MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A creative writing program is creating positive change among troubled youth in Mobile County.
The Write Our Stories creative writing program gives students a healthy way to express their feelings, ideas and experiences.
“They write a lot about relationships in their lives, situations at home, sometimes the wider world around them, what’s going on in their neighborhood,” said Kate Duthu, teacher writer for the program.
Kate Duthu guided the students through the creative writing program. As a former prosecutor and family law attorney, she is grateful to work with at-risk youth and help them deal with adversity.
For ten weeks, students from Strickland Youth Center and Pointe Academy had the unique experience of putting pen to paper and letting their stories fill the pages with different writing activities.
Each week they choose a topic that helps them reflect on their situation and their world. Kate said her favorite task was to see her students fill the void…”I dream of a world where”.
“Each of the students came up with their own version of how they would dream the world would be, from you know there’s no more war, to there’s no more homelessness, to I hope that I will graduate from high school and become a welder.”
Kate said the program was all about positivity and improvement, and something fun and different for students to showcase who they really are.
“Often they’re labeled because of the situation they’re in or the crime they’ve been involved in, but they’re so much more than what we see on the surface, and that’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Edmond Naman. , presiding judge of Mobile County Juvenile Court.
Judge Naman has been a strong advocate for writing programs for troubled youth, but says he’s never seen anything more in-depth than ‘writing our stories’.
“I’ve seen a lot of self-discovery when you go through the writing process, you know, I’ve seen kids really transform, through that,” Judge Naman said.
All student poems and work will be featured, but young authors will just have their initials under their work to keep their identities secret.
“It gives them the opportunity to show who they really are and the struggle they are going through and the audience needs to know that,” Judge Naman said.
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