“If it wasn’t for [826LA] and their unconditional love and support, I would’ve stayed silent my first year [of college] and not used the most powerful tool I have: my voice and thoughts.”
UC Davis freshman Jennifer Stephanie F. reflects on her 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.
Finding a voice and building confidence at the Writers’ Room at Manual Arts
The college application process was draining and overwhelming [for] me as a student and on the 826LA staff. However, they were there to help me emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Many times I felt like giving up and thinking that all this wasn’t worth it—wasn’t worth all the time and work. But they were there pushing me and guiding me through this tough time in my life. Because of them and their help, along with my parents’ and others, I am where I am now.
While working with 826LA, I learned to really not care what people think about me and my writing. I learned that there isn’t any specific way to write when it comes to creative writing. I learned to first just write whats on my mind to get my thoughts flowing and ideas out, then come back to my work and do the serious stuff.
With the help and support of 826LA staff from when I attended Manual Arts, I have built up the confidence to be able to perform and write more poems/spoken words here at UC Davis. If it wasn’t for them and their unconditional love and support, I would’ve stayed silent my first year [of college] and not used the most powerful tool I have: my voice and thoughts.
Favorite Writers’ Room moments
Being open to new opportunities and meeting new people. The different energies and auras from the different volunteers and new staff.
“Muchas gracias y que sigue la lucha!”
The transition from high school to college is hard, and sometimes I feel like dropping out. But knowing I have made it this far with the help and support from many people back home, along with the 826LA staff, I know I can push through. Not only do I do this for myself and my [family], but I do it for y’all and the community! Muchas gracias y que sigue la lucha!
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Come celebrate 826LA students like Jennifer 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
ROBIN COSTE LEWIS
Music by Artist & 826LA Volunteer
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!