Christina's Freedom Writers Dream

The Freedom Writer's Foundation was founded by Erin Gruwell, the teacher that the movie "Freedom Writers" was made about. I have been trying for years to get accepted into this program and I finally did! I am very excited for this awesome opportunity. Here is a link to the website if you would like to know more about it: I am overjoyed and blessed for this honor of being selected to participate in this program. I know it will definitely enrich and add to my 16 years educational experience. I look forward to working with you to attain this goal. I am so close to experiencing this dream of attending this prestigious institute at the end of July.  I am only $3,000 away to cover the 5 days of workshops, curriculum, hotel, meals, and year-round support as a Freedom Writer Teacher.  My goal is to attend the session July 28-August 1st.

     When first hearing Ms. Gruwell speak at El Paso’s Region 19’s 2011 summer conference, I connected with her passion for students, teachers, and education. I connected with the students she spoke about as well.  I too was an at-risk student growing up.  I discovered that I was pregnant as a freshman in high school, and I was told by a teacher that I would end up “barefoot and pregnant” and just be another statistic.  Those hurtful words still strike a chord with me today.  Although a heartbreaking moment for me as a terrified and confused child, this moment also empowered me to strive to prove this “prophecy” wrong and make something of myself.  This moment is what encouraged me to become an educator.  I committed to become a teacher who would love her students, and be their biggest encourager and supporter.  The Freedom Writers Institute would help add to my commitment to my students and help better myself as an educator, in turn to then better the lives of my students.

                I believe the Freedom Writers Institute would help me further build relationships with colleagues that have similar teaching beliefs and goals that will, in turn, help the advancement of students.  We, as educators, have the responsibility to collaborate and learn from one another in order to achieve student success.  I believe it is very important to build positive personal relationships with students as well.  These connections with kids is invaluable to a student’s academic achievement.  If the Freedom Writer’s movie is any indication of the power of a teacher’s words to motivate, inspire, and build connections, I can only imagine what the Freedom Writer’s Institute will entail.  I am very excited to learn from Master teachers and learn the pedagogy that Ms. Gruwell used in her teaching.
     I very much appreciate your help!


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Christy Castanos 
El Paso, TX
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