Story Works Alaska
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.
Why We Do It:
We were founded to share the growing energy around storytelling in our community with the young people in our schools. And we continue to grow in response to the power of the young people and their stories. Our workshops offer young people and teachers a chance to receive additional support from community volunteers while constructing meaning through stories. They also offer schools and communities a way to value, support, and listen to the voices of young people.
Where We Are:
As of 2022, our in-person workshops have occurred primarily in the communities of Anchorage and Unalakleet, Alaska. However, our Story and College Essay lessons and materials have been used by educators across the state. Our physical location is in Bartlett High School (1101 Golden Bear Dr., Anchorage, Alaska), home of the Golden Bears. Go Bartlett Bears! We also host free College Essay Workshops on evenings and weekends at our office and with community partners such as Bartlett High School, the Anchorage Museum, TRIO/Upward Bound, and CIRI. Youth leaders working with Story Works also meet outside of school to plan events, produce podcasts, and manage other projects. If you are
a current or recent high school student or interested in joining SAYiT (the Story Works Alaska Youth Team), becoming a Story Circles Facilitator, or participating in Anti-racism work with
Youth4Change please message us on Instagram (@storyworksak) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who We Are:
Since Story Works began (way back in February 2014), over 4,500 high school students (and a handful of middle school students) have participated in our workshops. These students include Anchorage-area students from West, East, Service, Bartlett, Dimond, Eagle River, Steller, Polaris, and S.A.V.E. High Schools along with students in grades 8-12 in the community of Unalakleet, Alaska. Although participants have the choice to opt out (and write an essay or share to a small group), most choose to share their stories aloud –with volunteers, teachers, and each other. Stories have been shared
in classrooms, in hallways, in stairwells, and on school stages. And even beyond school walls, at Arctic Entries events –in front of audiences of up to 1,500 people– and at other community-wide events. Story Works student storytellers from Anchorage’s West and Dimond High Schools have also been featured on the Alaska Teen Media Institute’s youth radio show, “In Other News.”