The Official Blog of The Ohio Union Activities Board

The Teacher Behind Great Minds

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On February 5th, OUAB is proud to present educator, writer, and foundational leader Erin Gruwell to the First Midwest Bank Conference Theatre in the Ohio Union. Gruwell is an accomplished Californian who sought more value out of her career than #GruwellOSUdollars and cents. After answering the call of helping shape young peoples’ lives as an educator, Gruwell found her way into an underprivileged high school in Long Beach, California. Her very first day, she was hit with a tough realization that her students had absolutely no interest in listening to her, let alone learning from her. Through continued persistence and dedication, she found small victories each and every day with her students. Finally she had a breakthrough with her students, and because of her influence, every one of them graduated high school, and the majority of them made the grades to go to college. Her influence wasn’t just felt by those students though. She worked for her students and had their stories turned into a New York Times Bestseller, as well as the movie “Freedom Writers”.

After five years with Woodrow Wilson High School, she took her teachings to a bigger stage at California State: Long Beach, and now runs her foundation, Freedom Writers Foundation. Through her foundation, Erin works to train educators and empower students effecting both sides of the classroom in a positive manner. Because of her foundation, scholarships are awarded to first-generation college students, high school dropout rates are decreasing, and students across the country are finding their passion and purpose, just as Erin had twenty-one short years ago.

Make sure to come out to OUAB’s event and become inspired by her story, so you can start writing your own.


-Billy Brown, Human Nutrition Major, Concerts Committee


Author: OUAB

The mission of the Ohio Union Activities Board as the student programming organization at The Ohio State University is to provide diverse programs and events that are educational, entertaining, and thought provoking for the students of the Columbus campus.

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