In 2004, Sandra Rosenbaum School Of Social Work alumni Ben Schumaker, MSW ’06, founded The Memory Project, an incredibly successful non-profit dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding and kindness between children around the world through school-based art and writing programs. So far more than 280,000 youth in 55 countries have participated.
Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a traumatic experience for youth around the world, Ben, and the Memory Project, are drawing on their well-established contacts with schools and youth to offer a Writing Exchange Program. In the exchange, students in the U.S. and around the world will use short stories, a letter, essay, or poem to share their thoughts, feelings, and hopes for the future. As with the Memory Project’s art program, teachers can choose to use the exchange in many ways. Since students will write about their own experience and receive exchanges from others students, there will be much to learn and fertile grounds for discussion.
As one teacher discussing her work with the Memory Project explains, “this is the most meaningful, important, and valuable project I have ever worked on with my students. The Memory Project is incredible.”
In 2018, recognizing Ben’s many contributions, Ben received the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work’s Distinguished Alumni Award.