Gallatin junior Safia Elhillo, who is from Khartoum, Sudan, by way of Washington, D.C., is studying “Poetry as a Tool in Therapy,” which links her interests in poetry, creative writing, the creative arts therapies and trauma studies.
The “Lyrics on Lockdown” class she took at Gallatin was particularly influential. “We created arts workshops that we then facilitated for a group of young men at the Island Academy, a high school for incarcerated youth on Riker’s Island. I’d been grappling with the notion of ‘art for art’s sake,’” Elhillo says, “and this class really gave me proof that the arts can be used to better the human condition.”
This year, she hopes to build the academic foundation for post-graduate training as a poetry therapist. Gallatin, she says, “is an environment where everyone is always growing, and it maintains a wonderful balance in being an academically stimulating yet always friendly.”