Making an Impact in the Community


At Words Alive, our mission is to open opportunities for life success by inspiring a commitment to reading. Since 1999, we have set our sites on improving literacy in San Diego County and giving children the tools they need to become great readers.

This past June, Words Alive awarded $30,000 in scholarships to 11 outstanding former Adolescent Book Group participants with our Westreich Scholarship Program. The award recipients were invited to join us at our 13th Annual Author's Luncheon on October 19th. Diana Gonzalez Soto, one of the scholarship recipients and luncheon attendees, posted on social media about how the event and Jodi Picoult's conversation resonated with her.

I did not expect the author of Small Great Things to be so blunt about race and racism while being aware of her privilege in being white. I am happy I was able to hear her opinion on the topic of race, as she mentioned most white people don’t like to discuss that topic...I love that she mentioned that she didn’t write this book for people like me (people of color), we don’t need to be told of this, we live it! #bookschangelives

During the author Q&A, Jodi Picoult mentioned that our book shelves are a reflection of ourselves and our world. She encouraged everyone in attendance to go home and take a look at the authors they read. What is the color of their skin? What is their economic background? Are they similar to us, or different? We tend to surround ourselves with people who look like us and come from similar backgrounds, but imagine the possibilities if we embraced those who are different! By choosing to read about the experiences of those who are different from us, we can expand our knowledge and have a better understanding of the world around us. Soto's reflection reminds us that we can find common ground with anyone, even those who appear to live very different lives from our own. 

Words Alive strives to bridge this gap and create opportunities for different groups to come together in collaboration. We want to build stronger readers, life-long learners, and encourage children and teens to be a voice of change within their communities.

I am fortunate enough to be part of this organization that is helping me in many aspects of my life, most importantly in my desire and need to continue a higher education.
— Diana Gonzalez Soto