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As part of her RJI Fellowship, Tad Bartimus, an award-winning journalist and founder of Talk Story, Write Story, successfully launched her one-on-one writing mentorship project in Missouri. The program, which started in Hana, Hawaii, in 1998, has led to the mentoring of hundreds of financially disadvantaged high school students and has helped dozens of those students in Alaska and Hawaii – and now Missouri – write winning college scholarship essays. 
 
During the 2015-2016 school year, 10 seniors from David H. Hickman High School in Columbia were paired with volunteer mentors, including local journalists and journalism educators, who coached the students as they wrote college entrance and scholarship essays. The students cumulatively earned more than $700,000 in scholarship awards and acceptances from 25 institutions of higher education. 
 
Bartimus and her husband, Dean Wariner, used the Columbia project to create a Talk Story, Write Story template so more communities can help their local youth. 

For more information about sponsoring Talk Story, Write Story in your community, please contact Melody Bezenek at the Missouri Press Foundation through email at mbezenek@socket.net or by calling 573-449-4167.

Tad Bartimus  
 
Residential fellow

Stories about Talk Story, Write Story: Tad Bartimus fellowship project 2015–2016

  • An honor that ‘brings my life full circle’

    RJI in the news
    An honor that ‘brings my life full circle’
    June 30, 2016

    RJI Fellow Tad Bartimus will soon be inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame
  • Talk Story, Write Story demonstration project is a success story

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Talk Story, Write Story demonstration project is a success story
    June 21, 2016

    Tad Bartimus used her RJI Fellowship this year to test her hunch that trained volunteers could successfully help financially challenged high school students write their way into college scholarships.
  • The path to college starts with just one caring person

    Talk Story, Write Story
    The path to college starts with just one caring person
    June 21, 2016

    While James Sterling was busy wasting away his life, he had an English teacher who thought he had some talent and might make something of himself as a writer. She suggested that his state university had a pretty good journalism school.
  • AP’s Kia Breaux passionate about helping young people pursue college dreams

    Talk Story, Write Story
    AP’s Kia Breaux passionate about helping young people pursue college dreams
    June 21, 2016

    “I am the end result of the Talk Story, Write Story program’s mission,” said Kia Breaux, Midwest Regional Director of The Associated Press based in her hometown of Kansas City.
  • Developing storytellers strengthens community

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Developing storytellers strengthens community
    May 1, 2016

    Journalism should strengthen the communities it serves and help the members of those communities lead better lives. This brings me to Talk Story, Write Story. That’s where Tad Bartimus and Dean Wariner come in.
  • Volunteers and community newspaper boost local teens’ chances of winning college scholarships

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Volunteers and community newspaper boost local teens’ chances of winning college scholarships
    February 3, 2016

    Tad Bartimus' Talk Story, Write Story demonstration project has achieved one of its two goals: 10 generous-spirited Columbia volunteer writing coaches enhanced 10 financially challenged multicultural students’ chances of winning college scholarships.
  • Tad’s tender trap

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Tad’s tender trap
    May 3, 2016

    Tad Bartimus has a way of getting you tangled up in her universe. You say “yes” to some little request, and next thing you know you are helping to save the world.
  • Missouri high schoolers in Talk Story, Write Story offered more than $700,000 in scholarships

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Missouri high schoolers in Talk Story, Write Story offered more than $700,000 in scholarships
    May 1, 2016

    Talk Story, Write Story had never before used volunteer coaches to work one-on-one with students to win scholarships. The program began without name or direction 18 years ago in my 80 percent Native Hawaiian community of Hana, Hawaii.
  • Program fits nicely with schools’ focus on access

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Program fits nicely with schools’ focus on access
    May 1, 2016

    In the Columbia Public Schools, we believe our students are our kids. We believe every one of our kids is entitled to A.E.O. — Achievement, Enrichment, and Opportunity. Three simple words, and each one denotes access.
  • The possibilities are endless

    Talk Story, Write Story
    The possibilities are endless
    May 1, 2016

    Looking back on this academic year, I am most proud of my time with the Talk Story, Write Story program. I knew it was going to be a huge inaugural undertaking but had no idea how much this scholarship effort would consume my life.
  • #BoulderBuffaloBoy

    Talk Story, Write Story
    #BoulderBuffaloBoy
    May 1, 2016

    After starting my senior year by surviving a brutal home invasion and seeing the same faces at school for the 12th year in a row, I decided it was time for a change of scenery.
  • Excerpts from students’ reflective essays

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Excerpts from students’ reflective essays
    May 1, 2016

    “Overall, the experience of completing eight essays brought new connections and incredible people into my life, but, most important, it made me open up about my life and myself.”
  • Excerpts from mentors’ reflective essays

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Excerpts from mentors’ reflective essays
    May 1, 2016

    "I have signed on to be co-leader of Talk Story, Write Story’s mentoring program at Hickman High School next fall because I spent this year watching the scholarship writing project provide the opportunity of hope."
  • Where I’m from

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Where I’m from
    May 1, 2016

    I’m from the age of the birth of hip-hop. Crisp Adidas, shell toes with long white crew socks.
  • Community collaboration key to successful launch of Talk Story, Write Story in Missouri

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Community collaboration key to successful launch of Talk Story, Write Story in Missouri
    November 13, 2015

    Returning to Columbia, Missouri, after half a century, what I didn’t expect was the ease of reconnecting with a community that still feels accessible to newcomers and welcoming to new ideas.
  • Talk Story, Write Story helps financially disadvantaged children write their way into college

    Talk Story, Write Story
    Talk Story, Write Story helps financially disadvantaged children write their way into college
    August 25, 2015

    Talk Story, Write Story is a two-verb, one-noun description of all human communication. Talk came first, writing followed, turning all of us into storytellers regardless of the delivery system.

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