Untold Stories of Los Angeles: Writers’ Room to Cal State Northridge with Jhonatan L.

“826LA and the Writers’ Room at Manual Arts helped me to achieve one of my hardest goals, which was attending college.”

California State University, Northridge freshman Jhonatan L. reflects on his journey from the 826LA Writers’ Room at Manual Arts High School to college. The 826LA Writers’ Room at Manual Arts is 826LA’s third programming space, on the Manual Arts High School campus. Modeled after 826LA’s writing centers, the Writers’ Room has provided support for more than half the school’s students since opening in 2015. 826LA staff and volunteers help students with college applications and enable teachers to take on ambitious, long-term writing projects.

Achieving goals and building confidence at the Writers’ Room at Manual Arts

826LA and the Writers’ Room at Manual Arts helped me to achieve one of my hardest goals, which was attending college. Throughout my involvement with [826LA], I gained more confidence with my essays, speaking, and especially writing. Considering that English is my second language, 826LA and the Writers’ Room helped me to feel more comfortable about my speaking and writing skills. They also helped me through my required essays for college applications and other programs such as the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Application.

I feel so blessed I was able to be part of this amazing organization, because thanks to 826LA and the Writers’ Room at MAHS, I was able to [receive] more than I ever expected in [college] scholarships. [Thanks] to 826LA and the Writers’ Room, I was able to achieve great things in my senior year, such as winning the All Ways Up Scholarship, Education First Scholarship, and many more scholarships. Every [Writers’ Room] member has a special place in my heart.

Favorite Writers’ Room moments

I enjoyed everything! From meeting the staff, to[helping] me with my college essays and schoolwork. The staff was always kind and they were always willing to help me with anything regarding my college requirements.

I also loved the fact that 826LA and the Writers’ Room were based on [what] I love the most: writing and reading. The Writers’ Room was a place that I could peacefully express all my opinions about reading and writing. I really loved this place!

“826LA made my dream come true.”

I thank God for this organization and every member that is involved.… 826LA made my dream come true. I would like to mention every single member of 826LA and thank every single one of you. You guys are the best of Manual Arts with the College Center.

I really hope all of you keep doing what you are doing, you guys are making many dreams a reality for many students. You were a great support, and my family and I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done. 


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Come celebrate 826LA students like Jhonatan and support our Writers’ Room
at our annual event Tell Me a Story: Untold Stories of Los Angeles!

June 6, 2018
6:30 pm Reception | 7:30 pm Dinner
Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles

With Special Guests
and more!

Music by Artist & 826LA Volunteer

Visit the event page and purchase tickets here!

Through writing, children learn to express their thoughts and dreams. Share your love of storytelling with students across Los Angeles when you join us for this unforgettable event on June 6, 2018 in Downtown LA. Untold Stories of Los Angeles will celebrate our students and the remarkable stories they have uncovered about their lives with the help of 826LA’s free writing programs.

At our centers and in schools across LA, students discover their voices and gain skills that help them excel in school and beyond. Since opening its doors in 2005, 826LA has inspired more than 74,000 Los Angeles students between the ages of 6 and 18 to write. By raising crucial funds, Tell Me a Story will help keep 826LA’s programming free and accessible to the students who need them most.


Learn more about our Writers’ Room and In-Schools College Access programs here

Interested in becoming a Writers Room or College Access volunteer? Sign up for a Volunteer Orientation here!

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