Our Vision: “A world inspiring all children to their highest potential”
You Are A Star NFP is led by a board which consists of three Directors: Will Crutcher, Barbara Wahler, and Ernie Kinnison.
Mr. Crutcher was born on the south side of Chicago, in what today is known as the “hood”, but worked his way out of his circumstances through dedication and hard work. He received his MBA from Northwestern University before going on to DePaul Law School. Will spent years in corporate America before launching his own line of African American skin care products. You Are A Star NFP was born from a dream Mr. Crutcher had in 1996 wherein he saw children of color whisked away to a magical land – a land called YesYouCan. Thus, our organization was born from a dream, a dream about children of color being needed, being necessary, to save a magical world. Our stage productions come directly from, or are directly influenced by, the message contained in that very first dream.
Barbara Wahler is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who plays an enormous role in the daily workings of the organization. She actively participates in all of our stage productions and carries the message of hope we bring far and wide – through her commitment, her enthusiasm, and her tireless work ethic. Barbara has been with You Are A Star since our founding and is the point of contact for new volunteers and donors who come to us to learn more about what we do and how they can get involved. She’s a wonderful person, an asset to our mission, and a champion of children’s value to a better society.
Ernie Kinnison is our third Director and just so happens to be Mr. Crutcher’s son. He handles all of the electronic media we use to promote, produce, and record all of our presentations across the city. It’s extremely important for us to be able to capture the essence of what we do for children unable to attend to watch from their homes via the internet. These videos also go a long way toward explaining, in visual form, what it is we try to do during our productions. They give someone totally unfamiliar with our process and messaging an idea of the concepts we’re communicating and a brief glimpse into the power the message has in the minds of the children. Ernie’s work is vital to our overall success and, hopefully, we can continue to build on his work in the years to come.
Our Mission: To provide uplifting entertainment for children of color where they see people that look like themselves role-modeling positive values and attributes, that ignite sparks of aspirations to overcome adversity and succeed; to promote reading; and to encourage multicultural understanding and appreciation.