Brielyn Flones, Dubai, UAE
My favorite classes at SPU focused on Middle Eastern literature and poetry. The authors and the stories they told introduced me to worlds and histories I'd never been exposed to before.
After graduation, I got a job in Dubai, UAE. I volunteered to lead a writers' workshop for expat students at a high school near my house. For five weeks we practiced writing and listening to stories. Students wrote about their life — memories of war, a political leader's death, the angst of teenage love.
Relating with these students through writing brought my education full circle. It reminded me why stories are sacred: in listening to them we begin to understand those outside our small, familiar world, and we are transformed.
— Brielyn Flones '08, writer