Meet LitWorld Teen Advocate, Grace Cen

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This summer as an LTA, I met a group of other young, career-oriented girls of color. During our time at LitWorld, we learned about the gift of literacy. I think we, as Americans who receive a free education, tend to take literacy for granted. Even in society, it is often overshadowed by the sciences. But literacy is essential. It is the means of communication and connection between say me, a Chinese-American high-school sophomore, and a teenager in Kenya, someone who may have a totally different lifestyle. Being able to read and write also allows access to career opportunities. So the fact that 2/3 of the world's illiterate population is women and girls shows the continual social and financial segregation. Being an LTA to me means helping to close this social gap. From a very young age, I have grown up in an environment that highly values education. And through my parents’ continual efforts to learn English and the education system, I feel like I've been able to more fully integrate into my community. I'm extremely thankful and hope to allow others to do the same through LitWorld.

During the internship, LTAs learned about LitWorld’s goal of spreading literacy. We also helped organize a LitFest. We prepared various activities and went to a branch of the NYPL to try and engage with the kids firsthand. I think all the LTAs hope to continue forward with LitWorld, to try and change the world with stories.