On April 20, 2016, Roland Legiardi-Laura, a documentary filmmaker, poet, educator and founder of Power Poetry passed away. The following is a brief message from him about the mission and vision of the To Be Heard Foundation that will be carrying on his work:
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The FoundationThe To Be Heard Foundation was founded to empower youth through mastery of literacy. We define the four components of literacy as: Reading, Writing, Public Speaking, and Active Listening. Toward this end we have two programs: Power Writers and Power Poetry.
Power WritersA boots-on-the-ground program, started in 2002. Power Writers has directly served more than:
- 1000 high school students.
- Over 90% have graduated HS
- 85% have gone on to college.
- Of this group who entered college 99% have either graduated or are currently on the path to graduation.
- In addition, our students have won nearly $3 million in scholarships (including 11 posse scholarships and a Peabody award.)
- Among the colleges our students have attended are: Brandeis, Sarah Lawrence, Bard, Wheaton, Hampshire, Lafayette, Lehman, Morris, Hunter and graduate schools such as University of Arizona and Princeton.
Power PoetryLaunched in the spring of 2012, Power Poetry is the world’s largest mobile/online poetry community for youth. Power Poetry provides its young writers the opportunity to share their work globally, participate in scholarship slams, and take advantage of our resource guides, poetry glossary, and writing tip guides.
- Over a quarter million registered poets and poems from all 50 states and 175 countries.
- Over 19 scholarships awarded to young poets to date.
- Over 200k monthly active users turn to the site as a resource.