We will be performing maintenance on the site on Wednesday, June 29th between 9-11pm PST. We apologize for any inconvenience during this time.

Youth's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Here, There and Everywhere

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Seattle, WA

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 8

  • ON DVD:

YOUTH SPEAKS

Arts-In-Education Organization

“Believe that where you have come you have gotten there not necessarily on your own but that you've made it possible for yourself.”

INTERESTS:

Non-Profit Organizations Writing

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Exploration Conflict Doubt Risk

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

TAGS:

artist, believe in yourself, literary arts, meditation, music, non-profit organization, parents, poet, poetry, psychology, self-made-woman, spoken word, teacher, teaching, There Is No Road Map, There Is No Roadmap, writing, Youth Speaks

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Kirya Traber, Talia Taylor, Chinaka Hodge, and Lauren Whitehead are mentors at nonprofit Youth Speaks.
  • Their goal is to empower young people to use their voices in whatever way they see fit, and to define their own destinies.
  • Each of these leading presenters of the spoken word arts and education programs at Youth Speaks got there in their own unique ways.
  • Kirya started writing when she was very young, but she'd grown up with a struggling artist mother, so she always wanted to find a "real job."
  • Eventually she realized that the six years she'd spent writing poetry could transform into her real job.
  • Lauren had to reconcile chasing what she loved-which was poetry-with meeting her family's expectations of her.
  • She always struggled with whether or not her art was "legitimate" if she didn't have her MFA, or wasn't making a comfortable salary.
  • Today, Lauren has confidence in her poetry, and she encourages all of her 16-year-old students to say, "I'm awesome, and nobody can tell me different."

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)