A group of students stand behind a table with stacks of the books they've written so they can sign them for the people in front of them.

Increased leadership skills, advocacy and awareness, and representation


Hours of Literacy Instruction and Community Engagement


LCI Students


Written pieces


  • Number of books published:10 (These books are available on and/or
    • Bull City YouthBuild:
      • Focus: Gateway to Success (2022)
      • See Unbroken Pieces Through the Shadows (2019)
      • Strong and Unbroken (2018)
      • Blueprints (2017)
    • Juntos NC:
      • The Voices of Our People: Nuestras Verdades (2019)
      • The Roots of Our People: From One World to Another — Juntos (2018)
    • CORRAL Riding Academy:
      • Growing at CORRAL: Our Stories of Empowerment and Transformation (2022)
      • Healing Starts with a Story (2021)
      • A Leg Up (2020)
    • Refugee Hope Partners:
      • Brave Histories & Hopeful Futures: Voices of a Refugee Community (2022)
  • Number of genres: More than 11 different genres including vignettes, poetry, memoirs, essays, letters and essay letters, collaborative pieces, reflections, blackout poems, autoethnography and interviews
  • Strengthened writing skills (Lee et al., 2021)
  • Increased confidence in writing (Lee et al., 2021)
  • Number of student-written products: 610+ and counting!


  • Number of students: 110+
  • Greater student engagement (Lee et al., 2021)
  • Active social and emotional learning and self-compassion (Donovan et al., in progress)
  • Greater connection to peers (Lee et al, 2021)
  • Improved relationships with program staff and teachers (Donovan et al., in progress)

LeadA group of students sit on tall chairs in a line at the front of a large room with an audience

  • Better understanding of peers (Lee & Schoonover, 2020) 
  • Strengthened advocacy skills (Lee et al,, 2021)
  • Greater understanding of community issues and challenges (Mann & Lee, 2022)
  • Increased critical awareness (Mann & Lee, 2022)
  • Greater confidence, self-esteem and self-determination (Donovan et al., in progress)
  • Strengthened speaking skills
  • Programmatic components:
    • Podcast (example) with #PassTheMicYouth (3 in progress)
    • Participation in Dessert with Democracy
  • Number of unique curricula developed by LCI: 8
    • Bull City YouthBuild: 5
    • Juntos NC: 2
    • CORRAL Riding Academy: 3
    • Refugee Hope Partners: 2
    • Overarching Theme Guide: 1

Audience Testimonials

  • “This reading made me feel proud to be a Latino and to hear that there are students expressing their feelings and thoughts for society to hear.
  • “Keep writing. Keep working. Keep dreaming. I loved your writing and hope one day everyone will be able to read it. Juntos somos fuertes.”
  • “Literacy is a vital necessity for people to function as citizens in the world, locally and beyond.”
  • “Literacy is crucial to understanding, across the board, many different cultures and societal norms. This understanding brings clarity and coherence within a community.”
  • “I am impressed with their commitment to the project the bravery it took to share their stories. They were all so well-spoken and their stories were thought-provoking.”

Two people hug each other after an LCI event. One is a man in a yellow short sleeved shirt. The other is a person with pink hair. A girl with light blonde hair stands at a podium in front of an audience in a large room with two screens on the wall