Founded in New York, by writer and filmmaker Syd Stewart, as an organization that provided music and creative writing as a form of healing to kids battling cancer at the Ronald McDonald House and kids battling poverty in the housing projects of Harlem. In 2010, Syd established Better Youth in Los Angeles at David Jordan High School in the community of Watts.

Our mission is to validate young people by developing life skills thorugh mentoring and media arts training. Our general program target age range is 14-24 with an emphasis on foster/former foster, homeless and low-income youth.


Dynamic storytelling through new media content creation, technical and 21st century soft skills training, and omnideirectional mentorship.

  • Narrative, Documentary and Experimental Filmmaking 
  • Computer Animation 
  • Interactive Media and Gaming


To close the opportunity gap for vulnerable youth in the creative economy.

  • Equity and inclusion are at the forefront of our community and school-based work. We deliver services through our “brick and mortar” or “click and mortar” hybrid learning models.


Validating youth voice and value.

  • Activating youth agency and self-advocacy