Freedom writer shares success story

Tiffony Jacobs, right, tells her “Freedom Writers” story Monday with students from Egyptian High School during an exclusive documentary screening in the Student Center Auditorium. The screening of “Stories from an Undeclared War,” a documentary that picks up where the 2007 film “Freedom Writers” left off, was made possible by the College of Education and Human Services, the College of Continuing Education and Outreach and Egyptian High School through enrichment programs. “Freedom Writers” tells the true story of a young teacher, Erin Gruwell, who inspired her class of at-risk high school students to believe in themselves through writing freely in diaries, Jacobs said. Jacobs, one of Gruwell’s students and the basis of a character in the film, said Gruwell told the class the diaries were a safe place to tell their stories. “All 150 students in my class graduated from high school and most went on to college thanks to Mrs. Gruwell,” Jacobs said. “She was always action-oriented and even when we said her ideas wouldn’t work, she believed in us. Now we all joke that if Mrs. Gruwell says we’re going to the moon, someone better call NASA.” The Freedom Writers Foundation, a non-profit organization formed in 1997 and headed by Gruwell, has trained more than 300 educators worldwide about how to empower students to positively impact their own lives and the world around them. Tiffany Blanchette-Daily Egyptian

Photo taken by Tiffany Blanchette of the Daily Egyptian

Tiffany Blanchette-Daily Egyptian

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