YBLF’s mission is to promote the reading of literature as a meaningful, life-long activity and transformative experience for youth. Through a roster of community focused programming that draws on pop culture, our goal is to expose youth to literature that is relevant to their lives--literature that speaks to their realities, their experiences, and to their potential as future leaders.
While we value the pivotal role played by classroom-based literacy development programs and initiatives, we are convinced that parallel efforts that target youth outside school settings are essential as well. In addressing a problem that increasingly leaves far too many of our youth behind, YBLF will make reading fun and exciting for our target population. To do so, YBLF will tap into the powerful, pervasive impact of the Internet, video games, and hip-hop music on students in grades 8-12, as well as the influence that many hip-hop artists and other cultural icons have on youth’s lives and outlook. Our efforts are grounded in the recognition that in today’s electronic media-saturated environment, texts assume new forms. YBLF believes that vibrant, vital elements of youth culture can serve as useful, even indispensable, bridges to skill-building activities that immerse teens in reading books for pleasure while fostering their critical thinking and expanding their personal horizons.
We envision YBLF as an originator and presenter of compelling programs—usually in collaboration or partnership with other organizations as well as with grassroots groups, schools, and libraries—in which reading becomes a transformative experience that inspires and empowers teens. At the same time, YBLF functions as a resource center and catalyst, providing access to ideas, information and expertise for local communities, regional agencies, and national nonprofits as they conduct their own youth literacy initiatives.
SHERRIE Y. YOUNG
Sherrie Young is the Co-Founder/Executive Director of YB Literary Foundation. She also serves as the Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at the National Book Foundation, the non-profit organization that sponsors the nation's preeminent literary prize, the National Book Awards. Young is ten-year veteran of the National Book Foundation and while there has been responsible for organizing the annual Awards event that hosts over 800 attendees. She has developed and expanded many of the Foundation’s benchmark educational outreach programs, including the annual Teen Press Conference.
She holds a MBA from St. Joseph's College.
Ms. Regina Brooks is the Co-Founder/Executive Director of YB Literary Foundation and Founder and President of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC. Brooks was the first African-American woman to receive Bachelors of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Ohio State University. She's listed in International Who's Who's under the categories of Professional Management, Technology, Entrepreneurs, and Engineering. Equally at home in the mathematical world of engineering as in the literary world of writing and editing, she has over a decade of experience in senior positions at major publishing houses including John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and McGraw-Hill Co. Brooks currently serves on the board of Soul Mountain Literary Retreat and the Association of Freelancers in Publishing. In 2004, she was a finalist for the Stevie Award and was honored as the NY Urban League's Rising Star. Ms. Brooks has edited over 50 published books and numerous publications. She is the author of the Essence 2004 Quick Pick, children's book Never Finished! Never Done! Partner Organizations
YBLF is committed to partnering and collaborating with local community organizations to reach as many youth as possible. We have partnered with the following organizations:
Experimental Aircraft Association
The Hip Hop Summit Action Network
The National Urban League; The New York Urban League; Essex County Urban League
The Queens Public Library
Directions for Our Youth Urban Word
Board of Advisors