Today is my last day at the Portland Public Library.
May 15 2010 at the Grand Reopening of the Portland Public Library
Three years ago we came to Maine as a trio and now we leave as a quartet. We’re heading to the South, somewhere just three years we thought we’d never call home, but now we’re proud to be moving to such a forward thinking city full of awesome people doing great things. Here we go.
I have learned a lot here in Maine and will always look back at my time and the people I surrounded myself with very fondly. I had some major ups and major downs, but I wouldn’t change a thing. From these moments and situations, I’ve grown as a person and I feel better equipped to handle life and everything that comes my way.
Thank you Portland, ME, specifically the teens, members of the community, and the folks that I worked with at the Portland Public Library. I have nothing but love and respect for each and every one of you. I know I use the word community a lot on this blog but I don’t think I really understood the true power of community until I lived in this town. The way that I’ve seen this town come together has shown me that no matter what, if we work together towards a common goal, we will get there. My heart goes out to so many people that I’ll forget to mention a few but I’ll try: Tim Spalding and his family, Jan Kendrick, The West End Neighborhood Association, The Rowe Family, The Schuitt Family, Leza Gough, Kirsten Cappy and Mark Mattos, Michael Whittaker and Michelle Zichella, Justin Busque, Abraham Schechter, Michelle Souliere and so many others…you know who you are.
Posted in Family, Libraries, Life In Chattanooga, Life in Portland Maine, TN, Travel
Tagged Aero Hoenke, Chattanooga, Expanding, Family, Finn Hoenke, Growing, Haley Hoenke, Justin Hoenke, Librarian, Libraries, Library, Life, Love, Maine, ME, Moving, Portland, Tennessee, TN
Eight months ago I told you all about THE WHOLE WORLD WAITING, which is a film by David Meikeljohn, Sonya Tomlinson, and The Telling Room featuring fifteen teenagers from the Portland, ME area. Today, I’m here to share the finished film with you…and isn’t it great! It’s so wonderful to see so many of the teens that come through the library every day sharing their story.
Thanks to everyone who supported the filmakers, the teens, and The Telling Room via their Kickstarter page
Information about the project:
Young Writers & Leaders (YWL) is a free, afterschool literary arts program for teenaged refugee and immigrant English Language Learners. The program runs for nine months each year, engaging each student in weekly afterschool sessions that provide unparalleled opportunities to work directly with some of Maine’s best writers and artists, creative writing and arts programming and job skills and leadership training.
YWL is offered in partnership with Portland, Deering, and Casco Bay High Schools, and has served teens from Haiti, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Sudan and Kenya, improving their writing skills, academic performance, social and emotional wellbeing, and their chances of future success.
Teaching artist Sonya Tomlinson and filmmaker David Meiklejohn created The Whole World Waiting to showcase all fifteen students from The Telling Room’s Young Writers & Leaders program (2011-2012) in three-minute segments. Each story tackles the myths of America told from the perspective of immigrant and refugee youth.
Posted in Libraries, Life in Portland, Life in Portland Maine, Teens
Tagged Afghanistan, arts, Congo, film, Haiti, immigrant, Iraq, Librarian, Libraries, Library, Maine, ME, Portland, Rwanda, Somalia, Sontiago, Stories, Story, storytelling, Teen, teens, The Telling Room, Uganda, YA, young adults, Youth