Being a One Earth Writing Ambassador has helped me grow as a writer, and has given me a space where I can connect with teens who have a similar passion as me. For anyone who is interested in trying different writing styles, meeting new people, and hearing advice on how to improve as a writer, I wholeheartedly recommend this program.

-Chloe Halprin, Berkley High School, Class of 2018

The kids loved the way you treated them. So many people come in with the attitude that they are bad kids or have unrealistic expectations for their behavior. Your class made them feel happy and confident. Thank you so much for coming!

-Beri Klein, Program Coordinator, Samaritas, Saginaw MI

Ms. Golodner knows how to connect with us.

-Sami, 9th Grade, Hamtramck High School

My daughter, Jillian, is a part of the One Earth Writing Ambassador program for teens and I am grateful that this organization can give her such wonderful opportunities. This program has helped her come to the realization that writing is a huge connector! Since she has begun with the Ambassador program, Jillian has entered a national writing contest through school (her paper was a letter to Malala discussing how her book I Am Malala impacted her) and she also started her own blog! I am so excited that she will be able to participate in various programs that allow her to interview and connect with refugees and participate in a Muslim-Jewish program! What incredible experiences these promise to be! Thank you for what your program opened for her.

-Lauren Lesson, One Earth Writing Ambassador Parent 2016-2017

Ms. Golodner gave us a topic to write about, and we could write whatever we wanted about that topic.  She never told us we were wrong, no matter what we wrote.

-Dana, 9th Grade, Hamtramck High School

One Earth Writing is an exciting project that allows students to feel the connection between their hearts and minds, as individuals and as classmates. My students expressed their enjoyment of writing about their lives, and having the opportunity to share their stories with others. Their only recommendation to improve the program is to have it more often.

Lynne Golodner is a great collaborator in the classroom.  She took into account my students’ needs and interests, as well as connecting the material to our curriculum.  The use of mentor texts introduces students to expert writers, providing a recipe for great writing and expanding their awareness of the richness of language and its creative forms.  Though our writing was framed as a classroom exercise, students were moved to freely articulate their life experience into their work making it meaningful.

 
—Jessica Madden, English Teacher, Hamtramck High School

I enjoyed that I was able to think about home and know why I appreciated home.

-Darrian, 9th Grade, Hamtramck High School

Ibegan the One Earth Writing Ambassadors program unsure of what was to come, as I’d never served as an “ambassador” before. The future months consisted of many writing workshops, in which we ambassadors discussed and analyzed some amazing literature, and also wrote pieces of our own. I know that my growth as a writer this year can largely be attributed to OEW and those amazing writing sessions. It’s amazing how much being exposed to other people’s perspectives and writing styles can improve your own writing. My favorite session consisted of tasting (and smelling) food from various origins, discussing the importance of food within our own cultures and then writing about it all. It was a unique experience that I never could have gotten in a standard literature class, or anywhere else.

Over time, through leadership activities and workshops within the community, I also found myself more comfortable taking on leadership roles, starting conversations and contributing to discussions. No matter one’s writing level, OEW is the perfect environment if you are looking to gain confidence in writing and speaking, bridge gaps between cultures and share some laughs with peers. It’s also the perfect environment if you are looking to challenge social norms through your words. The most important thing that OEW has taught me is that words are unifying and powerful. Because of this, I’ll never, ever take mine for granted.

 
-Ashleigh Garrison, One Earth Writing Ambassador 2016-17

One Earth Writing has opened my eyes to diversity. This program has allowed to me to connect with others who love to just write, despite our differences. It has strengthened my writing skills and has helped me to write about different topics in different forms of writing. One Earth Writing has taught me how to use my writing as a tool to change the world.”

-Jillian Lesson, One Earth Writing Ambassador 2016-17, 8th Grade, West Hills Middle School

Our 8th grade students had a wonderful time participating in the One Earth Writing program this year. Like any teenagers, they were initially apprehensive about entering a different community for the first time, and about interacting with students who they assumed would be quite different from them. The program facilitators quickly mixed the kids up and got them sharing with each other, and the ice broke immediately. The students enjoyed the writing activities (we especially liked the letter writing assignment – the kids came up with great proposals together!); even more they loved the new relationships they built. We were grateful for the experience, and are excited to participate again next year!

-Kammy Webb, Administrator, Southwest Detroit Community School

I enjoyed the writing program because it gave us a chance to talk about our families and about where we’re from, and what we like.

-Rayid, 9th Grade, Hamtramck High School

Writing in general before One Earth Writing for me was bland and dry. I would only write for school assignments, but even if I had time, I never truly conceived the idea of what I could write about. From One Earth Writing, I learned that all writing is creative writing. I even learned how to write about food! Not only has this program made me a more confident writer in my abilities, it has made me a stronger person. Although it is cliche to say so, I really have been impacted by this program. I have realized how important our voices as young teens are, and how they can be amplified through writing. I have learned how to be confident in myself and how to take initiative to stand up for something that I believe in.

-Sohil L. Jain, International Academy East, Class of 2018 

My daughter has learned and benefited in so many ways from One Earth Writing. Her writing skills have improved and her perceptive on life is enlightening. She has a greater understanding and respect for other people’s culture and life choices. I’m grateful for One Earth Writing and my daughter loves this program.

Angel L. Allen, One Earth Writing Ambassador Parent 2016-17

My experience with One Earth Writing has been nothing short of incredible. When I first signed up to do the program, I was expecting a simple, month by month writing session and that’s it. I wasn’t expecting anything different but I’m glad I was proven wrong. The entirety of the program has taken something I’ve loved for so long and created a unique and more current approach to its methods of use. I’ve always loved writing and I’ve always loved applying my skills of writing in the real world and One Earth Writing has helped do that for me.
 

Without One Earth Writing, I wouldn’t have been able to meet some of the incredible people I did through the connections we’ve made just by the tips of our pencils. Lynne’s creation of the program helped me expand my writing abilities in ways I wasn’t able to think about and taught me the different implements of writing in our society. She created a safe space that is accepting of all individuals, regardless of background, to speak freely and openly about their mind and use their opinions on real world scenarios. One Earth helped me loved meet with refugees and individuals of other faiths and taught me how writing can connect people in these situations. Before One Earth, my thinking with the application of writing had been very one-dimensional. Now, it’s multi-cultured, dimensional, religious, and more, and I love that.</div align=”left”>

-Jasmein Minhas, International Academy East, Class of 2018

My daughter through participating in One Earth Writing (OEW) has had the opportunity to explore her love of writing and do so with a great group of kids interested in bringing people together from various racial, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds. As a parent, guiding her to develop a common understanding, love and respect for others is one of the most important values I feel I can impart and OEW is a wonderful partner in helping me achieve this. During this year, my daughter has had the opportunity to participate in a great variety of events and has developed a greater interest in becoming a leader. I highly recommend OEW; we have had such a great experience!

-Amber Cervantes, One Earth Writing Ambassador Parent 2016-17

Within a span of several months, each of us has had the opportunity to connect with each other and members of other faiths and communities. While we connected as people, we also connected through our words, understanding their power. One Earth Writing has given me the chance the delve deeper into my writing and meet people that I will remember for a long time. Through this experience I have become a writer more patience, ideas, and motivation to create and amaze. I thank the whole One Earth Writing team for making this experience possible for me! Thank you!

-Shikha Lakhani, International Academy East, Class of 2018

One Earth Writing has been an amazing experience without a doubt. From food writing to interviewing Syrian refugees, the program has given me opportunities I never would have had without it. My favorite experience was going on TV! One Earth Writing is a light in a world of negativity, that pushes teens in the right direction. Helping to improve writing skills whilst connecting teens across racial, socioeconomic and religious boundaries, One Earth Writing is incredible.

-Anna Cervantes-Mayville, 8th Grade, Millennium Middle School

For years I have been imagining a way for our students to reflect on the faith traditions they experience with a deeper hope of these reflections becoming a means for them to understand their shared faith values. I could not be more pleased and thrilled with the addition of One Earth Writing to our Religious Diversity Journeys program. The writing component that we have added to this program is by far the best addition that we could have made. Listening to our 600 students share their reflections and thoughts through stories and poetry has been the most rewarding experience I have had while directing this program. These seventh-graders are truly learning about and understanding one another on a deep and significant level, which would not have been possible without the expertise of Lynne and her One Earth Writing team!

-Meredith Skowronski, Program Director, Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit

One Earth Writing has definitely changed my world and my outlook on the world. At first I didn’t think much of it. My grandmother was the one to show me it and tell me to apply for a position as ambassador and from day one I was grateful my grandmother showed me their website. The environment and overall energy of the group was always positive, and not a single bad thing was said. I was the youngest, but that never made me feel left out. The older kids only helped me get better and learn more things about writing and the world around me. I have grown as a writer and as a person from helping refugees write their stories, to helping lead discussions with people of different religions and beliefs. I learned that people are people, and people are equal. I loved every second of it and I can’t wait to come back in the fall.

-Neely Allen, 7th Grade, Berkshire Middle School