Watchworthy Wednesday: Empowering Youth Through Writing, Digital Media

Four 16-year-old Muslim-American girls are getting their stories heard through slam poetry. Thousands of other young people are sharing their hopes, fears, aspirations and observations, too, as part of the Young Writers Project.

YWP, a nonprofit organization based in Burlington, Vermont and founded 10 years ago, is dedicated to helping youth develop the confidence and communication skills needed to shape their world via creative writing, performance and visual and audio mediums. 

“We develop effective methods to help youths explore their own ideas, share with peers and mentors and present best work to affirming audiences,” says Geoffrey Gevalt, YWP’s executive director. “YWP’s work is rooted in a respectful, youth-led online community, where young people gain perspective from their differences and acquire writing and digital communication skills from peers, mentors and experts. In this environment defined by civility, quality and innovation, youths take creative risks, grow and discover the power of their voice.”

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