We work with students enrolled in the High School of Commerce and young people around Springfield and Holyoke, MA. Together we tell stories through different mediums that include but go beyond the written word. The narratives we create should illuminate their world and challenge our perceptions of "urban youth".
Even though school takes much of our students' time, it is important that we do not limit their exploration, so we encourage them to utilize their school space to inquire about the world beyond its walls. Ultimately, the nagging poverty and violence that persists out of school often impacts the classroom. In this case, narrative story telling becomes a vehicle to critically understand the world around them. Together we explore how the tens of thousands of local students are affected by funding levels and education laws, while coping with discrimination and a problematic relationship with local police and the media. Through our work with partners in the 413, young people are telling their own story