Pongo's Writing Mentors
Pongo's writing mentors are the most caring and intelligent people and wonderful colleagues. They are the individuals who work directly with distressed youth, to facilitate personal poetry and to serve as containers for the teens' painful stories. They have humor and big hearts. They are writers, teachers, and therapists (usually serving in two or three of these roles in the community). We call these mentors the Pongoites. Their names are listed at the bottom of this page.
And to represent this community, here are articles by and about some of them:
Ann Teplick - The Quieter We Become, The More We Are Able to Hear
Adrienne Johanson - Loss: A Shape-Shifter
Eli Hastings - Reckoning with Loss Through Writing
Vanessa Hooper - The Colors of Their Lives
Shaun McMichael - Riding in My Own Canoe to Find a Dream
Mike Hickey - Mike
Alex Russell - Approaching the Trauma, Not the Crime
Pongo's project leaders over the years have included: Ann Teplick, Adrienne Johanson, Eli Hastings, Vanessa Hooper, Emily Holt, Emily Caris, Jefferson Rose, Martha Linehan, Dana Elkun, and Leslie Bourgoin.
Pongoites (Pongo volunteers), including Adrienne Johanson, Alex Russell, Alexanne Madison, Alli Smith, Amani Carithers, Ann Teplick, Anni Armas Mahoney, Ashley Skartvedt, Becky Sherman, Brittany Dennison, Carol Goth, Carol Thompson, Charlene Cuhaciyan, Corey Teasdell, Dana Elkun, Daniel Gotkin, Danielle Bryce, Eli Hastings, Elizabeth Koontz, Ellen Bloom, Emily Caris, Emily Happy, Emily Holt, Erin McCormick, Fred Nollan, Frederick Bryan, Gayle Wilde, Gemlene Schaudies, Gina Bettica, Hayley Elrod, Jasleena Grewal, Jaspar Lepak, Jean Gant, Jean Lenihan, Jeanne Hopkins, Jeff Maggioli, Jeff Rose, Joanne Conger, Johan Grimsrud, Jonah Shallies, Kara Weiss, Kate O’Kelley, Katelyn Durst, Kathleen Levine, Katie Jaeger, Kevin Jones, Kiana Davis, Leslie Bourgoin, Lisa Madelle Bottomley, Lisette Austin, Lynn Zhao, Mark Johnson, Martha Linehan, Mary Coleman, Matt Atwood, Melissa McBain, Michael Ortiz, Mike Hickey, Miral Luka, Natalie Singer-Velush, Nathaniel Orwiler, Paul Rathgeb, Phaedra Pascoe, Rebecca Richards-Diop, Reggie Anthony, Ron Rivard, Ross Cole, Samantha Krejcik, Samantha Leeds, Sandra Scannell, Sara Jones, Shaun McMichael, Shira Hasson-Schiff, Spencer Wahlstrom, Stephanie Ramos, Tesmer Atsbeha, Urvasi Graham, Vanessa Hooper, Victor Opalia and others who participated in our six-month training and volunteer experience at juvenile detention, CSTC, and other sites.