How a Writing Program Commended by the White House Is Giving Immigrant and Refugee Teens a Powerful Voice

Ibrahim Shkara, a 19-year-old Iraqi refugee living in Portland, Maine was at the White House recently to receive an award from First Lady Michelle Obama on behalf of the Telling Room. The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities recognized the nonprofit writing center for its effectiveness in promoting writing and life skills to migrant teens by engaging them in its creative youth development program, Young Writers & Leaders.

Excerpt from an article by Erin Callahan in AlterNet- read more


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I am a retired psychologist now writing freelance . I have published Commonsense Wisdom for Everyday Life, Young Man of the Cloth, The Pastor's Inferno, Navigating Life: Commonsense Reflections for the Voyage, Release Your Stress and Reclaim Your Life, and Make the Best of Your Teen Years. I wrote a newspaper column in Batavia, NY for fourteen years. My articles are now available in my free newsletter, Sliding Otter News. Subscribe free at

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