Giving Tuesday is not yet over, but the Youth Writing Adventure campaign has already reached 10% of its goal. Thank you to the early donors who have gotten the ball rolling. For every $15 we raise, we can bring one student to the event, provide her/him with two quality writing workshops and a general sharing session, a lunch at the UMass dining hall, and a professionally published anthology of student work from the day.
The Youth Writing Adventure can be a life-changing experience, as it was for Nikki Crosby, who remembers her participation in a Western Massachusetts Writing Project youth writing program while in middle school:
The chatter subsided. Middle and high schoolers began to line up beside a stage. One by one, and after a brief introduction, they were called up to the podium to share their work, and while I do not remember what those students wrote, these young authors made quite an impression on me—they were passionate about writing, and they were up there belting it out like pros. Poetry, memoir, short story, essay, and nearly every genre my then sixth-grade self could conceive of was represented. After I got over these students’ stage presence and strength of delivery, there were just words. And words I knew I could write; they were the reason I was here.
Nikki is now a teacher. Here are thoughts on the impact of the youth writing program on her career:
I am now a high school English teacher after taking the path of greatest resistance, becoming the college educated person that I was never raised to be. I chose this path to change the minds of talented students who fashion themselves as rural, or poor, or minority, or otherwise an “other,” and, therefore, unfit to hold the keys to the educational kingdom. I want for them what WMWP did for me. Without the WMWP [youth writing program], I would have been oblivious to avenues before me.
You can read Nikki's full story by clicking here.