250 Newport Center Drive, Suite 202
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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Erin Gruwell

Revolutionary Educator; Catalyst for Social Change; Founder of The Freedom Writers Foundation
FEE RANGE: $10,000–$15,000 [FEE NOTE]
TRAVELS FROM: California
Nothing could have prepared Erin Gruwell for her first day of teaching at Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif. Erin landed her first job in Room 203, only to discover many of her students had been written off by the education system and deemed “unteachable.” As teenagers living in a racially divided urban community, they were already hardened by first-hand exposure to gang violence, juvenile detention, and drugs. By fostering an educational philosophy that valued and promoted diversity, she transformed her students’ lives, encouraging them to rethink rigid beliefs about themselves and others, to reconsider daily decisions, and to rechart their futures. With her steadfast support, her students shattered stereotypes to become curious learners, aspiring college students, and citizens for change. They even dubbed themselves the “Freedom Writers” – in homage to civil rights activists “The Freedom Riders” – and published a book. In 2007, Paramount Pictures produced the movie "Freedom Writers" which was based on her story.

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