Know Us Better
Arts For A Better Tomorrow
Arts for a Better Tomorrow harnesses the transformational power of the arts to provide young people with social-emotional arts-based education, academic preparation, and a strategic path toward a healthy, productive, and self-sustaining future.
A world where youth from diverse communities have the resilience-building tools and skills to face the current world’s transformation and accelerated pace.
Arts for a Better Tomorrow (ABT), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, brings an alternative rehabilitative and therapeutic arts-based program like no other in North America. ABT has undertaken the challenge to positively impact the lives of underprivileged youth through the arts in a unique format devised by actor and director José Yenque. He saw a need to address the transition into adulthood of abandoned youth, using the arts as tools to help them overcome traumas and learning barriers. Thus, ABT is ensuring that they are better prepared for life. ABT gained nonprofit status in 2014, but for 12 years prior, it had been running successful independent and privately funded programs in Southern California and Baja California.
Arts For A Better Tomorrow (ABT) was officially established in Los Angeles in 2014 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization by José Yenque. The vision was inspired when Yenque visited a Tijuana orphanage in 2001. During his visit, Yenque saw the signs of emotional trauma from abuse and neglect in the children. He also recognized in them strength and wisdom, unlike any he has ever seen. These kids have survived a harsh life and are living in traumatic situations. This experience strongly moved him to address these issues. Jose started to create platforms that supported these young ‘warriors’ with programs that help them build emotional resilience and wellness.
Most of ABT’s programs are based on Yenque’s own experience and personal struggles as a teenager. And how he used the performing arts to overcoming his own mental and emotional barriers.
The education of social-emotional arts that ABT provides is a trauma-informed, solid educational, therapeutic, and social integration platform, where students develop personal and occupational skills. The students are treated respectfully. In turn, they develop the skills to negotiate and work through situations and learn to treat themselves and each other with respect. Students go through a process of emotional healing as they acquire the coping tools taught in the ABT program. The skills they learn help them to understand themselves, each other, and the world they live in. They become active, functional, socially conscious, and self-sufficient members of our global society.
ABT serves underprivileged youth in Los Angeles, Tijuana, and San Diego. The majority of Tijuana student participants reside in orphanages or remote and disadvantaged areas. Los Angeles and San Diego-based students attend underfunded inner-city schools, with little access to emotional wellness or enrichment programs. Our target populations frequently come from environments of abuse, neglect, poverty, violence, and homelessness. Without intervention and positive alternatives, ABT students are at risk of failing and falling into destructive behaviors and activities. Through our specialized art programs, youth DISCOVER, ACCEPT, and LOVE who they are, as they are.
ABT has 14 years of uninterrupted services, working independently in orphanages in Tijuana, Mexico, where it began conducting workshops and holding talks and lectures in high schools and universities. A decade of mentoring and research resulted in a formal work program that fulfills ABT’s students’ needs. Due to the success of the Program, these activities have spread to U.S. educational institutions and centers in lower-income areas.
Board of Directors
– SAG/AFTRA union, Actors Equity Assoc. – Actor/Director/Writer – Los Angeles, CA.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Jose Yenque has over a decade of experience as a professional actor and devoted humanitarian, which earned him an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from California State University San Marcos.
– Teaching Artist – San Diego, CA.
Paul Rea is a versatile professional who has worked as a scriptwriter, actor, and teaching artist in LA, San Diego, Mexico City, and Tijuana. He has been with ABT since 2016, working with youth, and is a valuable member of the organization’s curriculum development team.
(Secretary) – Teaching Artist – San Diego, CA.
(President) – SAG/AFTRA union, Actors Equity Assoc. - Actor/Director/Writer – Los Angeles, CA.
(Treasurer) - Harley Ellis Devereaux – HR Specialist – Los Angeles, CA.
(Board Member) – Bullz Eye Productions - Owner/Producer/Director- Los Angeles, CA.
(Advisory Board) –Los Angeles Unified School District – Principal (retired 2021) - Los Angeles, CA.
(Board Member) - SartinoStyle – Costume Designer & Stylist – Los Angeles, CA.
(Board Member)- San Diego, CA.
Darci Strother, PhD.
(Advisory board)- Cal State University San Marcos, Professor - San Marcos, CA.
(Advisory Board) - Owner El Latino Magazine
It’s Not Just a Donation. It’s an investment in a child’s future
Your gift today helps Arts for a Better Tomorrow harness the transformational power of the arts to provide young people with life skills, healing tools, academic preparation, and a strategic path toward a healthy, productive, and self-sustaining future.
Building Healthy Communities
Councilman Gilbert Cedillo
Steve Vai, Musician