When I met Erin Gruwell last year, she made a profound statement that I feel can truly influence all of our lives: "You can't rewrite the story, but you can change the ending." What does this mean to you?
Some of you have voiced (whether directly or indirectly) that you are having a hard time relating to these "kids from the ghetto in California". I totally understand where you are coming from. Try looking at the bigger picture....they're 14 and 15 years old just like you. They are going through experiences that many of you have faced: friendship problems, family issues, school troubles, etc.
We have our Freedom Writers Skype chat TOMORROW! It is an AWESOME experience! You should make every effort to attend! It's at 2:30 in the media center. Get there early to get a seat. Bring friends!!!!
Our speaker is the author of Diary # 24- the real author about the eviction- Narada Comens. Here's a bit about him.
At age 9, Narada Comans moved 3,000 miles away
from his hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. His once subur-
ban neighborhood turned into an urban nightmare.
His father began to abuse drugs fueling the constant
physical abuse against his mother and destroying the
household he once knew.
At the age of 14, Narada again was forced to move due to circumstances be-yond his control. The summer before his sophomore year at Wilson High
School, he was evicted from his single household apartment due to his
mom’s job loss. Too young to get a job and not willing to do anything illegal
to get money, Narada felt defeated, helpless, and ashamed. With the start of
10th grade a few weeks away, he felt more compelled to keep the hardships
of his summer a secret for fear of being made fun of by his peers.
However, soon he would discover his experience as a Freedom Writer al-
lowed him to open up about the hardships of his life. Through the trust and
guidance of Ms. Gruwell and his classmates, Narada would learn through ac-
tivities such as the Line Game and journal writing, and as others began to
share the hardships of their own lives, Narada no longer tried to keep his a
secret. This began the bond between himself, his classmates, and Ms. Gru-
well. The newfound support would allow Narada to finish high school and
go on to college.
Today, Narada speaks about the difficulties of growing up in poverty, sur-
rounded by gang violence, and the lack of a positive male role model in the
household. He is currently pursuing a degree in Creative Writing along with
establishing his own media company. Narada has shared his diary story for
over 10 years now with the hope his story can help and inspire others deal-
ing with their own hardships. Narada also contributed an additional diary
entry to the 10th anniversary edition of the Freedom Writers Diary.
But back to the Freedom Writers....Look beyond the pages and you'll see the bigger picture. I promise.