I never knew how much sharing a short part of my life would lead to connecting with many people in the community. I also never met any other community as welcoming and encouraging as the people involved in Story Works.-Program Alum
Story Works supports youth voices through storytelling and writing workshops that develop skills, build resilience, and increase access to opportunity. We believe in the importance of listening, the protective value of connection, and the power of stories to foster wellness for individuals and communities.
What & Why
Story Works’ school-based and out-of-school programs offer young people and educators safe, trauma-informed opportunities to build connections while listening to and learning from each other.
The people behind Story Works include current participants, program alums (now more than 3,000 strong), board, staff, Teaching Fellows, co-founders, 100+ volunteer Story Coaches, 15 partner-teachers, 11 schools, and partners at more than 20 organizations. Additionally, a wonderful team of funding organizations and individual donors also help support Story Works’ mission.
Where & When (in-person)
Story Works first launched at West Anchorage High School in February 2014. Since then, our in-person programs have occurred in the communities of Anchorage and Unalakleet, Alaska. And our Storytelling and College Admissions Essay Curricula have been used in learning environments from New York to Texas.
Our office is now located at beautiful Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska. But we are committed to working both in and outside of schools, sharing and listening to stories wherever programs take us: libraries, a greenhouse, a Church of Love (and art!), theaters big and small, and now, online too.
Where & When (online)
In spring 2020, Story Works programs moved online to support COVID-19-related public health efforts:
- Online Story Circles launched in March 2020 through a partnership with the Alaska Humanities Forum. Facilitated by a team of recent Story Works alums, Story Circles have now reached more than 500 participants from across Alaska and the U.S.
- Online Story Workshops and College Admissions Essay Workshops continue to serve young people in Alaska.
- SAYiT (the Story Works Alaska Youth Team) recently released Slice of Joy, their first podcast recorded entirely online.
- Youth4Change, a program founded in summer 2020, hosts a weekly gathering for BIPOC youth and supports online conversations around systemic racism (particularly in the school system) and organizing on issues faced by young BIPOC members of the community.
What participants are saying
From my experience, I have become a better public speaker [and] I learned how to be patient with others and how important it is to let others tell their story in their own way.-Program Alum
Story Works is something truly special. I love that it gives teens a chance to open up to their peers and teachers in a safe space…
Sharing stories like this brings a classroom together and allows students to understand their peers …and better connect to each other.-Program Alum
The interactions that I have seen between students and [Story Works] Teaching Fellows is phenomenal and completely different than what I can bring as a teacher. I have seen trust, admiration, wisdom, and empathy flow between storytellers…-Partner Teacher
If you’d like to ask questions, share feedback, or sign up to learn more about Story Works Alaska, please use the form below.
And welcome! We look forward to connecting with you.