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To succeed in life and in the workforce, children and adults need more than traditional academic skills. They need skills in communication, collaboration, and problem solving, which are learned while accessing our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program. During program development and testing, we saw that there was a gap between the skills that students were learning and the skills that they needed.

It became obvious to us, that traditional learning was failing to empower students with the knowledge they need to thrive -not only in life, but in real time. A World Economic Forum report New Vision for Education: Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Through Technology confirms this.

When students and adults engage Writing for the Soul Workshop™ in its fullest capacity, here is a list of our program’s Outcomes and Indicators:

Communication Skills
 Effective expression of thoughts and feelings
 Increased assertiveness in social context

Life Skills
 Improved resilience
 Increased planning skills, time management, resourcefulness and realistic goal setting
 Increased accountability and/or sense of personal responsibility
 Increased sense of purpose and self-direction
 Regulate and manage emotions
 Expanded global and cultural awareness

Leadership and Civic Engagement
 Increased ability and interest to lead others or activities
 Increased awareness of issues that impact life and community
 Increased action and engagement on specific issues affecting life and community

Improved Relationships
 Increased ability to work with others to accomplish goals
 Increased ability to work with diverse individuals and groups
 More positive interaction with peers
 More positive interaction with peers

Increased Positive Behavior
 Increased violence prevention and reduced juvenile crime
 Reduced or no incidence of illegal behavior
 Reduced or no gang activity

Prepared for Higher Education and Employment
 Increased knowledge of college choices
 Increased awareness of and interest in careers and employment pathways
 Increased demonstration of job readiness skills
 Increased digital and media literacy

Does your school, nonprofit, church or state agency serve the youth or young adult population? Do you need a Trauma Informed Approach for your chlid, or program participants? Then consider adding our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program as a viable component to what you already have in place. Give us a call at (682) 235-TGIM (8446) or email us at info@tgimonline.us to learn how we can customize our program for you.

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Getting what's on the inside ...out.


To tell the truth, me and my siblings were in foster care for a year and a few months. Our foster-mother was very hard on us, and she cared for no one but herself. We wasn’t eating right, and we had no freedom at all. She was spending our check on herself, making sure she had everything she wanted. Do you want to know how we ended up in foster care? Keep reading. I’m going to tell you how it all started.

We were staying with our grandma because my mother was always locked up, or in some type of trouble. My grandma had us in school, and she was taking good care of us. That is, until my mom got out of jail. She came to my grandma's house and took us away. All of us except my big sister. My big sister didn’t like our mother, she was like our grandma's child. When she took us away from my grandmother, we were living in different hotels everyday. We didn’t go to school for months , and we was struggling bad.

One day, my mother left us in the hotel by ourselves. She went to our church, and tried to burn it down because she knew my grandma was in there. The police arrested her before she did. My mother called my big cousin, and sent her to watch us at the hotel. My cousin didn’t have no money and no food. She had nothing. She didn’t know how to raise us. She just had my mother's car, and we slept in the car for a few nights. One day, my cousin went by my daddy's house and asked him for some money for us. He gave her some money, and she bought us a little food and another hotel. She started taking us back to school. My big sister would tell my grandma everyday that she seen us at school, so my grandma and aunt would drive up there to try to get us after school everyday. My cousin started to realize that and we'd missed school for 3 months.

My cousin couldn’t take it no more and finally took us to our grandma's house. My grandma was happy to see us, but she was very disappointed in my cousin and my mother. My grandma got us back in school. Everybody at school was asking where we had been at. Caseworkers would come up to the school to ask me and my twin brother Ricardo “Rico” questions. We were smart, and knew what DHS was all about. They's ask us questions about my mama like, "Did she smoke around you?" Even though she did do a lot, we told them that she wasn’t doing anything. When they got to questioning my big sister, she told them everything because she didn’t like our mother. She didn’t know any better. At the time, she was 8 and we were 6 or 7-years-old.

In The System

The next day while at school, we got checked out early by women I'd never seen before. I was looking at the ID’s around their necks and it said 'DHS'. I knew we were getting taken away. The women took us to a shelter where all foster kids stay until they find them somewhere to live. We stayed there for 3 months. Then, we stayed with this women for a whole year. It was just me, my big sister and Rico. My little sister and brother were separated from us, but we got to see them every Tuesday at visitation. Foster care was like hell to us. I just answered your question from the beginning, now keep reading if you want to know what went down while we were in the system.

We disliked our foster-mother. She made us wear the same clothes everyday, eat a hot dog once a day, and we never left the house besides to go to school. Our case worker asked us was she doing us right, but we were so scared to snitch on her cause she was so mean. My mother was just getting out when we went into foster car. When it came to visitation my mother, grandma and aunt always showed up -even though they disliked my mother. They always brought us game systems, put a little money in our pocket and brought us snacks. Our foster-mother would always take our game systems. We had no TV, and we couldn’t eat candy. It was just hell. Come to find out, my mother gave up her rights to us so it was getting hard. My uncle had to buy a big house for all of us and he did. My uncle adopted all 5 of us. We was all so happy. But when we got home, our case worker specifically told us we couldn’t be around our mother and we understood.

My mother was still on drugs and she ended up coming around when we came home. Still to this day, she don’t want nobody in our family having her kids. So she would threaten everyone. When we got out, we all disliked our mother for putting us through that. My mother is locked up right now, but even without her it’s still hell going on.

Generational Curse

My big sister is now following in our mother's footsteps. My sister just got out of juvenile last week. My sister started off running away in the middle of the night to be laid up with different dudes. She’d be gone for weeks. The police could never find her. She comes back when she feels like it. My grandma don’t want to go through the same stuff she went through with my mother, so she just let her do what she want. Instead, she focuses on us.

Last month my sister and some guys broke into my room. They had been spying on me through my window. See, I had a curtain to cover up my window, but you could see through the sides of it if it's not covered up good. Anyways, they was spying on me through the window, waiting until I left the room. I left my room for a good minute around 2:00 AM, when my door ended up locked. It was very weird to me, because I didn’t lock my door. I woke my grandma up, and when she unlocked the door my room was torn up. I know it was my sister because she knew the code to the case over my game system. I know some dudes helped her raise the window up, because it was very heavy.

My sister dropped out of school around that time, and she was wanted. The police finally picked her up a few weeks ago while she was walking. She did a lot this year. She hit my grandma and got charged. Last week during court, my grandma dropped all her charges and let her come home. I feel like my grandma is being too nice, because this girl done stole her credit cards and all. My sister claims that she is pregnant, but is telling everybody that she had an abortion. She just got out and she’s still doing lot of lying. I dislike her a lot and I don’t trust her at all, but like they say everyone deserves a second chance.

I feel like this writing program has given me a chance in life. One day, I will be a mother. My children will NEVER go through the hell that I've been through. The generational curse in my family ends with me.

My Impact To Help Fund our Programs

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"Raniya (pictured kneeling in the center to the left), and her teammates posed for photos with 'Fashionably Yours' while promoting our books at the Ladies Room Holiday Sales Event."

My name is Raniya, and I'm a student at McClellan Magnet High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. When I joined Writing for the Soul Workshop™, I simply wanted to share my story to encourage kids that may be going through what I've been through. But when I was selected for the Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Internship Program, I realized that I could do so much more to help them.

As an intern here at Writing for the Soul Workshop™, I’m learning skills in sales that will give me an edge in the career that I choose later in life. But the best part of my job is giving away copies of books published by our writing program. Every donation I secure, or sale I make means that one of my peers will get life-saving books for free.

Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non‐profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Writing for the Soul Workshop™ are tax‐deductible to the extent permitted by law. You can support our work by clicking on the "Donate Today" button to make a one-time contribution.

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This National Mentoring Month, we're proud to recognize Christina Hune (Pictured above) as a mentor that is making an impact. Since 2015, she has worked tirelessly in our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program to raise awareness about the pain that bullying causes individuals with disabilities. As a mentor, she has helped others to share their story and as a result -enjoy the mental freedom that comes with getting what's on the inside ...out.

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It's National Mentoring Month, and we're proud to recognize Latasha Williams as a mentor that is making an impact. Latasha was first exposed to our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program by Bishop Leotis J. Jones, Sr. at her church. When she noticed the program's impact with her children, Latasha registered as a mentor with us, completed Mentor Training and has even facilitated her very first Writing for the Soul Workshop™!

Latasha not only mentors youth in her community, she travels to Little Rock to help female students in our program promote Writing for the Soul Workshop™ books at events to earn extra money. Those book sales are key source funding that allow us to continue to offer our writing program at no cost to students.

Pictured below, is a photo of Latasha after recieving her Certificate for Successful Completion of Mentor Training at a vendor event in Little Rock last year.

"Latasha, as creator of Writing for the Soul Workshop™ I want you to know that I appreciate you." -Eric Jones, TGIM CEO

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BECOME A MENTOR

Mentors are what makes Writing for the Soul Workshop™ so successful. The Mentor to Participant relationship strengthens the engagement that participants have with the Workshop, and can also help facilitators better understand what motivates our participants.

Training is required for Mentors because it outlines the way you should interact with our participants. While “mentor” is a specific role within our program’s structure, the mentor training outlines what a responsible mentoring relationship looks like, and how their unique role and relationship with workshop participants strengthens the overall success of the workshop. Click here to register.

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We are proud to recognize Donald Dorch as a mentor that is making an impact. Donald is founder of Kingdom Boxing & Youth Outreach in Fort Worth, Texas and a program provider of our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program. As a mentor, he has impacted the lives of hundreds of youth in his community. Here's what one of his mentees said about him:

Donald has not only impacted youth in Fort Worth, but in Summer 2017 he traveled to Arkansas and hosted a Writing for the Soul Workshop™ Expo for youth living in Marianna. The stories he collected during the program are published in the This Thing Called Life. It is the first book in the Life Inside The Ring series.

You can learn more about Donald and his work at www.kingdomboxing.org. Donald, as creator of Writing for the Soul Workshop™ I want you to know that I appreciate you. -Eric Jones, TGIM CEO

Become a Mentor

Mentors are what makes Writing for the Soul Workshop™ so successful. The Mentor to Participant relationship strengthens the engagement that participants have with the Workshop, and can also help facilitators better understand what motivates our participants.

Training is required for Mentors because it outlines the way you should interact with our participants. While “mentor” is a specific role within our program’s structure, the mentor training outlines what a responsible mentoring relationship looks like, and how their unique role and relationship with workshop participants strengthens the overall success of the workshop. Click here to register.

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Congratulations to our top earning book sellers for 2017! Sykyla and Jakyia Williams are sisters, and they access our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ in Moro, Arkansas at New Life Ministries. Sykyla’s story is featured in our book entitled ‘This Thing Called Life: Life Inside the Ring‘, and Jakyia’s story is featured in ‘The Bully Diaries: Suffering In Silence‘.

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Many people have asked what was my inspiration for writing Fire Light Fire Bright. I guess I would have to say, the Vietnam War. I lost some close friends there and I wanted to write this book as a tribute.

I originally planned for the Vietnam Veteran to be the main character and, of course, be the hero. However, as I began writing, my characters developed minds of their own, and they sort of took over. My vet was pushed to the background, and Dodge, the sheriff, moved front and center. I started putting in hints to make the readers suspect that the vet was the bad guy. Then to really muddy the waters, my mind did a complete reverse and I decided I really would make him turn out to be the guilty party. Then, I changed my mind again.

I seesawed back and forth throughout the entire writing process. To tell you the truth, I wasn't positive who was going to be the one, until I wrote the final chapter. ***Spoiler Alert*** Nope, not going to do it. You'll have to read the book to see if he turns out to be the good guy or the bad guy. :)

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A 16-year-old girl is arrested for shoplifting. A 17 year boy is arrested for selling drugs at school. Most of us hear statistics like that, and just shake our heads at the poor choices young people today make just to have some fun. But what if it was survival, and not fun? What if they felt they had no other choice? Across the globe, youth unemployment has become an epidemic. As people around the world continue to feel the impact of economic issues, and cling to any job they can get, the youth that would normally fill entry-level positions have fewer and fewer options for employment.

As noted by the Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment 2013, there are 1.2 billion youth in the world aged 15 to 24. They comprise 17% of the world’s population and 40% of the world’s unemployed. In 2010, 357.7 million youth were not in education, employment or training (NEET), and the number is increasing. Jeffrey A. Joerres, chief executive officer of Manpower (MAN), a temporary-services firm with offices in 82 countries and territories, adds, “Youth unemployment will clearly be the epidemic of this next decade unless we get on it right away. You can’t throw in the towel on this.”

While most of us don’t consider youth unemployment to be a major social issue, Peter Coy of Bloomberg Business Week talks about the potential impacts of this global epidemic, saying “But the failure to launch has serious consequences for society—as Egypt’s Mubarak and Tunisia’s overthrown President, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, discovered. So did Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who in 2009 dispatched baton-wielding police against youths protesting his disputed reelection.” Coy goes on to point out that “ for the young jobless, enforced leisure can be agony. Musa Salhi, the Spanish soccer player, says, “I feel bored all the time, especially in the mornings. My parents really need and want me to start working.” In Belfast, Northern Ireland, 19-year-old Declan Mac­guire says he applied for 15 jobs in the past three weeks and heard nothing back. “I would consider emigrating, but I don’t even have the money to do that. It is so demoralizing.”

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Students work online after school to earn while they learn.

At TGIM Digital Publishing, we’re doing more than just talking about the youth jobless rate. We’re impacting those numbers by offering students ages 15-24 years old an opportunity at an internship with us. And we challenge other companies, schools, churches and Non-Profits to evaluate how they can impact this rising problem by partnering with us.

The experience that students get as an intern with us increases their ability to land their first job in a tough market. Through our Paid High School Internship Program, students make accomplishments they can be proud of while earning money selling books written by their peers attending our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ program. Here are some of the benefits for students:

1. Learn Content Marketing

2. Learn eMail Marketing

3. Learn Social Media Marketing

4. Access to S.C.O.R.E. Mentoring Program

5. Job Skills for a Career in Sales

The more individual companies strive to find creative ways for youth to earn income, the better outlook for our growing youth population. The lack of traditional jobs available for youth stops being a problem when we all work to redefine that traditional job market, and show our support for youth taking positive steps to impact their future. Want to know how you can join our Internship Program, or partner with us? Contact Us today at (682) 235-8446. TGIM Digital Publishing is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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No one wants to think that their tax money is being “wasted” through inefficient programs and bloated government agencies. Making the government “efficient” sounds like a noble goal. Creating a new generation of jobless youth with fewer resources to learn marketable skills is the true result of the current proposed budget. As reported by the Atlantic “The 2018 budget details around $500 million in cuts for the department (of Labor), which likely means that programs for disadvantaged workers, including seniors, youths, and those with disabilities, would be reduced or completely eliminated. The Senior Community Service Employment Program, training grants at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and technical-assistance grants at the Office of Disability Employment Policy would all disappear. Job-training centers for disadvantaged children would be shuttered and funding for more general job-training and employment services would move from the federal budget to states.”

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Can you imagine what it would be like to grow up in an area of armed conflict? How it might feel as a child to deal with a constant threat of death, the stress of being surrounded by violence and loss?

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What if I told you that almost one in four children in the United States today are in home situations just that stressful? That almost 50% of our children will experience at least one adverse childhood experience that impacts their ability to learn? Children that have these experiences have higher risks of long-term diseases, such as diabetes, depression, asthma and high blood pressure due to the impacts of stress hormones on developing bodies. It isn’t hard to understand that children in a constant stressful situation have higher rat...

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