Items filtered by date: April 2016

The smell of marijuana greets me at the door, followed closely by a disheveled woman. She asks what I want, and I tell her that I have come for the girls. She calls to them: “The lady is here.” The girls dart to the door, excited and expectant, each asking what the plans are for the evening and what they will eat.

In this neighborhood gr...

Published in Diary

When Ferial Pearson first attended the Freedom Writers Institute (FWI) in the summer of 2010, it was immediately clear what an incredible teacher she was. Her passion for education and her students came out every time she spoke about her job. Some say that teaching is not a career, but a calling. We believe that this amazing woman has definitely...

Published in Diary
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 08:56

Teacher of Hope

Last December, Erin Gruwell visited the Worsely School at the Fresno Juvenile Campus for the holidays. The event was orchestrated by Bill Feaver, who was in the very first group of Freedom Writer Teachers in 2006. Bill’s facility includes kids from 13-18 years of age who are typically held for six months or less.

During Erin’s visit, she...

Published in Diary
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 08:43

Breaking the Cycle

Katie Johnson was a teenager who ended up in the juvenile hall that Erin will be visiting in San Diego on Christmas Eve. Katie is an example of how positive reinforcement and second chances can change students' trajectories and how they see themselves. Below is her story of success. 

Katie Johnson was arrested in 2010 after she took 13 X...

Published in Diary