On Sunday, December 8, Writers in Baltimore Schools, an organization founded by 2008 OSI Community Fellow Patrice Hutton, celebrated 10 years of empowering the voices of students in Baltimore City Schools. Hutton founded WBS to offer provide creative writing opportunities for Baltimore City middle and high school students.
In her remarks, Hutton spoke of her OSI-Baltimore Community Fellowship, and how that gave her the chance to fill a need from her childhood when she “needed people to talk to about making sentences and stories.” She also spoke of how the Baltimore City students enrolled in the program really became her teachers.
One of those student-teachers, Anastasia Farley, who is currently a sophomore at Susquehanna University, spoke about how being part of WBS and finding a community in writers changed her life. “We have the same electric minds and wide-open eyes, the same curious and hungry soul searching for meaning within mysticism. And while others will not understand how writing is hard… or why we would want to write as profession (since it lacks security), we all just ‘got it’.”
The evening included poetry performances by students and remarks from Hutton and board members Khaliah Williams and Shangrila Willy, who was named Volunteer of the Decade.