Karen Thomson is the executive director and founder of Literature for All of Us, a not for profit that serves some 500 at risk students in the Chicago area.
With a masters in English from Northwestern University, the soft spoken , former Evanston stay at home mom, started the organization in 1997, after leading a book group for single mothers who’d dropped out of high school. When she gave the young women books and poems to read, the books had a profound effect on them.
“It had become a writing circle, not just a reading circle. They were proud of what they said and done,” she said.
Years later she sees the same reaction with her book groups today. The girls at the Sinclair Campus of the Peace and Education Coalition Accelerated high school, like her first group, have been through a tremendous amount of turmoil in their young lives.
Karen Thomson, she’s one of Chicago’s Very Own.
For more information, log on to literatureforallofus.org