Write Who You Are
In the Write Who You Are program, English language learners at the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School give voice to the stories that immigration statistics do not. Students work with a local author to study poetry and the personal essay as powerful vehicles for exploring who they are, honing literacy skills learned in the school’s cutting edge ESL and workforce development curriculum. The majority have never taken part in any form of creative writing prior to the program.
Endeavoring to preserve their identity in the course of integrating a new culture and economy, participants write about work, family, their home countries, their vision of community, and the internal conflicts wrought by displacement. Their stories represent the landscape of newcomers in an ever-evolving America and the power of literature and fellowship to give those who are often invisible a voice.
In 2015, approximately 80 students participated in the program by taking part in a weekly course that spans the entire academic semester as well as a noontime drop-in writers’ group.
"If poetry can make a tiny positive wave on the lake of human beings and society, if it can make us and anything around us warm and healthy, then the value of poetry seems to be enough."—Eunjin, a student from the program
This program is made possible in part by the generous support of the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. If you would like to donate to the Write Who You Are program, please visit www.writer.org/WWYA to make a monthly sustaining gift.