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South Los Angeles' high School graduation rate is 30% lower and the total crime rate is 73% higher than the U.S. average.

The Young Shakespeareans:

  • Range from 9 to 22 years of age;

  • Are 97% Latinx, or Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC);

  • Predominantly speak English as a second language with only Spanish spoken at home.

Our Partner Schools report increased student attendance, improved classroom participation and behavior, and elevated test scores. And since our schools select which students are invited to join our Programs, other students strive to be chosen.

Many Young Shakespeareans participate year after year. Once in High School, they enjoy opportunities for early employment, networking, and exposure to workplace demands. In  our Career Pathways Program, they exercise their creativity and leadership skills as they mentor and model exciting paths for our younger students.

  2016 to Date (including during COVID 2020-2022 School Closures)

  • Workshops = 359

  • Performances = 30

  • Performing Arts Students = 358

  • Production Design Students = 104

  • Technical Arts Students = 49

  • Jobs Created  

  Career Pathways Students = 75

  Teaching Artists = 47

  Industry Artists & Techs = 37

  • Volunteers = 57

  • Audience Members = 8476 (inc. Live & Online)

  Total People Served = 10,000 and counting...

I used to be a very shy, soft spoken person, who really didn't participate. Theatre was a major confidence boost that has made me a more comfortable public speaker.

This whole experience has helped me recognize my potential for success and as we say, "If I can do Shakespeare, I can do anything


Emily, 7th Grade

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The Young Shakespeareans definitely helped our students improve their self-confidence and is a great discipline to set and pursue a higher standard for themselves. Their State test results are the proof. 

 Mr. So, TeacherWest Vernon Avenue Elementary School

In all my years in education I have seen many after school programs but The Young Shakespeareans is the most effective in changing and improving student’s lives.

All the students are changed and improved: the shy students Like Juan D become confident and learn to trust themselves to speak publicly and project their voices; the overconfident students like Emily M learn to control their reactions and be aware and respectful of the rest of the group; everybody becomes a team player,  and a happier more excited person about life and learning. And after the final performance they all walk differently like people who accomplished something very important in their lives.

Mr. Barbu, John Adams Middle School Magnet Coordinator

This experience helped my students develop self-esteem, participate in social relationships, and also respect the ideas and beliefs of others.They are so happy to take the books home - some said that reading the books at home, their parents will also learn more English and vocabulary. 

Ms. Lara,Teacher, Nevin Avenue  Elementary School 

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The Young Shakespeareans is proud to be a

fiscally-sponsored project of Community Initiatives. 

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