Meet the Founders

 Tre Carolina

img_1694You can call me Tre (pronounced Tr-aye). I am majoring in Journalism at Metro State University. I founded the Writing Center because I am committed to helping my peers build confidence and skills as writers. As a writer, I take pride in my ability to persuade readers to see a new perspective or open their mind to a new world view. I believe dialogue has the power to help you find the answer yourself and take your writing and thinking to the next level.

Nancy Chavez

img_1686I attend the University of Colorado at Denver studying Biology. I am also a new mom to a beautiful baby boy, Amir Emiliano. I have always been very academically involved, especially when it comes to presenting or performing a piece of writing. I have always had a love of writing; specifically writing and sharing the stories of people who have historically been silenced. I write to inspire and empower others. I write as a form of advocacy. My poetry has been featured on local radio stations and I am often asked to share my writing at school events and assemblies. As a writer, I know that finding your voice through writing takes time and I want to help others strengthen their writing skills through dialogue and collaboration. I believe writing is a way to build community and find a common ground. Being a strong writer truly changed my life. This is why I founded the Writing Center at Manual High School: to share my love of writing with other students and to help other students at Manual to discover the power being a strong writer gives you.

Munira Cox-Woolfolk

img_1695Wassup, I attend Metro State University. In the beginning of my high school career, I was not all that thrilled about writing or school in general. My grades were awful and I felt like school wasn’t relevant or interesting. After my freshmen year, I switched schools and started going to Manual. When I first got to Manual, I decided I was not going to let anything distract me from my education. I was in Ms. Jones’ American Literature class and at the start of the year we read literature that explored the American Dream. In that class, we were pushed to learn how our writing could amplify our voices, which was especially important because as minorities our voices are regularly silenced. I realized that year that I could use my writing to influence change in my community and learned how to effectively use rhetorical strategies to give my writing voice and power. I am a Writing Center founder because I want to help others discover that same power.

 

Dulce Gonzalez

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I am currently a Sophomore at Metro State University studying Biology. Perhaps the most challenging and rewarding chapter of my academic experience was taking AP English Language and Composition my junior year. This class challenged me to see writing as a form of power. While spoken word can be temporary, written word gives your voice permanence. Becoming a strong writer gave me the power I needed to be a leader and challenge my marginalization as a young woman of color. I’m a Writing Center Founder because I like to contribute my time and dedication to help my peers become confident and proficient writers who reclaim their voices and influence positive change in their community. In other words, my main reason for becoming a founder is to work with my peers and ensure all students feel empowered, confident, and capable of sharing their thoughts and emotions through writing.

Carlos Hernandez-Tovar

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I am a Sophomore at Colorado State University, studying Political Science. During my freshman year of high school, I discovered a passion for writing because I realized it was not only a way to express my feelings, but it gave me agency. The skills I developed in writing allowed me to change the breakfast options here at Manual when I expressed my opinion in emails to district officials. I knew from that moment that writing gave me power. Every year since then, I chose to take the hardest writing class that the school offered, which were usually AP or honors classes, because I wanted to push my thinking and become the best writer I could. I wanted to share some of the skills I learned in these classes with others, and try to help share the passion for writing I found.

Jose Herrera

img_1689I am a Sophomore at Metro State University majoring in Construction Management. I enjoy learning and am passionate about helping others and my community. Writing did not come naturally to me, but over the years I have enrolled in many challenging English courses, like Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition during my junior year. This course supported me in developing the skills in rhetoric I needed to empower myself and those around me.

Mardale Jay

img_1698My name is Mardale Jay. Since attending Manual, I’ve grown a true passion for writing because writing has allowed for me to express my voice. The first time I had a chance to express my voice was when I presented a poem I wrote at CU Boulder as a sophomore. This was the first time I truly believed that I had a voice, and since then I’ve continue to create change using my writing skills. As founder of the Writing Center, I was able to help my peers find their voices and express it to the best of their ability. I want my peers to be able to say that the Writing Center has not only helped them to become better writers, but also strong empowered leaders. I always wanted to help my peers, school and community. My skills in writing go beyond the classroom. I love to write poetry, songs and other forms of art on my free time. I love music, sports, and Hip-Hop. I enjoy learning new things that push me to think critically on a deeper level, which I then transform into art. I hope to leave a legacy at Manual, and also hope that I inspire you to do the same before you leave high school.

 

Savanna Jones

img_2081I am studying Social Work and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies with a minor in Spanish at Texas Christian University. Outside of school, I am a full time big sister to four younger siblings. My favorite academic subject is, and always has been, writing. Writing has given me a voice. I frequently use writing as a way to fight against injustice, and to address issues in my community. As a Writing Center Founder, I am determined to leave a legacy on the East Side by ensuring all students have the advantage we need to reclaim agency in our lives and our world.

Guadalupe Lujan-Ruiz

img_1697I am a Sophomore majoring in Social Work at Metro State University. Honestly, I used to hate writing. I always thought of writing as something I had to force myself to do in order to pass a class with a good grade. After engaging more with writing, I finally realized that it can be so much more. I grew up with a fear of public speaking, and so I often allowed my voice to go unheard. My fear prevented me from using my voice to advocate for issues I care about, even in critical times. However, through the Writing Center I discovered that writing could be my voice and give me a way to influence change. I am a Writing Center Founder because I want everyone to discover their own voice through writing.

Dajia Maestas

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I am a new mom to a beautiful son, Matthew Isaiah Maestas. I’ve loved writing since I was little. When I was a kid, I would write stories for fun. Writing was an outlet for me to be creative and use my imagination. Then, when I started having to write in school it became about grades. Writing quickly became something I didn’t care for because I felt like I no longer had the freedom to decide and what to write about and how I wanted to sound. However, at Manual, my passion for writing was reinvigorated when I had teachers who gave some of that freedom back. Writing has afforded me many new opportunities– like sharing my political opinion on local radio stations and standing up against gentrification at a community meeting. These experiences taught me that writing was my voice and my voice was powerful enough to influence real change. Becoming a Writing Center Founder gave me the opportunity to help my peers realize that writing is their voice and no one can take that away from you.

Isabelle Rayburn

img_1683My name is Isabelle have always enjoyed being a student leader. I am a Manual High School alum, and I am now studying Journalism with minors in Creative Writing and Music at Colorado State University. Also at CSU, I am on the Arts and Culture desk for the Rocky Mountain Collegiate.Throughout my high school career, I challenged myself by taking Honors and AP writing classes. In those classes, I have done countless peer revision workshops and have become very experienced in giving feedback that is both constructive and supportive. In my AP English Language and Composition class as a junior, I wrote over 30  essays and put together a writing portfolio which documented my growth and skills as a writer. This portfolio helped me become a better writer and I want to share these skills with my peers as a writing coach at Manual.

Christiana Rodriguez

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I currently attend the Community College of Denver and will receive my associates degree in the Spring of 2019. After that, I will further my education at a university in Business Management. My passion for writing started when I was really young, and it has only grown stronger since creating the writing center with my peers. I found a way to use writing as my voice to fight against injustices that I face as a minority student, and my biggest goal is to show the younger generation of students that writing is powerful and it can change the world.

Ariana Villalovos-Estrada

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Hi! My name is Ariana Villalovos and I am a 2016 Manual graduate. My experience in high school was a really unique one. I started freshman year not knowing a single person but four years later I graduated with peers and teachers who still remain my closest friends. At Manual, I was heavily involved in JROTC all 4 years, all thanks to First Sergeant. Junior year was my favorite year because it was when I had the opportunity to share my writing  with large audiences and use my writing to solve issues in my community; it was also the first year I had Ms. Jones as a teacher, which is primarily why I say it was my favorite year. During my senior year, I took high school classes and college classes at the same time (it was pretty stressful, to be honest) but I still managed to graduate as Valedictorian. *Fun fact: Long before the Writing Center was created, Ms. Jones and I worked on my Valedictorian speech the night before graduation until 11pm!* Now, I attend the Community College of Denver, where I am pursing a career in Education. You might have seen me previously walking down the halls and have questioned, “Why is she here? Didn’t she already graduate?” Even though I no longer attend Manual, I decided to come back and become an intern in the Writing Center. As a writing coach and intern, I hope to help as many students possible bring out their “inner voices” and express themselves through writing. I believe that we all have a powerful voice which can be used to influence the change we want to see in society. However, it takes practice and confidence to use that voice to be heard loudly and clearly. Although I am in college, I am no smarter than any of the peer tutors in the Writing Center. I do, however, have more school experience and I want to share what I have learned so far so that you and everyone else can be prepared for upcoming years! I am in the Writing Center every Friday, from when school starts to when school ends (and even after). So if you ever need help writing an essay or simply need help doing an “About, face,” don’t hesitate to approach me!

LaShae Wedgeworth

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I’m Lashae Wedgeworth, but you can call me Shay or Shay-Shay. I now attend the University of Northern Colorado to study Nursing.

Olivia Jones

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I was an English teacher at Manual High School and in my fourth year there, I worked with this group of brilliant students to create the Writing Center. Every day I was moved by the power, beauty, and potential of humankind. The founders taught me that education should never be isolated by abstract curriculum or limited by the four walls of a classroom; instead it should be driven by students and connected to the larger world. Together, we worked to create a space where young people use writing to resist and transform persistent structures of privilege and oppression.