Class of 2016 Year of Service

Stella Binion

Midwest

Stella’s goal for her service project was to create space for young black girls to write poetry in safe and nurturing ways and to find empowerment and self-love through developing their poetic voice. She partnered with the theater company Black Girls (Can) Fly, and with the group of eight girls between seven and thirteen, they wrote about “how beautiful our bodies are, our love for our hair, the super powers we wish we had, and what our ideal communities would like and how we can help make them that way.”

Maya Eashwaran

Southeast

Maya Eashwaran titled her community service project “Poetry Across Generations,” for which she conducted multiple poetry workshops in partnership with WonderRoot community arts organization (for kids of all ages); Milton Library (for elementary school kids); Girl Scouts at Sweet Apple Park (for middle school girls); Hopewell Middle School (for middle school kids); Sandy Springs Library (for elementary school kids); and again with Milton Library (for adult library staff).

Gopal Raman

Southwest

Partnering with the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center in his hometown of Dallas, TX, Gopal conducted multiple workshops at his favorite local museums with middle- and high-school students in his community. He developed lesson plans for his workshops that emphasized and explored the important connection between visual art and poetry.

Joey Reisberg

Northeast

Joey’s love of his hometown of Baltimore, MD, led him to plan and implement a city-wide reading for his community service project, in conjunction with the Baltimore Book Festival, in order to encourage self-expression and show that poetry is accessible to everyone who has a personal story to tell. Joey partnered with CityLit to bring this celebration of Baltimore Poetry to life, including a reading of classic Baltimore poetry and an open mic for upcoming Baltimore talent.

Maya Salameh

West

Maya Salameh’s community service project focused on second-generation youth exploring and sharing their identity through the creation of origin poems. She partnered with Izcali, a Chicano youth arts group, to implement her identity-based poetry workshops. The project has continued past her year of service, as she has designed readings for her workshop students, for which she has also led multiple performance practice sessions in advance of their public reading.