chain locked door

That’s the question I mumbled to the police, landlords, and other tenants as we gathered around the mess created by the Labor Day burglary at the commercial building that Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 has called home since 1998.

Vandals had broken down double bolted locked doors, scattering wood and sheetrock in the hall, stealing video and production equipment used to create Be the Star You Are!®’s award winning radio programs and uplifting webisodes.  Drawers had been ransacked, books flung from the shelves, paper strewn throughout the rooms. With limited financial resources, the nonprofit can’t afford adequate insurance for business property coverage.  “A benevolent benefactor is needed to help with essential annual expenses,” said volunteer, Greg. 

When Rachel, a ten year volunteer veteran of the charity and the Making a Difference Reporter on the Voice America Kids Network, Express Yourself!™, heard the news, she cried. “I’m a journalism major now in college, and without Be the Star You Are’s help and direction over the years, I wouldn’t have had the unique opportunities with real life reporting experience. Having our modest offices burglarized is unacceptable.”  Other volunteers said they were shocked, saddened, and sickened. “We don’t have very much,” commented Jennifer, “and what we do possess we use to help others shine. “ “Is there anything I can do to help,” Caie, a co-host of Express Yourself!™ and frequent contributor to Lamorinda Weekly’s Teen Scene exclaimed. 

Doug at the UPS store was outraged that this burglary had occurred. “Be the Star You Are!® does so much for our community and country, especially our teens.  I hope that people everywhere will help support this nonprofit more.” The UPS store offered to print flyers for our Letters for Literacy programs and upcoming essay contest.

On Saturday, September 28th, I, along with many of our young volunteers will be hosting writing activities at the Pear Festival at our Be the Star You Are!® booth generously sponsored by The Lamorinda Weekly. “I’ll be at the booth to meet the public all day,” said Youngjoo, writer for Teen Scene and host of the radio show, “and our donation box will be prominently displayed. We are going to have fun and move on.” For more information on the Pear Festival booth, visit 

On September 9th, Be the Star You Are!® celebrates 15 years of service empowering women, youth, and families through improved literacy and positive message programming around the world.  It has been honored as a Top Non Profit by Guidestar for several consecutive years making it in the rarefied 1% of charity’s that receive this title.  Heather Brittany, the producer/host of Health Matters on the charity’s book centric radio program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® best summed up this setback, “There is always a rainbow after the storm. It’s time to look for the silver lining.”

If you’d like to make a tax deductible donation to Be the Star You Are!®, visit or Contributions may be sent by mail to BTSYA, PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556.

Cynthia Brian, producer/host for Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!®, producer of Express Yourself!™, columnist for Lamorinda Weekly’s Digging Deep and teen coach of Teen Scene, is the Founder/Executive Director of the all volunteer Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity.

Tune in the Power Hour of StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT/70-8pmET at and join our empowerment party. Tune into ExpressYourself! On Tuesdays at NOON! 

For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit and