“Will Richey’s ability to connect and to speak the language of his audience is his strong point.  In what takes many of us days to connect with teens, Will is able to share about himself, learn about others and have everyone share meaningful and private feelings in minutes.  Quiet secret thoughts suddenly become loud, boisterous anthems as teens share aloud their experiences and perspectives.”

Erin Offord, Community Specialist, Big Thought

 

We had the opportunity to have Will Richey come and speak to our 6th graders.  Will's spoken word performance was both fresh and inspiring.  He is passionate about working with children of all ages and has the ability to connect with so many kids.  Our students were on the edge of their seats, eager to hear each of Will's pieces.  We have never seen anybody perform with such enthusiasm and passion.

Kristen Spain, Library Media Specialist, Dowell Middle School, McKinney ISD

 

“Spoken Word is an amazing program we have on our campus. I’ve seen kids come out of their shells, build their language skills, and find passion in their writing. It’s a great program for children of all backgrounds to express themselves and bond with other kids that enjoy writing and speaking out. Will Richey’s passion for self-expression and love of children makes Journeyman Ink, LLC a valuable and fun experience for all that participate!!”

Christy Garza, Counselor, Austin Middle School, Irving ISD

 

"I have collaborated with Will and Journeyman Ink in an applied educational program involving youth, media, and storytelling. Will engages young people through the power of his art and skill as an educator. He is able to touch the hearts and minds of youth, empowering them to engage the world as agents of personal and collective change."

Mariela Nunez-Janes, PhD, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Co-Director Ethnic Studies Minor, University of North Texas

 

"Thank you for your inspiring workshop with my students on March 29, 2010.  All of my students, whether on my campus by choice or because of discipline, had positive feedback to share after your presentation.  My team and I saw students engage and share in ways that we haven't been able to provide the opportunity for in the past.  Not one student had anything negative to say and that is a first with our demographic.

My students have and will take the seeds you have planted and incorporate the skills and ideas in positive ways to better themselves and their circumstances.  An added bonus for my teachers is that you gave them some ideas to incorporate in their own classes.  You were able to show them how to allow students to really be open and share, in a controlled environment, about all kinds of subject matter.  I think many educators are scared of crossing the line and afraid to open discussions to really relate to the students' experiences and you did that in a very professional way.

You used many best teaching practices and were experts at refocusing students, who are experts at not engaging and focusing.  You told them what they were going to do, had them do it and then told them what they did and why.  You provided literature and historical examples that made the students think and want to know more.  You were encouraging and allowed the stdents to have fun, but think outside the box.  you related to all ethnicities in a respectful manner.  The variety of tools you used, from music to video, to the white board, to meet the different learning styles were perfect.  You would have received an exemplary rating in the teaching profession."

Ron-Marie Johnson, Principal, Coppell ISD Education Annex Compass Academy DAEP

 

"I'd like to thank you once again for the amazing performance you put on for everyone at Lively Elementary. It was educational, entertaining and inspirational. I particularly loved the way the show ended, with a beautiful reminder to the audience that we are all love and light. It was wonderful to see all the children so engaged in such a positive message. Our students were delighted with a presentation that they will remember for years to come. Best of all, they were educated about special elements of the African American culture in a meaningful and memorable way."

Zinab Elhagrasey, 3rd Grade Bilingual Teacher, M.C. Lively Elementary, Irving ISD

 

Will Richey and the artists working with him at Journeyman Ink played a vital role in the creation of DaVerse Lounge, an exciting community program that provided a mic and audience for young poets in North Texas. No one can energize a group of young people like Will Richey. His commitment to spoken word, local artists and the future generations is beyond comparison. The success of DaVerse and the positive influence it had on those who participated would not have happened without Will. 

Jessamyn Berger, Dallas Theater Center

 

Spoken Word has been a great inspiration to participating students.  Students have been able to express themselves freely and share their pieces with their peers, teachers, and parents.   

Last year, I witnessed how a couple of students who were extremely shy and would have probably not felt at ease sharing in front of others were excitedly sharing their pieces in front of a big audience during Starry Night Cafe.  Even our ESL population has benefited from this great program.  One of my former students, who is now in high school and came from a very limited English background, was very inspired by Will and through that inspiration he wrote a wonderful piece. 

I am grateful to have someone as talented, patient and kind as Will come over to Austin Middle School and inspire our population.  Students always look forward to Tuesdays to attend Spoken Word.  Hopefully, we can continue having Will in our lives! 

San Juanita Castillo, Counselor, Austin Middle School

 

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Journeyman Ink for four years in our 21st Century afterschool programs.  Will and his employees are the epitome of professionalism & preparation, and the creativity and inspiration they bring to our students is unmatched.  Although the Spoken Word program has been implemented at all school levels, it is definitely not a “one-size fits all” model. Instruction is individualized so that it caters to students’ ages and interests.   What truly makes the program successful is that the content knowledge the Journeyman Ink staff brings is coupled with their ability to connect with children, a pivotal first step in making an impact on young lives.

Our students have soared academically, socially, and emotionally thanks to the Journeyman Ink programs, and our afterschool sites look forward to continued work with the organization.

Gabrelle Dickson, Project Director – 21st Century Grant, Irving ISD