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DHS Senior Wins Top Telling Room Prize

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DHS Senior Wins Top Telling Room Prize
Posted on 11/23/2021
This is the image for the news article titled DHS Senior Wins Top Telling Room Prize

Deering High School senior Leaticia Hannah is the Telling Room’s 2021 Founders Prize recipient!

The Founders Prize is awarded annually by the three founders of The Telling Room, Susan Conley, Sara Corbett, and Michael Paterniti, to the author of the best piece of writing to come out of a Telling Room program. Leaticia won for “The Samosa Story,” her heartfelt biographical story about growing up through many challenges and hardships that she wrote as a participant in The Telling Room’s Young Writers & Leaders program.

Leaticia was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and grew up in Kinshasa. As a teenager, she moved to Luanda, Angola, where she went to the French school. After an arduous months-long journey, her family arrived in Portland and Leaticia is now a Deering student, where she also is a member of the Make It Happen! college-readiness program.

Telling Room co-founder Sara Corbett explained why Leaticia’s story stood out. “What I love about “The Samosa Story” is how it shows Leaticia’s ability to find a big story inside a small story, and vice versa. This story tells us about a small comfort—a young person’s ability to give her family a small gift in the form of a platter of samosas on a holiday—while taking her readers through her own growth and hardships. It’s a beautiful story about making it through hard times with grace and good humor. Leaticia is a gifted storyteller and a warm and wonderful person!”

Another co-founder,  Susan Conley, said, “We are so happy to shine  light on “The Samosa Story” for its beautiful, lucid prose. Its steady tension and vivid cinema. Its honest, direct voice. Its overarching structure uses the samosas as a frame for the whole piece in a sense. We were all very deeply moved by this piece and we are in real admiration of all that this story succeeds at. The reader feels they have been invited to travel far with the narrator and learned so much about dislocation and great fear and hunger and longing. What an honor for the reader.”

Leaticia is the oldest sister in her family and an adventurous traveler. Her goal is to go as far with her education as she can, and she dreams of being a lawyer and an author so she can speak for people who don’t have a voice.

The Telling Room is a Portland-based literary arts education organization focused on young writers ages 6 to 18. It is dedicated to empowering youth through writing and sharing their voices with the world.  The Telling Room seeks to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for its students and believes that the power of creative expression can change communities and prepare youth for success both now and in the future.

Learn more
about The Founder’s Prize and read “The Samosa Story.” Leaticia’s award-winning piece has been published in “No Time for Rehearsing”, an anthology of writings from students in The Telling Room’s Young Writers & Leaders program.

PHOTO: 2021 Founders Prize winner Leaticia Hannah holds her certificate up in The Telling Room beside No Time for Rehearsing, the book her award-winning piece was published in after writing it in The Telling Room’s Young Writers & Leaders program.