The Young Folks’ 5th Anniversary: Our Proudest Moments

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I just wanted to quote one of my favorite movies ever, “We don’t know what it can be; we don’t know what it will be,” and here we are 5 years later.  It all started with Gaby and I, and now I’m happy to know that are so many writers with us.  We’re now a community of movie lovers, book lovers, tv show lovers,  and music lovers all in one place. I want to thank all of our writers for being part of the dream, all of our readers, and all of the people that have supported TYF through the years. Thank you for believing. I can’t thank you all enough.

I can’t even pick a single moment because I’ve enjoyed the ride so much, and I’m excited about what the future holds. – Luciana Villalba (Co-Founder of

Hannah Atkins: I don’t necessarily have a “proudest moment” per se, but I’ve certainly had some great moments with TYF, especially being able to share my love of books and classic movies with a group of like-minded, critical reviewers!


Cristina Moreano: One of my proudest moments would have to be live-tweeting the VMAs back in 2013. I remember because it was during my first few months working for TYF and it was actually the first time I live-tweeted any kind of event. I was a bit nervous at first, but once I got the hang of it, I began having fun with it. It was really exciting to do it!


Allyson Johnson: I’ve written for TYF now for three years, and there have been plenty of moments that stick out from simply getting to do what I love and write on a daily basis, to meeting people that I admire.  But the first moment that truly sticks out was getting to travel to New York City for the first time for the Tribeca Film Festival. Not only was it my first time to the city, it was also my first real experience as press for any sort of junket. It was one of the first times where the possibility of being an entertainment writer as a job wasn’t so out of the realm of reality.


Ryan Gibbs: As the site’s social media manager, my proudest moments at TYF have come from the subject of an article letting us know that they have read and enjoyed our article. From first-time YA novelists to famous actors and musicians, I always get a kick out of knowing that this site is reaching the people we’re writing about.

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Melissa Berne: My proudest moment was when we were able to get on the Red Carpet premiere of Divergent. We worked so hard for months to get the right people’s attention so that we would be able to participate in the promotion. At times it got frustrating because of setbacks, but it turned out that it was all worth it! (Gaby, can I cheat? I have another moment. lol) My other proud moment was when I got a chance to interview my musical idol, JoJo. I WAS SO NERVOUS, but she was really cool, nice and humble.  I have listened to her music since I was 14, so getting the chance to talk to her for those 40 minutes was so surreal. And I remember she even complimented me on how awesome my questions were. Ah! I died inside.


Yasmin Kleinbart: From taking care of their social media to seeing myself on Rotten Tomatoes, I can easily say that working at The Young Folks has been an amazing experience. My favorite memory would have to be when I wrote a #WomanCrushWednesday tweet about Emily Kinney (The Walking Dead), and she retweeted it, resulting in it being favorited and re-tweeted by over 2,000 people.


Lauren Wengrovitz: I’ve been writing for The Young Folks for almost a year and a half, and it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. I think my proudest moment so far has been interviewing author Ally Carter when she was in DC at the Spy Museum. She’s been one of my favorite authors since I first picked up I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You almost 10 years ago and this was a huge deal for me. It was so surreal to have the chance to sit down with her and ask her some questions. We had a great conversation and I got the “inside scoop” on her next book and the Heist Society movie that’s been optioned by Lionsgate with Elizabeth Banks producing. It was a really great experience and one I’ll definitely remember for the rest of my life.


Alejandra Torres: Writing for The Young Folks has been such an amazing and gratifying experience. We get to write about entertainment in all forms. From reporting on a new trailer to writing an album review to collaborating with other staff members on creative pieces.  Every moment is memorable, but the one moment that comes to mind is one of my first moments with TYF.

It was my first time attending a press junket where I had the chance to interview Maziar Bahari. He came down to Miami to promote Rosewater, the movie based on his memoir. He was the first person I ever interviewed, and his was a true story about a significant, but brutal moment in his life, and I got to hear it first hand from the person who experienced it. I’ve always enjoyed reading pieces that involve personal aspects to it. The intimacy of the project makes it that much more captivating. There’s an innate passion, and interviewing Maziar was the first time I got to witness that passion in person, and I knew this was something that I wanted to continue doing.

Great time speaking with Maziar Bahari. Stay tuned for the feature at @tyfofficial ! #rosewater

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Brooke Pawling Stennett: First of all, Happy 5th Anniversary to The Young Folks! I haven’t been writing for this website for very long, but it’s been a great three months. In these few months, I’ve had my articles recognized by the artist of the album I reviewed, and an author. I’ve also had a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Oyster Books, and a giveaway. The Young Folks is a unique website in its content, distribution, and of the writing of each journalist who contributes. If there’s ever a moment I have where I feel proud, it’s when I  give a piece of my writing to The Young Folks’ loyal readers, every week. Thanks to Gabrielle and Luciana for being amazing show runners! Truly two of the best MVPs of the website world.

Evan Griffin: There’s plenty of great times tied to my work with since I partied up in the winter of 2013: from my first review of Evil Dead being published mere minutes before discovering our loss of the great Roger Ebert, to skipping on a date to go review Paranoia for no real reason other than thinking It’d be funny to write a review (sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking).

I’d probably have to say my favorite moment was the weekend that Ally and I did our second year of covering the Oscar Ballot this winter and got the rest of the TYF staff in on the conversations through Skype and Google Hangout sessions. It was the first time I really got the chance to formally “meet” a lot of the other members of our writing staff. Sure, editing two straight weeks of videos leading up to the Oscars was a nightmare that nearly destroyed me, but meeting everyone was an enjoyable time that made me feel like I was a part of a team for once. I’d just be terrified if we all actually worked in an office together, because I’m not so sure anything would actually get done.


I still can’t believe it has been five years since Lucy and I sat down one day and said “Let’s do this thing.” It sure doesn’t feel like five years. Lucy and I have so many aspirations for The Young Folks. We’re constantly planning and trying to improve TYF to be something more than just an entertainment website. It’s easy to forget the impact we are making with The Young Folks. Not only have we provided readers with new, relatable perspectives on the movies, shows, music, books they all love, we provided young writers throughout the world a place to share their thoughts, gain writing experience, and get opportunities to meet new people and interview an idol. Reading everyone’s proudest moments makes me feel so incredibly honored that an idea Lucy and I had five years ago have given our writers so many great moments.

Here’s to the next five, ten, twenty, fifty years full of proud moments like these. Thank you for believing in The Young Folks. – Gabrielle Bondi (Co-Founder of

Gabrielle is 27 years old and lives in Chicago. She enjoys writing about film, TV, and books, but occasionally writes about music as well. In addition to writing for, she also the editor-in-chief and a co-founder. In her spare time, she’s either watching more movies and shows or reading more books, while continuously checking Twitter, which she may or may not be addicted to… Feel free to email her your thoughts, ideas and questions.