So Others Ascend Righteously
SOAR’s mission is to use writing for healing to honor the voices of people who have traditionally been unseen and unheard. With community partners, we create an intergenerational legacy of empowered individuals and communities to use their collective energy and creativity for social impact.
In an effort for SOAR’s founder, Kimberly Collins to bring her rambunctious 4th grade class to order, Ms Collins gave the class a writing prompt: “the bear went in the woods.” Ironically, a petite, shy girl named Kimberly wrote: “The bear went into the woods to his grandmother’s house to get a nickel bag. He left, ran out into the street, and got hit by a car.” Clearly, there was a lot going on in little Kimberly’s house and the space on the page provided her a way to gain meaning about her world.
Since that experience in 1992, Ms. Collins has been privy to stories from teen moms who shared about being raped all day, abused by their mother’s boyfriends, preyed upon by old men and disconnected from learning because they lack support; and young boys who wonder how to become men without first going to prison; foster care youth abused by a system that relegates them to a number and discounts their anxiety and depression, domestic violence survivors who needed to learn the difference between a fight and abuse and recovering addicts searching for the root of their addiction.
Ms. Collins' curriculum is designed to encompass art therapy models used in counseling centers throughout the country and is intentional in its approach to center the individual and the root of their trauma. Through Ms. Collins book, Choose You! SOAR teaches others how to access their come from place that holds the computer chip of their earliest memories that operate as negative triggers.
SOAR teaches others how to undress the layers of stories and traumas that weigh them down.
Through their poetry training wheels, participants learn how to put clothes on their words, how to hear their inner breath through meditation and how to create a safe sharing circle where they learn to claim their space is an integral part of the process. Participants are relieved of any past fears of writing through the interactive exercises where they can build a trust circle that also builds community.
SOAR has conducted workshops for various organizations in and around the Washington, DC metro area:
· Child and Family Services (CFS)
· Maya Angelou Youth Adult Literacy School
· Break Free Education for Incarcerated Youth
· D.C. Green Zone Environmental Program (GZEP)
· Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS)
· My Sister's Place, The House of Ruth women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence
· The Regional Addiction Prevention program (RAP)
· and Crossing the River a program for at risk women
· Teen-agers and teen moms through conducting workshops at St Ann's Infant Home
· APT (Arlington Parent Transition Center)
· North Carolina’s HIV Symposium for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.