I’m a 4th year student at the University of Michigan, majoring in creative writing and hoping to enter the joint certification program with the School of Education to obtain a certificate in Secondary English Teaching when I graduate.
I’m heavily interested in education and the achievement gap, and also in empowering teens through creative writing and the development of their voice. For the past 4 years I have worked in both paid and volunteer positions at the Neutral Zone, Ann Arbor’s Teen Center, in a variety of facets but chiefly as an assistant/facilitator for the Volume Youth Poetry Project, a weekly poetry workshop series run for Ann Arbor area teens. Additionally, I’ve worked up until this semester as a writing tutor at Washtenaw Community College’s Writing Center.
In addition to that work, I coached the 2009 Ann Arbor Youth Poetry Slam Team, taught an independent study on Poetry to two highschool seniors in winter 2008, and taught numerous workshops at libraries and schools (and one correctional facility) as a member of Ann Arbor Wordworks, Ann Arbor’s professional performance poetry troupe. In 2008 I interned for a semester with Telling it Teens, a program that pairs college students with children and teens ages 7-18 to engage in art projects to help increase their literacy skills, self-esteem and likelihoood of graduating school to pursue higher education.
In the beginning of this past year, I was given the opportunity to found, promote, organize and host Looseleaf Readings, a monthly open mic in Ann Arbor’s local Tea Haus, a looseleaf tea boutique. Looseleaf Readings is the only open mic in the city that boasts a fairly even mixture of college and highschool writers, and so far has managed to draw in a new writer who has never performed every month since its founding. Our mission is to continue to provide a space where young burgeoning writers in the community can have a safe and supportive space to share their work.
This semester I hope to see what new things I can learn at my internship while continuing to host Looseleaf Readings at Ann Arbor.
This semester I will be interning at InsideOut Literary Arts Project.The organization places professional writers in schools to give writing workshops and allows students to develop their self-expression through creative writing. I will be assisting a writer with his in-school residency with the goal of personally leading a classroom workshop. I will also be helping with the publication process by proofreading and typing student poetry and scanning student images, and compiling an online database of poetry for use by Writers-In-Residence in their workshops.