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Thank you all for believing we can write . . .

To all "Possibilitarians": I need to express my sincere gratitude to all that made possible the writing class at Los Angeles Mission. Writing helped my recovery in several ways, from depression, anger, frustration to hope, joy & perseverance. I appreciate from the bottom of my heart how I was helped to put on paper my feelings, fears and hopes. I learned tools to improve my writing and understand that once I place the pen on paper, I can create wonderful stories of hope and dreams I never thought possible. Thank you- from my mentors to all the ones working behind the scenes. Thank you for believing in us when no one else did. Thank you all for believing we can write.

Alejandra Anaya Page 2

(Giovani with hand in the air from last reading) “My mind developed from scattered thoughts to structured dreams and visions.� From the moment I walked in the classroom I felt a sense of belonging. I was welcomed in and began to feel as if what I had to share was worth something more, because it is. My mind developed from scattered thoughts to structured dreams and visions. I highly recommend the class to everyone as it is an incredible outlet that is full of self-discoveries, transformations and where writing becomes life and we learn tools to make dreams a reality. I gave myself a chance for healing to take place and for happiness to flourish through my creativity as a writer. The class was a blessing in my life. Thank you for making it possible. Page 3

61 Los Angeles Mission students 3 Graduation Performances & Book Signings 3 standing ovations 102 Published Pages of Work 1050 Audience Members

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For nearly a century, Western society has been dominated by a form of thinking and an approach to life that is narrowly reductive and deeply analytical. But that is changing. Thanks to globalization that is shipping work overseas and powerful technologies that are eliminating certain kinds of work altogether- we are entering a new age animated by a different form of thinking and a new approach to life. The “left brain” capabilities that powered the Information Age are necessary but no longer sufficient. The capabilities we once thought of as frivolous – the “right brain” qualities of inventiveness, creativity, joyfulness and meaning increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders. Page 5

We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computer like capabilities of the Information Age to an economy and a society built on the inventive, empathetic, big picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place - the Conceptual Age. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators, storytellers, pattern recognizers, inventors and big picture thinkers will now reap society’s riches rewards. Daniel Pink – A Whole New Mind __________________________________________________ Page 6

More than a Writing Class “There is a mechanism in our class called the “UP Tool kit” which is a variety of social skills, coping skills, inspirational wisdom, insight and motivation. I renamed it the “UP Weapons Arsenal” because it has destroyed so much negativity in my life. Like the atomic bomb it has

rocked my world for good, for good. I’m so grateful. Even other people are giving me a positive vibe these days. And I see and imagine and work for a whole different outcome than I’ve had until now. -

Badonna Jarvis

Page 8 Essential Soft Skills Our Program Provides:  Oral & Written Communication Skills  Storytelling  Public Speaking  Conceptual Thinking  Creative Problem solving  Thinking on Your Feet  Working as a Team  Promptness & Meeting Deadlines  Adaptability  Ability to Learn Quickly  Being of Service  Commitment  Respect for Colleagues  Performing Under Pressure  Goal Oriented Approach to Work  Leadership Skills

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“When I first entered the class I thought it was going to be a structured writing class about periods and commas. Boy was I wrong! I entered a world where there are no boundaries. Words are endless and enduring. It opened a whole new experience where nothing is impossible. The lessons I will cherish and apply for the rest of my life. Page 10 W. Michael Cos and Richard Alm of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas, examined ten years of employment data and discovered that the largest gains have been in jobs that require “People skills, emotional intelligence, imagination and creativity.” “The arrival of desktop computers and the automation of business processes, have heightened the value of two categories of human skills: Expert Thinking – solving new problems for which there are no routine solutions. And Complex Communication – persuading, explaining, and in other ways conveying a particular interpretation of information.” Frank Levy, MIT and Richard Murnane, Harvard University – Co-Authors of The New Division of Labor: How Computers are Creating the Next Job Market Page 11

CLASS THEMES 1. Part One: Class Intro & Expectations /Recognizing the Hero in You

Part Two: Inspiration Everywhere 2. Part One: Thoughts Are Things/Deep Breathing – Intro to Meditation Part two: Active Listening & Observation/ Students Interview Each Other 3. Part One: Alchemizing the Lessons in Failure/Work, Integrity & Commitment Part Two: The Elasticity of Experience 4. Part One: Releasing Your Negative Story/Forgiveness Part Two: Holding On Is Holding You Back 5. Part One: Examining Your Assets/Creating A Vision for Your Life Part Two: Your Weight in Gold 6. Part One: SMART Goals & Plans Part Two: Painting a Picture of Potential 7. Improv/Thinking On Your Feet with The Geffen Playhouse 8. Theatre Pre-show Discussion & Evening at the Geffen Playhouse 9. Part One: Giving & Service /Connecting to new Possibilities Part Two: Marrying Your Dream 10. Part One: Perseverance/Going From Good To Great Part Two: The Next Journey 11. Rehearsals: Stage & Presentation Preparation 12. Graduation: Public Reading & Book Signing Event

Page 12 Our Partners – The Geffen Playhouse

Michael Shain

At the beginning of the class, Michael would write just a few words and stop. We celebrated when he worked up to a sentence – then the floodgates opened and the beauty of his voice came pouring through --in volumes.

Michael Shain “Through this class, I have built a magic mirror of words. It does not tell me that I am the fairest in the land, but it does not tell me that I am not the fairest, either. It has enabled me to see myself past, present, and future all in one image. I have illuminated the dark corners of my past through the bright light of my future to see my present. I am not what I was. And I am not yet what I will be. But I am becoming more amazing than I ever thought possible. Thank you for a life changing experience that I will always cherish.” 

Thank You for teaching me that my thoughts become words and that my words become actions in the world

Thank You for teaching me how to stop those negative thoughts from overpowering me and how to replace them with positive ones

Thank You for teaching me to tune into everything I see and hear, to collect seeds that will grow my soul

Thank You for teaching me that crisis and fear are really courage and opportunity and that I should embrace them as friends and not shun them as enemies

Thank You for making me aware of the worlds of words at my disposal and that I am a word millionaire

Thank You for teaching me about the Elasticity of Experience in life and that nothing should be understood in only one way

Thank You for showing me that I was the one who caged my heart and that all along I had the key to unlock it and set it free

Thank You for teaching me to honor my voice, to speak to my tribe, to tell my story and set someone else free

Thank You for Courage

Thank You for Integrity

Thank You for Honor

Thank You for Commitment

Thank You for making Tuesday afternoons special

Thank You for validating my humanity

Thank You for teaching me to listen to the voices in my head and the songs in my heart

Thank You for helping me to see myself as a goal-getter and not as a wishful dreamer

Thank You for the generous way in which you shared your time and spirit

Thank You for being inspiring

Thank You for teaching me that obstacles are overcome, that nothing lasts

Thank You for teaching me to expect great things from myself

Thank You for teaching me to write with all 5 of my senses

Thank You for opening my floodgates

Thank You for teaching me to get out of my way

Thank You for success, the feeling of accomplishment

Thank You for the chocolates

But most of all, thank you for showing me how to see the amazing in others

Qiana Williams Amazing I’ve held on Turmoil, strife and inconceivable hurt Kick me when I’m down I’ll get back up Perfection is out of my reach But I’m still struggling Pushing for that shot at attaining my goal I must hold on Break me down Tear me up piece by piece by piece Shatter me into a million shards of tainted glass But I won’t be broken for long My spirit is too strong My heart too full of love I will not be shaken I will not be moved You will not get the best of me Because the best has yet to come



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