William Allen's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    First Gen Roadtrip

WILLIAM ALLEN YOUNG

Actor and Humanitarian
The Young Center

“You grew up with little control. You didn't select your parents, your house, your school, or even what you were going to wear. But you now have the power to construct your world--and it doesn't have to look like your father's world. Realize you can create whatever world you want.”

INTERESTS:

Acting & Theatre Entrepreneurship

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Education Family Conflict Character Choices Exploration Struggle Confidence Self-Reflection Courage Experience Values Failure Money & Financial Security Focus Goals Pressure Opportunity Hard Work Individualism

FOUNDATION:

Accomplishing Goals

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Raised in public housing by a mother who worked to the bone as a maid to raise 7 children.
  • Learned the importance of education from his mother; she dropped out of school young and was adamant that her children have a better life.
  • Got As in school even though the civil rights movement was erupting into violent race riots around him.
  • Never used his circumstances as an excuse to not accomplish things; graduated from USC and went on to get a master's in sociolinguistics.
  • Now an award-winning actor who has had roles in District 9, CSI, Moesha, and many more.
  • Says his strength is that he comes from very little. He doesn't edit his story; he's empowered by it.
  • Believes everyone has the power to shape their own destiny, even if they come from hardship; use challenge to propel you.

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