Story Slam: Real Life Stories of the Power of Education was an absolutely amazing evening filled with impactful story-telling. The educators and students who spoke told real-life stories about the power of education and how it can change a life.


Celeste Williams, award-winning journalist and School on Wheels Tutor, told a powerful story about School on Wheels girls she has tutored, the impact they have had on her, and the impact she hopes to have on them.

Wes Coker, College and Career Readiness Coach at The Excel Center—Noblesville, spoke in tandem with Heather Simons, the first Valedictorian of The Excel Center, to tell us about her education journey — through different schools, the hurdles of life, and eventually, a path of pride for her family.

Dawn Walker-Seyerle, Social Studies Teacher at Arsenal Technical High School, shared her up and down journey with a former student student who experienced homelessness that showed how gaining and losing power in life can change your path.

Ronak Shah, 7th Grade Science Teacher at KIPP Indy Public Schools, entertained and engaged the crowd with a conversation with his former student, Oscar Wright, about the impact that a single moment can make on a life.

Casey McLeod, Science Teacher at KIPP Indy Public Schools, looked on while one of her students, Jay Slatter, read a poem about the challenges he faces everyday. Then Casey shared the five biggest mistakes she’s made as an educator and the lessons she’s learned because of them.

We all recognize that education has the power to change the trajectory of a person’s life, and Story Slam was such a great opportunity to hear stories about that power firsthand.


Thank you to our partners, Spirit & Place, Teachers Lounge Indy, and our SPOKES committee for their help in putting on this awesome event. Sponsorship from Junior League of Indianapolis helped make the event possible. Read more about the Spirit & Place Festival, which we were thrilled to be part of both with Story Slam and as part of CHIP’s Homeless Voices exhibit.