In 2013, I co-founded Poetic Youth with MFA student Garrett Bryant and community organizer Carolina Cohen, and I’ve served as its director since that time. Poetic Youth provides free writing and arts workshops to local youth communities in San Diego. You can read more about the program on the Poetic Youth website; staffed primarily by MFA and undergraduate students, Poetic Youth has served more than 2000 students, in communities ranging from the IRC to the Monarch School to our newest partner, Helix High.
In the fall of 2018, the Division of Student Engagement at SDSU invited me to use their GENS 280 course, Introduction to Civic Engagement, to train a group of amazing students, who performed the service-learning component of the course working as facilitators in the community. Poetic Youth is also a recognized student organization, and has received almost $30,000 from various university grants to support its operations and to host its annual literary festival, now in its third year.
This all-volunteer organization allows me to connect my work as a poet with my ongoing interest in education and equity, and I’m honored to work with our fabulous staff!