From Me to We

(In-Schools Program)

Apr 10,2012, 10:20 AM - 11:45 AM @ John O'Connell High School

Dear 826 Valencia tutors,


We are all very pleased to be working with 826 Valencia tutors again here at John O'Connell High School.

The project you will be working with our 11th grade students on is called “From Me to We.”  It is a variation on the classic “autobiographical narrative” – in this version, rather than focusing on an incident that had personal significance to them, students tell a story that illustrates the characteristics of a group they are a member of, intended for an audience of people who are not members of that group. Their personal essays aim to illuminate something surprising or important about their group that others might not know or understand, and thus to increase understanding across difference.

Before writing, we will start our unit by reading “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, “The Men We Carry in our Minds” by Scott Russell Sanders, and “Just Walk on By” by Brent Staples, each an example of a personal essay similar to those the students will write.


Having worked with 826’s volunteers before, I know the deep level of commitment and the competency you all bring to our students. They will be in very good hands throughout this process, and you will share our tremendous privilege in working with some of the most remarkable and resilient young people you will ever meet. Thank you in advance for the hard and rewarding work you are about to undertake.


Best regards,



Kelley Leathers, Gabe Zwettler, and Vanessa Siino Haack

The 826 Valencia staff contact for this in-schools project is Lauren. You may reach her at or (415) 642-5905 x 207.

Grade: 11

2355 Folsom Street, 94110