Joyce Dattner, born and raised in the Bronx, left a teaching career in the New York City public school system in the early 1970’s in order to pursue alternative, creative and effective ways of mitigating the devastating effects of chronic poverty on inner city youth. She has spent the last 20+ years in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is the director of the West Coast Center for Life Performance Coaching, on the faculty of the East Side Institute, and has led trainings in performance-based approaches around the world.

Not content to rest on her laurels, Dattner brought one of the country’s largest anti-violence youth development programs the All Stars Project, Inc, to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2002. The All Stars Project of the San Francisco Bay Area (ASP of SF Bay Area), which marries her history of teaching with her career as a life performance coach, promotes youth development through an innovative performance-based model. This supplemental education approach which recognizes outside-of-school learning opportunities as crucial to urban children’s success in school and life, provides educational and performing arts activities for thousands of poor and minority young people around the Bay Area. The All Stars Project programs, now operating in New York City, Chicago, and Newark, New Jersey as well as the Bay Area, develops leadership training and pursues volunteer initiatives that build and strengthen communities. By allowing youth to participate fully in all aspects of its programs, ASP of SF Bay Area empowers its participants to fully develop as learners, producers and leaders.

Under Dattner’s leadership, ASP of SF Bay expanded from its Oakland base into San Francisco in 2008. Since then more than 600 children and youth between the ages of 5 and 25 from the Bay Area’s poorest communities have been involved in the All Stars Talent Show Network—one of All Stars Project’s flagship programs. They take part in auditions, performance workshops, and talent shows. Everyone who auditions is guaranteed a spot. Over the years, the program has touched the lives of thousands of young people in the Bay Area.

In addition to her success expanding the creative and programming direction of ASP of SF Bay Area, Dattner has worked tirelessly to build a base of private funding sources in the Bay Area and has been successful in expanding quality after-school programming, even in our troubling economic climate. She has organized an advisory committee of business leaders to take responsibility for the growth of All Stars in the Bay Area and expanded the local President’s Committee (comprised of donors who annually contribute $1000 or more) to more than 50 members.

In 2009, Dattner successfully forged partnerships with 14 Bay Area companies to launch the Development School for Youth (DSY), a 14-week leadership-training program for 16-21-year-old youths from low-income communities. The training culminates in paid summer internships provided by DSY partnering companies. The program was so successful they were able to double the class size in its second year.

The All Stars Project of the Bay Area channels the energies of disadvantaged youths away from the violence and apathy that encircle them. But they do more than simply “keep kids off the streets.” They help kids find a voice and learn how to make it heard. Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage.” ASP of the Bay Area helps kids develop skills for the many roles they’ll play as engaged, responsible citizens of their own communities and the greater society. It is part of All Stars Project, Inc. a national nonprofit promoting human development through an innovative performance-based model, with outside-of-school, educational and performing arts activities for thousands of poor and minority young people. The organization develops leadership training and pursues volunteer initiatives that build and strengthen communities. ASP actively promotes supplementary education and the performance-learning model in academic and civic arena.

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