Hi, my name is Geoffrey Gevalt
I am a writer, editor, father, husband, explorer and digital nut. I am always looking for something new. I find it hard to say no. And I have more stories than even I realize.
I grew up in a tiny town in the mountains where everyone knew everything about everybody. I was not Geoff, I was "Aren't you Doc's youngest?" I was. My Dad was a doctor who made house calls, even though he had polio, an affliction we shared.
For my formative 33 years of life I was a journalist, mostly with newspapers, where I learned from some of the nation's best. I am lucky. We won lots of awards. We changed some laws and put some folks into prison. It was fun. And always interesting. It saddens me every single day that newspapers have become so irrelevant and the corporate bean counters did such a splendid job of ruining these fine franchises. That said, I persist as an analog reader of the crinkly, inky New York Times most every day. Thank you NYT.
Now I run Young Writers Project, a web-centered nonprofit that has worked with thousands of youths and teachers since we were started by the Vermont Business Roundtable in 2006. Why would a bunch of CEOs fund me for two years to start this project? Because each one of them know who's the best writer in their companies and colleges. And they know that because they know how important it is to be able to write well.
I'm in my 10th year of this, my latest, obsession. I tire of trying to raise money all the time, but I do not tire of engaging and helping and affirming young people. As Dirty Harry might have put it, "They make my day." I am blessed. I have lured, tricked, cajoled a small group of passionate people to work with me. They're amazing. They stun me by their ideas and what they do for these kids. And these kids are, literally, thousands of youths out there in Vermont and, now, all over the country and world. I've killed many, many brain cells in the Web end of this project, having now built and rebuilt the site -- along with platforms for teachers -- multiple times. The online community, youngwritersproject.org, now has 3,000+ active kids -- teens mostly -- who remain civil and respectful to each other -- a phenomenon -- in order to safely take creative risks.
So what we do with the content is encourage peer-to-peer feedback, providing mentoring, recruit artists to mentor and stage online labs -- mini online workshops. Our NEXT FRONTIER? Unique, bite-sized, interactive learning workshops that help the youths explore, revise and polish -- a method a bit outside their experience in school.
A reminder where this community resides: youngwritersproject.org I heartily encourage you to take a visit. Send along a youth you know.
If I had my druthers, I would be playing around with the kids, the site, the medium instead of being a public missionary and raising money. And I would be writing and creating digital stories and experimenting and, yes, taking creative risks.
I have been neglecting my own writing for a while, so I return here with high hopes with plans to clear my head, share what I see, reveal what I've learned and tell stories.
If you like what you see and here, please tell me.