Words Alive provides essential literacy services to San Diego County's teenagers in junior high school to college through our flagship Adolescent Book Group and the Westreich Scholarship program. Partnering with the San Diego County Office of Education, the Juvenile Court & Community Schools and several local colleges and universities, Words Alive opens opportunities for underserved teens to realize academic and social success.

Adolescent Book Group

The Words Alive Adolescent Book Group program serves teenagers in alternative community schools, most of whom have experienced extraordinary circumstances such as violence, pregnancy and homelessness. Trained Words Alive facilitators lead book discussions, writing workshops and hands-on projects to bring books alive! Through these engaging sessions centered on contemporary and diverse texts, participants enhance their self-esteem, abilities to express themselves, critical thinking skills and literary analysis while relating books to themselves and the world.

Westreich Scholarship

The Words Alive Westreich Scholarship was founded by philanthropist Ruth Westreich and aims to support Adolescent Book Group graduates as they work to achieve their higher education goals. In addition to a financial award, which can be used to cover living expenses, the program pairs recipients with a mentor. Through the mentorship, students have support navigating the college landscape from a career professional, gain assistance in accessing academic and community resources, learn relationship-building skills, and more often than not, have a friend with a shoulder to lean on. The WAWS program also offers personal and professional development opportunities through workshops on financial literacy, resume building, job interviewing skills, time management and more.