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Our mission is to empower high school students to believe in the power of their words and pursue their dreams, while we develop exemplary university leaders and increase the social consciousness of the community.
The WOrD project is a writing program that uses the arts to empower and foster imagination among high school students whose communities often overlook their creative talents. The program pairs our high school students with a select group of college mentors who facilitate a story-writing workshop. These original stories then come to life when local actors adapt the pieces into plays and perform them in front of the students' friends, family, and the larger WOrD community.
The Writing Our Dreams Project Los Angeles is in its third year of operations. Over the last two years WOrD has empowered more than 1,000 students and community members in South Los Angeles to participate in our initiative. During its pilot year, WOrD reached and mentored more than 40 ninth-graders in the area, providing both in-school and after-school enrichment and support. WOrD not only provided an outlet of expression for these students, but also boosted writing skills, self-confidence levels, and in-class investment, as noted by teachers at the pilot school.
In the wake of a successful launch, WOrD doubled its impact during its second year, this time reaching more than 90 students. Once again, ninth-grade teachers Lia Evans and Jennifer Camus saw a marked surge in student interest in performance and creative writing. In addition, the intrinsic motivation to succeed both socially and academically manifested itself in a majority of WOrD participants and alumni. As noted by the ninth grade teachers, more than 95% of students who participated in the actual performance expressed an increase in confidence and displayed improvement in public speaking skills.
WOrD will continue to empower students in South Los Angeles to creatively pursue their dreams. Please contact Ron Lewis at WritingOurDreams.LA@gmail.com for additional information.
Do you believe in the mission of WOrD but we are not currently in your city? The Writing Our Dreams project has created a Dream Manual that walks you through each stage of starting your own chapter. If you are interested in leading your own chapter of WOrD please email Stephanie Atiase at Stephanie.Atiase@gmail.com