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Who We Are

We are a growing group of high school students who are using personal storytelling to overcome tough personal issues, raise awareness about the serious challenges today’s teens face, and connect with other teens to let them know they aren’t alone and that life gets better.

Though this project is being spearheaded at Scriber Lake High School in Edmonds, Washington, we view the We Are Absolutely Not Okay publishing program as the beginning of a grassroots movement that helps teens everywhere claim their power by finding their voice and sharing their stories.

If you are interested in sharing your story on the We Are Absolutely Not Okay Web site or in contributing a story to a future story collection, please Contact Us.


Program Mentors


231_022014_Marjie-Bowker_Nicole-Goddard-Photography-Inc-eMarjie Bowker has taught English and a little history somewhere in the world for the past 16 years: in China, Norway and Vietnam, in addition to her ”regular” spot at Scriber Lake High School in the Edmonds School District just north of Seattle, Washington. A strong advocate of community/student partnerships, she is constantly fostering relationships with community leaders to help enrich the lives of the teens she works with and was recently recognized as “Teacher of the Year” by the local VFW chapter for her innovative teaching/mentorship style. Past awards include two NEH scholarships to study at Columbia University & Crow Canyon Archaeology Center. Marjie has traveled to more than thirty counties and is always on the lookout for creative ways to infuse her love of travel into her teaching career, including leading two trips to Costa Rica to save the Leatherback sea turtles.

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Ingrid Ricks is an author, speaker, essayist and teen mentor. Her memoirs include The New York Times Best Seller Hippie Boy and Focus, a memoir about her journey with the blinding eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa, She is currently working on a memoir about her yearlong quest to save her eyesight, and is blogging about her journey at

Ingrid’s essays and stories have been featured on Salon and NPR. Along with writing, she is passionate about leveraging narrative writing and the new world of publishing to give teenagers a voice. Her background includes ten years as a social issues journalist, including two trips to Africa to write about children orphaned by AIDS and war, and twelve years as a PR and marketing consultant with clients ranging from large consumer brands such as Billboard to small start-ups. For more information, visit:


Ingrid Talks About the Power of Personal Storytelling on  New Day Northwest