Co-Founder, Sweet Readers
Karen Young is an American entrepreneur and social activist who is the co-founder and CEO of Sweet Readers.
Founded in 2011 and based in Manhattan, Sweet Readers is a 501(c)3 public charity founded by Ms. Young, her mother (who was living with Alzheimer’s) and then 11-year old daughter, Sophie. Sweet Readers trains middle school students to discover the person behind Alzheimer’s disease through immersive arts & science based programs, The Sweet Readers Method of Creative Human Engagement empowers young people to revitalize isolated adults in need and become catalysts for eldercare excellence. In the process, young people are inspired to become adaptable and creative problem solvers, community builders and agents of change.
Through partnerships with 11 major museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, The New York Historical Society, The Jewish Museum, The Kreeger Museum and the American Folk Art Museum, a network of over 200 diverse eldercare centers and a network of over 200 diverse schools including those devoted to students with learning differences, Sweet Readers has bridged 40 communities in 3 countries, providing programming for nearly 40,000 participants, spanning three generations.
Prior to founding Sweet Readers, Ms. Young was the founder and President of an educational board game company, TLI Games whose award-winning games were distributed worldwide through Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, QVC, Amazon.com, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, F.A.O. Schwarz and countless local and regional game, museum and stationery stores, over a twenty-year span. The New York Times called Karen “The Gamemaker with Unsinkable Spirit”.
Prior to TLI Games, Ms. Young was a commercial real estate broker, responsible for leasing and management of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company’s portfolio of Manhattan office buildings including the MetLife building at 200 Park Avenue and the Fred F. French Building at 551 Fifth Avenue. Ms. Young was also responsible for the conversion of the Bowery Savings Bank Building at 110 East 42nd Street from a bank building to a multi-tenanted commercial office building.
Ms. Young has over 40 years of service experience including her work: in The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Business Liaison, in The White House Office of Public Liaison, as co-chair of The Toy Manufacturers of America’s Toy Bank, as co-chair of Community Service for the Parents Association at The Spence School in Manhattan, as head of community service as a high school student at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York and as a member of the permanent volunteer honor roll at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York for her work with children there during Ms. Young’s middle school years.
Ms. Young is a frequent speaker on business and entrepreneurial subjects and has been featured at NYU’s Stern School of Business; IBM’s Conference on Marketing, The American Express Panel of Women in Business, etc. Ms. Young has also been featured on CNN, CNBC, Good Morning America, NY1 News, in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, New York Magazine and The New Yorker.