Erin Gruwell chose to become a teacher who believed in change. She believes that no matter where a student grows up, what type of atmosphere he or she grows up in, or what his or her background consists of, each and every student has the opportunity to decide what the future will hold. Instead of becoming involved with a gang, being a victim of gang-related violence, or falling between the cracks in the system, Gruwell encourages her students to take charge of their own lives by writing their own stories. These stories became the bestselling “The Freedom Writers Diary,” the inspiration for “Freedom Writers,” a 2007 drama staring two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank as Gruwell.
For Christina, telling your own story is among the most compelling forms of storytelling. By asking her students to tell their own stories, Gruwell allowed 150 young men and women from broken homes and violent backgrounds to feel the emotion behind something we hold very dear to our hearts at Canright – everyone has a story to tell and should be encouraged to tell it.