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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: storytellers

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November 21, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Videos: College students share struggles, triumphs at Education Lab event

On Nov. 15, five local college students appeared before an audience at the University of Washington to share their journeys of achieving college access despite significant challenges and set-backs. “Storytellers: How I Got into College” was hosted as part of the UW Dream Project’s Admissions Workshop Weekend, an annual event that brings dozens of high-school students from throughout King County to UW for assistance completing their college applications.

Go here for a written recap and photos from the evening’s program. Videos of each storyteller are posted below.

Jenée Myers Twitchell, director of the Dream Project, kicked off the event by sharing the story of her own upbringing in Yakima. “My story is filled with addicts,” she said. “Pretty much everybody in my family had gone through or needed to go through rehab.”

Her own struggles inspired her to begin working with local youth and start the Dream Project.

“I didn’t want it be about luck. I didn’t want getting to college to be about, ‘I just hope I meet the right person,'” she said.

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Comments | More in News, Video, Your voices | Topics: Dream Project, storytellers, University of Washington

November 16, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Student storytellers emphasize persistence, importance of mentors and role models

Update: Videos from the event are available here.

Marcellina DesChamps first set foot in a classroom when she was 27 years old.

Growing up, her father owned a small business. The kids helped out when times got tough and by the time she turned 14, she worked 40 hours a week. Now 32, DesChamps studies political science and law, societies and justice at the University of Washington, where her classmates — and some of her tutors — are a decade younger than her. Along the way, she has learned how to actively read, how to study, to take notes, to use the library and how to ask for help.

“I’m learning how to learn,” said DesChamps, who earned her GED and studied at North Seattle College before arriving at UW.

On Saturday, DesChamps was one of five local college students who shared their stories before a crowd of high school and college students at “How I Got Into College,” a storytelling event presented by Education Lab and the University of Washington Dream Project.

Most of the speakers, several of whom are first-generation students, emphasized persistence and finding good mentors and role models on the path to college. They said despite higher education’s costs, paying for college is the best debt you can have.

Teena Thach, a senior at Western Washington University, tells her story on stage at the University of Washington on Saturday.

Teena Thach, a senior at Western Washington University, tells her story on stage at the University of Washington on Saturday. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: higher education, storytellers, University of Washington

October 24, 2014 at 11:13 AM

Tell a story about how you got into college at our Nov. 15 Storytellers event

Bellevue College student Melody Salcedo speaks on stage at a previous Education Lab storytelling event. Photo by Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times

Bellevue College student Melody Salcedo speaks on stage at a previous Education Lab storytelling event. Photo by Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times

Do you have an interesting story to share about getting into college? Education Lab is recruiting current students and recent grads to share short, inspirational tales about how they made a successful transition to higher education.

Selected speakers will get coaching and appear at our Nov. 15 event, Storytellers: How I Got Into College, at the University of Washington.

To send us your pitch, call 206-464-2057 and tell us about an obstacle you overcame to get into college. Your recording should be no more than two minutes and include your full name, phone number and email address.

The deadline to call in your pitch is 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3. We will follow up with you by Thursday, Nov. 6, if we are interested in your story.

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Comments | More in News, Your voices | Topics: Dream Project, higher ed, storytellers

October 24, 2014 at 11:09 AM

How I Got Into College: Students will share stories Nov. 15

UW-Tacoma student Marcus Affleje shares his story at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Photo by Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times.

UW-Tacoma student Marcus Affleje shares his story at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Photo by Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times.

Are you a student dreaming of a degree but wondering how to get there? A parent wondering how to help your child get into college?

Education Lab is partnering with the University of Washington’s Dream Project to present Storytellers: How I Got Into College. The event is a revival of an inspiring Storytellers program we hosted last spring at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

This time around, the event will take place Saturday, Nov. 15, in Mary Gates Hall auditorium on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Current students and recent grads will deliver powerful individual stories on the theme: “How I overcame an obstacle to get into college.”

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Comments | More in News, Your voices | Topics: Dream Project, higher ed, storytellers

May 21, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Videos from Storytellers: How I Got Into College

Applying to and paying for college is a challenge for many students, but the five students who participated in Tuesday’s Storytellers event faced a unique set of obstacles.

From serious illness to language barriers and generational poverty, each student overcame significant challenges to make it to a college campus. Along the way, the power of education encouraged them to see themselves in a new light and reach even higher.

The storytelling event was designed to inspire local students to pursue higher education and connect them with people who can help them navigate the application process. Between speakers, emcee Rose McAleese presented information about college access and polled the audience on their thoughts about the college experience.

Counselors and volunteers were available after the program to answer questions about applying, getting financial aid and more. The event was a joint effort from The Seattle Times/Education Lab and the Road Map Project, an education nonprofit serving south King County.

The evening began with the story of Riley Germanis, a 21-year-old senior at Western Washington University. Germanis always intended to pursue a college education, but his plans became uncertain after his parents lost their business during the recession.

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Comments | More in Video | Topics: higher ed, Road Map Project, storytellers

May 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Photos: Students take to the stage for storytelling event

Five local college students took to the stage at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute on Tuesday evening to share their inspiring stories about overcoming obstacles to pursue higher education.

Dozens of community members attended the program, which was organized by Education Lab and the Road Map Project and emceed by local poet and filmmaker Rose McAleese. Between storytellers, the audience took part in several text-based polls about the college experience and their personal aspirations.

College access experts were also available after the program to answer questions and offer guidance.

Photos from the evening are posted below. Come back to the Education Lab blog later today for videos of the speakers telling their stories. (UPDATE: Videos of each story are available here.)

 

UW-Tacoma student Marcus Affleje shares his story at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Photo by Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times.

UW-Tacoma student Marcus Aflleje shares his story at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Photos by Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: higher ed, Road Map Project, storytellers