May 03, 2010
Professors and students from St. John’s University’s Institute for
Writing Studies invited clients of Bread and Life, Brooklyn’s
largest provider of services for the needy, to showcase their own
writing talents on April 13 during a special “open mic” event at
the Queens campus. The event was co-sponsored by the English
department of St. John’s College of Arts and Sciences.
St. John’s University has enjoyed a vibrant partnership with
Bread and Life, and for several years, St. John’s students have
volunteered their time there, providing a wide range of essential
outreach to its clients.
Three years ago,
Tom Philipose, Associate Director for the Writing Center on the
Queens campus, responded to a need among Bread and Life clients for
writing assistance and began providing literacy workshops there.
The program is co-sponsored by the IWS and St. John’s College. This
year he received special assistance from students Radha Radkar (SJC
’10) and John Nance (’10 G) who were instrumental in helping the
Every other week students work with clients eager to express
themselves in writing, whether it be with resumes and cover
letters, or more creative forms of expression such as poems, essays
and songs, honing their skills and sharing with them a passion for
The aspiring writers shared such diverse works as essays, poems,
short stories and songs. The excitement for the work displayed by
clients and students was infectious. A luncheon followed the event,
giving students, faculty and clients a greater opportunity to
discuss their enthusiasm for writing.