William Allen Young

William Allen Young

Actor and Humanitarian

The Young Center

Los Angeles, CA USA

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.


By Roadtrip Nation

William Allen Young


My road in life has been direct.
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.
Keep following my journey


Actor and Humanitarian

I'm an actor-director and motivational speaker, working to give youth the tools they need to achieve success.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Acting & Theatre
Accomplishing Goals


Challenges I Overcame

Gangs / Violence

Interviewed By

Why Not Us

Why Not Us

Being the first in your family to attend college is daunting, but rewarding.

Follow the journeys of four young people-all first in their families to go to college-as they road-trip across the country to interview inspiring individuals who were also first in their families to pursue higher education.

After gaining wisdom and guidance from trail-blazing leaders-including Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Grammy Award-winner John Legend, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz-the Roadtrippers are emboldened to embrace the opportunities ahead and ask "why shouldn't I succeed?"