The People That Continue to Make a Difference
Erin Gruwell is a teacher, an author, and the founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation.
Daisy Farias is a Freedom Writer and Special Education teacher who gives back to the community.
Latilla Cain is a Freedom Writer who works for the Big Brothers Big Sisters
Tiffony Jacobs works with the Freedom Writers Foundation as Outreach Coordinator.
Sue Ellen continues to share her inspirational story about the power of education and hope to youth and educators.
Narada speaks about the difficulties of growing up in poverty, surrounded by gang violence, and the lack of a positive male role model in the household.
Shanita Jones went on to pursue a degree in Child Development and currently works with the Freedom Writers Foundation.
Ian Terrell is following his dream of pursuing a writing career by working on a book of poetry.
Jessica Martinez is an active Freedom Writer, serving as a member of the Freedom Writers Educational Advisory Board and assisting in the active training of teachers who participate in the Freedom Writers Institute.
Tanya Payne believes the best way to tackle institutionalized racism and bigotry is through teachers, educators, and professors have the power to change the world.
Remember those who helped you and remember the strength you had in all the battles you fought—Calvin Williams III
“Make your own positive family if you don’t have one.” -Carlos Barragan
“You can change it if you want to. You just have to take the first step.” -Lisa Shouse
The tools of the Freedom Writers have prepared Stephanie for a future filled with hope.
Ricardo Gonzalez is currently working on his A.S. in Architecture Design.
Oscar is currently working towards obtaining his Doctoral Degree in Education (Ed.D) from Loyola Marymount University, which he will complete in 2016.
Kanya Sim has worked as a Legal Aid and Outreach Director, helping people access services despite language and cultural barriers.
Through our Outreach Program, Erin Gruwell and the original Freedom Writers provide powerful presentations for students, educators, and other professionals. Our speakers engage various audiences with personal stories of overcoming adversity and inspire others to create their own path to success.
Freedom Writers conduct compelling presentations about their experiences in Erin Gruwell’s classroom and beyond. Freedom Writers are Toastmasters-trained speakers who galvanize every kind of audience.
The Freedom Writers seek to motivate young people to make positive choices and encourage adults working with youth to help students take part in their own education. Throughout the year, Freedom Writers share their stories at schools worldwide with in-person presentations and video chats.
With 150 unique stories of how education and writing helped them flourish, the Freedom Writers can reach any group looking for motivation. From corporations to non-profits, local or international peoples, the Freedom Writers message of perseverance inspires everyone to triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds.
Erin gruwell leads empowering events and video chats for students, educators, business people, leaders and community members about the Freedom Writers Methodology and her inspiring stories with Freedom Writers.
Inspire your students through a capstone event to your Freedom Writers unit of study.Make your student's education come alive when they interact with Erin Gruwell.
Gruwell has worked as an adjunct instructor at California state Long Beach and she has deep partnerships and frequent collaborations with university of California Irvine,Bay Path college,Claremont Colleges and others.Gruwell's experiences are invaluable to teacher preparation programs,staff developments and student learning.
Your search for an inspiring and motivating way to reach your faculty ends here.One of Gruwell's primary focuses in the past decade has been educator professional development.Through Gruwell's unique approach to professional development,your staff will gain useful strategies for dealing with all students, but most importantly, they we relearn what it is like to be student.
The Freedom Writers Methodology and Gruwell's inspiring experiences have proven to be highly effective in fields outside of education. Gruwells frequently speaks at corporate events,leadership training, and community meetings.Gruwell has worked with the Girl's Scout of America,Coinstar,Franklin Covey,San Diego Hospital and the International forum for child welfare.Her approach to leadership and management is applicable in all contexts and profoundlyimpacts professionals in all industries.
Erin Gruwell leads empowering events and video chats to help classrooms, communities, and professional environments create cultures of acceptance and inclusion.
Erin Gruwell is a world-renowned educator who has worked with diverse student and teacher populations. Her distinctive approach to the classroom continues to inspire the schools she is fortunate enough to speak to. Educational presentations with Gruwell promote atmospheres of open and effective learning.
The Freedom Writers Methodology is proven to be highly effective in fields outside of education. Gruwell frequently speaks at corporate events, leadership trainings, and community meetings. She has worked with organizations like the Girl Scouts of America, TED, and the International Forum for Child Welfare. Her approach to leadership and management is applicable to all group settings and improves working experiences for every individual.
Freedom Writer Teachers Institute
The Freedom Writer Teachers Institute is a five-day training program led by Erin Gruwell and the Foundation staff in Long Beach, CA. The Institute is designed as professional development to train and support educators of at-risk and vulnerable students and has the long term strategy of retaining dedicated teachers.
During the Institute, educators participate in and learn a pedagogical framework (Freedom Writers Methodology) through which they can engage students in the learning process, enlighten them intellectually, and empower them to achieve academic and civic success.
Educational professionals (classroom teachers, school administrators, superintendents, coaches, and counselors), social workers and other community leaders (policy makers, directors of foundations, and school board members) who can benefit from the training may apply to the institute. 25-30 educators participate in each session.
The 2016 Freedom Writer Teacher Institute sessions will be held on June 24-28, 2016 and July 8-12, 2016.
Our program fee of $5,000 per educator includes: 5 days of workshops led by Erin Gruwell, curriculum, hotel, meals, and year-round support as a Freedom Writer Teacher. Title 1 funding, professional development budgets, or education grants can be allocated for our training.
Freedom Writer Teachers
Educators who attend our week-long institute program receive a certificate of completion and the title of Freedom Writer Teacher. Institute participants are also eligible to receive graduate credits through our partnership with Bay Path University.
Freedom Writer Teachers return to their jobs with greater career satisfaction, higher student success rates, lower student dropout rates, and a stronger commitment to teaching and learning. Our program cultivates rejuvenation and hope within educators and changes the current culture of compliance to a culture of commitment and caring in the classroom. A teacher shared with us, “The Freedom Writer Teachers Institute transformed my teaching… this program is a life-changing gift, both for teachers and students.”
Freedom Writer Teachers become part of our esteemed international network of education professionals. Our Foundation provides them with ongoing professional development opportunities and support throughout the school year, including the Empowerment Symposium. We have worked collaboratively with communities across the nation (such as Omaha, NE, Springfield, MA, Westmoreland, NY and Los Angeles, CA) to incorporate our teaching methodology across their districts to evoke system changes. Freedom Writer Teachers have been awarded prestigious teaching awards, have become published authors, and are change-makers in their respective communities.
The Freedom Writers Foundation has created several volumes of curriculum designed to be used with the Freedom Writers Methodology. All of our curricula contains activities that are aligned with national standards. Our material facilitates a transformative process for how students approach life and school.
The Freedom Writers Diary and More
Erin Gruwell was confronted with a room of high school freshman students labeled “unteachable.” Four years later, these same students were graduating and publishing their stories of overcoming adversity in The Freedom Writers Diary.
With powerful, first-hand accounts from students struggling in the streets of Long Beach, The Freedom Writers Diary is an unforgettable example for teens of how hard work, courage, and determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students.
To date, The Freedom Writers Diary has become popular in classrooms, sold more than one million copies, and has been translated in over a dozen languages.
The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher’s Guide is a class supplement that shares Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writer Teacher’s standard-based, educational strategies and techniques for shifting a classroom into a space for students to grow.
Teaching Hope mirrors The Freedom Writers Diary by providing 150 Freedom Writer Teachers with a space to share stories from their classrooms. Their personal experiences give insight into the struggles and triumphs of being an educator. Released in 2009, Teaching Hope went straight to The New York Times’ Best Seller’s List.
With over one million copies sold, The Freedom Writers Diary caught the attention of Hollywood. Paramount Pictures worked closely with Erin and the Freedom Writers to adapt a script from the successful book. The feature film, Freedom Writers, starring Hilary Swank hit theaters in 2008. The movie has gone on to inspire countless students and encourage education advocates to become teachers.
Teach With Your Heart, Erin Gruwell's personal memoir, takes a deeper look into the educator who changed the lives of 150 at-risk teens. Her book chronicles her years with the Freedom Writers and surpasses The Freedom Writers Diary and the film Freedom Writers to share what Gruwell and her students are up to today.
Scholastic’s On The Record
Erin Gruwell, the Freedom Writers, and Freedom Writer Teachers are proud to have partnered with Scholastic for their On The Record series. On The Record is an innovative reading and writing program based on the Freedom Writers Methodology. The program melds memoir and academic writing in a comprehensive, Common Core aligned curriculum sure to engage students with its gritty and relevant content.
About The Scholarship Program
The Freedom Writers Foundation awards scholarships each year to first-generation high school seniors and college students who have demonstrated remarkable academic promise despite considerable odds. Freedom Writer Scholars have overcome adversities such as homelessness, inner-city crime, poverty, abuse, and broken homes in order to pursue a college education and achieve success in life. Our scholars are the first in their family to pursue and receive a college education. As of 2015, we are proud to have awarded 100 scholarships.
What is special about our program is that we do not just provide our scholars with a tuition stipend - they become part of our Freedom Writers Foundation network/family. We provide ongoing support, mentorship, and encouragement throughout their college career.
We offer our scholars the opportunity to intern at the Freedom Writers Foundation. For our internship program, we're affiliated with local universities in California, including: University of California, Irvine, University of California, Davis, California State University, Long Beach, and Chapman University.
Donate to the Scholarship Fund
It is our goal to provide students with the same support and advocacy the Freedom Writers received. The scholarship program helps us recognize the stellar achievements of students who have gone to great lengths to make their education a priority.
Donate to the scholarship fund today to show these students that their efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Mail a check to:
Freedom Writers Foundation, c/o Scholarship, PO Box 41505, Long Beach, CA 90853