Self Confidence Through Story Telling

Abu is a returning Story Studio student. The artwork above is his self portrait, created in the first phase of the Story Studio program. Teaching Artist Brian Womack spoke with Abu’s teacher Mrs. Souers and the AP of ESL, Mrs. Lampert, about Abu’s growth over the last year and a half as a result of his participation in our Story Studio program.

From Mrs. Lampert: Abu is one of the only students from the Ivory Coast at John Adams HS. When he came to John Adams he felt he needed to act out to have friends since he didn’t speak the same language as the other students. He was a behavior problem in his classes. While working with Story Studio, Abu gained the confidence to be himself. He began taking part in after school activities and received many “rack’em ups” from his teachers. Rack’em ups are behavior incentives of the behavioral program (PBIS) used at JAHS. Abu became a student ambassador for PBIS and was able to articulate his experiences in the Ivory Coast through the Story Studio program in his ESL class. As Abu learned more English, he became a different student as he gained confidence through the program.

From his teacher, Mrs. Souers: The experience that Abu wrote about and performed in class was a very traumatic one that he had had in his native country. He and his family had to hide for a month because of political unrest that turned into civil war, and his uncle was killed. He told me that writing about it, discussing it with me, and then performing it not only helped him improve his English skills and self-confidence, but also provided him with the opportunity and support to work through some difficult feelings.

We are proud to support Abu on his journey to self confidence!