The mission of the National Youth Foundation — founded and led by three Black women and a Black teen with a vision for change — is to promote diversity, inclusion, and gender equality through innovative literary programs.


The National Youth Foundation has four core programs. 

  1. “I Matter.” Isabella Hanson, the only youth co-founder of the NYF, was deeply impacted by the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. She initiated a national poetry and art competition that allows young people to express their feelings about racial injustice. NYF publishes an annual book of the top entries and donates copies to underserved libraries and schools across the country.  NYF also hosts youth-led and diversity-focused poetry workshops for children throughout the nation, as well as internationally.  
  2. The Amazing Women’s Edition. In this national book competition focused on gender equality, students write books on a woman whose story they feel needs to be told. NYF selects the winner and publishes and donates their books to underserved libraries and schools. 
  3. Student Book Scholars. This team writing contest, which emphasizes kindness and anti-bullying, is a collaboration with professional athletes from the NFL, the NBA, and MLB. 
  4. Youth Writing Workshops.  NYF visits underserved cities and towns across the country and collaborates with community centers and schools to research and create biographical stories on prominent leaders from their respective communities.  



“I Matter” Poetry & Art Competition

The “I Matter” Poetry & Art Competition was launched by a 14-year old student who took action to educate the world about why Black Lives Matter. The contest calls upon students across the country to submit poems on this important topic. Learn More

Amazing Women’s Edition Contest

To honor the vast accomplishments of women in the United States, the National Youth Foundation is pleased to announce the Amazing Women’s Edition (AWE) competition.  This writing contest is open to students in grades K to 8 residing in the United States.  Click here to get started.

Student Book Scholars Contest

Calling all young writers and artists. Have you ever wanted to become a published author?  Are you in grade K to 8?  Learn more about becoming a Student Book Scholar.

Youth Writing Workshop

With a deep commitment to the literary arts, the National Youth Foundation launched the Youth Writing Workshop initiative.  We work with teachers and community leaders to identify students to participate in our Youth Writing Workshop. Learn More

This was an amazing experience for my students!  They are asking to write another book together.  We definitely plan on participating in upcoming writing events through the National Youth Foundation. The themes are wonderful and they challenge the kids to think about inspiring others with the good things they do.  The contest just makes it more exciting!
Julie Dellecave4th Grade Teacher
Writing the book was awesome and I hope it was a life changing thing for others.
Bra'Shae SmithAge 10
Writing our book was a fun and great experience!  It was cool to create the book together.  I hope our book makes a difference and I hope that people do not get bullied.  It is a mean thing.
Jaymya MitchellAge 10

Youth literacy is more important than ever today.  Providing children with a means of understanding and describing their life experience is pivotal to their individual growth as well as that of their communities as a whole.  The children are our future, and we must ensure they have all the tools necessary to maximize their potential so we can begin to change the world for the better.

CJ SapongAmerican Soccer Player

We were honored to receive a copy of the Amazing Women's Edition book by Gabby. This story will inspire other students to develop and write their own stories.

Althea FernanderLibrarian, Haynes Library

I applaud the work of the National Youth Foundation in promoting literacy and for their work in taking a stand against bullying. Keep up the great work!

Jalen MillsPhiladelphia Eagles

What an excellent job the National Youth Foundation is doing for our kids. Thanks for giving back to the community.

Frank Mason IIIMilwaukee Bucks

I really like writing and drawing. I had a good time making a book on Jalen Mills. Go Eagles!

Maile B.Age 8

I loved coloring and drawing for my very own book.

Alex N.Age 8

Other kids always told me that I was an artist. Now, I am a published artist.

Janet G.Age 7

Tolerance is important because everybody should not judge a book by its cover. Everybody should be able to feel important. Our book, Fridge Files, teaches kids about believing in themselves and respecting other people.

Aiyanah J. Age 9

Creating a book was a fun and amazing experience that made me happy for life.

Jalen T.Age 9

Everybody should treat each other with more respect, and the Fridge Files book will hopefully give people a chance to learn how.

Jomair W.Age 9
When we won, I felt so happy and nervous!  It was so exciting and I was so proud of myself.  I achieved a goal.  
Zoey K.Age 10

When I was younger, I was inspired by stories of the women before me. Women like Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, the only woman to ever pitch in the Negro Leagues, motivated me to work hard and strive to be my best. The Amazing Women's Edition contest will provide an opportunity for students to share stories of dedication and success.

Mo'ne Ikea Davis Little League World Series Pioneer Future WNBA Star

Our book doesn't just teach tolerance, it teaches kids to be healthy and to treat each other with respect.

Janiyah D.Age 10

This contest taught us how to stick together and work hard just like the characters we wrote about.

Kamonie F.Age 9

Writing and reading were both really important to me growing up. Student Book Scholars allows participants to express their thoughts in written and art form.

Jordan Hicks, NFL PlayerArizona Cardinals (formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles)

Youth Writers Workshop is fun because all of the kids are nice and the teachers are awesome.

Karol R. Age 8

Everyone in our class was nice and I learned how to draw a super heroine.

Aiden R. Age 10