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A few months ago I wrote an article about Camp Harmony, a wonderful program that provides summer and winter camp programs for homeless kids throughout Los Angeles. A few days from now, I will head to Wyoming to participate in another program dear to me called C5LA. Originally the Coca-Cola Foundation, C5LA’s mission is “to change the odds for high-potential teens from risk-filled environments, inspiring them to pursue personal success, and preparing them for leadership roles in college, work and their communities.”

I am thrilled to be part of this program and to be invited back to Camp Paintrock. The volunteer work I do with children is directly related to my writing, which is geared toward young adults and teenagers. To me, there is no better feeling than to positively impact the life of a child. Originally only through my volunteer efforts, and now through my writing as well, I seek to motivate and inspire kids to become the best versions of themselves they can be.

camp_imageFour years ago, when I went to Camp Paintrock for the first time, I possessed little to offer beyond the ability to coach basketball. While a potentially interesting diversion, that skill held little pragmatic application for these kids, who are trying to develop life skills to help them succeed in college and beyond.

Now, after honing my skills as a writer and publishing my first novel, I’m thrilled to be returning to camp with a new purpose in hand. Over the next week, I’ll be running group workshops and one-on-one sessions to teach kids about writing. With a little luck, I hope to share the wonder and beauty of the creative process, as well as show them that writing can be a magnificent and powerful tool, not just for homework and essays, but for expression, passion, art, and beauty. I will share with them my stories and hope to help them capture some of their own as well. I have no doubt that I will learn as much as I teach, and can’t wait to get started.

To find out more about C5LA or United In Harmony and learn how you can get involved or make a donation, visit their websites or contact me at I’m happy to put anyone interested directly in touch with the people who run either wonderful organization.