Partnership launches Cross-Cultural Storytelling Project at WHS and BHS

The Partnership for Change is thrilled to launch a Cross-Cultural Storytelling Project for high school students in Winooski and Burlington during the 2013-2014 academic year. Part of the “We All Belong” Americorps program, an initiative of the City of Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO), this project will give students the opportunity to find their voice, surface their values, and connect with others in creative and affirming ways. The project will contribute to making our schools more student-centered by providing opportunities for youth to engage more deeply with their learning process and community. Students will also meet learning goals related to writing, creativity, leadership, community engagement, and personal voice.

AmeriCorps member Melissa O’Brien will coordinate the project, engaging students and teachers in conversations and personal narrative storytelling on topics of diversity, inclusion, equity, and community. In addition, Melissa will collaborate with community organizations and local artists, such as the Young Writers Project, Dan Higgins, and Bennington-based Threshold Collaborative, to lead students in sharing their stories with the school communities through an interplay of image and narrative.

Melissa joins the Partnership for Change with diverse experience as a photographer, designer, writer, editor, and educator. She also brings with her a demonstrated commitment to community-building as well as leadership and project management skills.

“Melissa is the embodiment of this project,” said Partnership Director Hal Colston. “She is a caring human being who believes in the power of story to connect us into the fabric of humanity.”