Maura Minsky is the Co-Founder and the Executive Director of Scenarios USA, an educational non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, NY that uses writing and the arts to foster youth leadership, advocacy and self-expression in students across the county with a focus on marginalized communities. As a former film and television producer, Maura knows that everyone has a story that deserves to be heard and that young people need to be part of the conversation around issues that shape their lives. Scenarios USA is built on the belief that by valuing youth, listening to their opinions, and strengthening their critical thinking skills, we can promote healthy relationships and help lower the rate of HIV, STDs and pregnancy among teens.
Maura led Scenarios USA for a decade with Co-Founder Kristen Joiner. Together they launched the REAL DEAL curriculum and contest in four regions of the country resulting in 19 films written and directed in partnership between student writers and filmmakers such as Doug Liman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), David Koepp (writer: Spiderman) and Tamara Jenkins (The Savages). The films are used with lesson plans in classrooms in all 50 states and have aired on Showtime, BET, MTV, Oxygen, IFC, ABC World News Tonight and The Today Show, among other outlets. Scenarios USA has won numerous awards, including the Porter Novelli Award for Excellence and Innovation in Social Marketing, The Council on Foundation Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film & Digital Media, and The Paul Robeson Award for Excellence in Independent Filmmaking.
Maura was a Producer with ABC News for four years, the East Coast Director of Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation from 1995 – 1997, producer of a ten-part series on issues facing young people for HBO, in addition to teaching middle school in Los Angeles. Maura received her B.A. in English and Theatre from Kenyon College.