stand up and accept their responsibility for helping to shape the world in which they live.  That time is now.  And it is our responsibility as a nation to equip them with the tools and guidance they will need to succeed."


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Meet Our President


William Allen Young is a veteran American actor and director whose illustrious acting career spans four decades and includes starring roles in over 100 television, stage and film projects, including two Academy Award-nominated films: A Soldier’s Story and District 9.  He is widely respected in the arts & entertainment community for his role in helping to broker the historic Network Agreement to diversify the ranks of actors, writers, directors, and producers industrywide. 


Mr. Young is a Washington DC native who grew up in South Central, LA in the heart of Watts.  As a child, he was inspired by his mother who worked as a maid to help feed her seven children.  She later went back to school to obtain her diploma and a nursing license then went on to forge a successful 20-year career in the medical profession.  He graduated from Locke High School and El camino College and received a Speech and Debate scholarship to study at USC.  While at USC, he made history as the first African-American to be ranked as the #1 College Speaker in the Nation and led the Trojan Debate Squad to a National Championship.

For more than 20 years, Mr. Young has been transforming lives and creating opportunities for youth from underserved communities to obtain a college education and realize their life's dreams through his nonprofit Young Center for Academic & Cultural Enrichment.

Young's skills and reputation as a prolific Hall of Fame orator are legendary among American students of forensic speech.  Today, his powerful keynote speeches delivered throughout the nation continue to resonate and inspire a new generation of leaders.  


He is a distinguished USC graduate and holds a Masters Degree in Sociolinguistics, Bachelors Degree in Rhetoric & Theatre Arts,  Associates degree in Communication Studies, and he has lectured at colleges and universities nationwide.  He is a recipient of a prestigious Ford Foundation's Freedom Unsung Award, President’s Icon Award, NAACP Social Achievement Award, Thomas Kilgore Jr. Service Award, Hero in Education Award, and Jenesse Silver Rose Award.  He is married to educator, Dr. Helen P. Young, and the couple have two amazing sons.

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