The Youth Empowerment Broadcasting Organization (YEBO) is a nonprofit media organization that aims to promote personal and communal well-being in BIPOC communities by creating spaces for sharing and listening to stories. We envision communities where youth and adults forge meaningful, healthy relationships through storytelling to find healing and purpose.
YEBO’s current statewide storytelling initiative is called Mission 1477.
Mission 1477 grew from the year our CEO and founder, Cory Montalvo, served as a dean of students at a school in Five Points, Denver. That year alone, teachers sent students to be disciplined to Cory’s office 1,477 times.
In response, Cory started a comic book club where Black boys told each other stories about overcoming challenges at school by reimagining themselves as superheroes. The club evolved into a space for Cory to build deep, healthy relationships with students experiencing a disconnection from their peers and teachers, eventually helping them find healing and joy through storytelling and comic book creation.
Today, YEBO cultivates spaces where BIPOC-identifying youth and adults across Colorado share and listen to stories to create stronger social connections and a sense of belonging in their communities.
Mission 1477 represents the number of stories YEBO will publish over the next six years to center and celebrate the voices and experiences of these communities. Each story exists as an opportunity to transform those 1,477 traumatic instances during Cory’s year as a dean into moments of authenticity, self-determination, and community.
Through voice, we live.
YEBO uses research-based approaches to address the “Social and Community Context” among the five key social determinants of health, recognizing the link between social ties and psychosocial well-being. Our model harnesses the transformative power of storytelling to strengthen relationships and foster belonging in BIPOC communities. We build our storytelling experiences on intergenerational collaboration, social and emotional learning, and media creation.
- Sharing stories cultivates positive emotions, shapes self-perception, and fuels personal growth.
- Listening to stories triggers oxytocin release, enhancing empathy and inclusivity.
- Sharing and listening to stories aid identity development and transmit cultural knowledge.
YEBO’s values reflect our belief in the power of storytelling, which drives our organization’s culture and activities:
- Authenticity is unmitigated self-expression. Our stories celebrate and share our unique voices, experiences, and perspectives.
- Self-Determination is living our possibilities in the world. Our stories inspire us to take ownership of our narratives and shape our lives.
- Community is nourishment through relationships. Our stories build strong, healthy connections between people to create respect and collaboration.