Creative writing program, “Writing Our Stories” is helping troubled youth in Mobile County.

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 1:43 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -A creative writing program is creating a positive change among troubled youth in Mobile County.

The “Writing our stories” creative writing program gives students a healthy way to express their feelings, ideas, and experiences.

“They write a lot about the relationships in their lives, the situations at home, sometimes the greater world, around them, what’s happening in their neighborhoods,” said Kate Duthu, teaching writer for the program.

Kate Duthu has guided the students throughout the creative writing program. Being a former prosecutor and family law attorney, she’s grateful to be working with at-risk youth, and helping them cope with adversity.

Over ten weeks, students at Strickland Youth Center and Pointe Academy had the unique experience of putting pen to paper and letting their stories fill the pages with different writing activities.

Each week, they choose a topic that helps them think about their situation and their world. Kate said her favorite assignment was seeing her students fill in the blank...”I dream of a world where”.

“Each of the students came up with their own version of how they would dream the world to be, everything from you know there being no more war, to there being no more homeless people, to I hope I graduate high school and become a welder.”

Kate said the program is focused on positivity and improvement, and something fun and different for the students to highlight who they truly are.

“Many times they’re labeled because the situation they’re in or the crime that they have been involved in, but they’re so much more than what we see on the surface, and this is a wonderful opportunity,” said Edmond Naman, the presiding Judge of Mobile County Juvenile Court.

Judge Naman has been a strong advocate for writing programs for troubled youth, but says he’s never seen anything quite in-depth as “writing our stories”.

“I’ve seen a lot of self-discovery when you go through the writing process, you know I’ve seen children really be transformative, through that,” said Judge Naman.

All of the student’s poems and work will be showcased, but the young authors will just have their initials under their work to keep their identities a secret.

“It gives them the opportunity to show who they truly are and the struggle they are going through and are public needs to know that,” said Judge Naman.


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