With a Microphone and a Leap of Faith …

In the summer of 2018, a group of middle schoolers bravely stepped up to a mic, one by one, to share a diverse range of lived experiences in front of their peers, all of whom were listening with open hearts. It was our first Wildling workshop and it inspired us to keep going.

While the core of what we do in each Wildling workshop stays the same, the experience is uniquely guided by the group of storytellers participating.  We carefully select a team of Story Coaches to plan lessons using exercises from our Jambook to scaffold the process of story development and presentation. Every workshop culminates in a Story Jam, when we gather around the mic to share in front of an audience of peers (and sometimes special guests). It’s part of our specialty.

“I really like our jambooks. They’re really creative and have fun prompts. I learned a lot of new stuff. It was something that was different but I’m glad that I did it!”

                                                 —Jo, Wildling Participant

“I learned a lot of things about myself and a lot of things about other people. I like how everyone has the chance to express themselves and what they’re feeling and how they’re doing. The Story Jam is just one of the most awesome things in the world!… If there are 30 more Jams, I’ll do them all!” 

                                                 —Ryan, Wildling Participant

The BBBV [Brown But Black Voices] was truly transformational for myself and I know for the young girls. Being able to share space with black women and girls and sharing our stories and experiences that bring us together and ones that make us unique and individuals was a breath of fresh air.

- Khadijah Lamah, Story Coach, Teacher at Northeast College Prep

“Participating in the Wildling Story Booth program truly impacted me so much and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of it... I was never given a chance to unpack how hard times of Covid were for me fully, and being a part of the story booth gave me that chance.

- Grace, Wildling Participant

“Thirteen 5th to 8th graders, including my own, faced a room filled with family and friends. Each shared their dreams, fears, accomplishments, and defining moments. They were amazing. And most importantly, they were heard.”

- Jayne Haugen Olson, Parent, Editor at Mpls. St. Paul magazine