Storytellers for Good

Do you tell good stories? Tell stories for good.

The Storytellers for Good program (S4G) provides a space for students to learn skills in digital media, explore the craft of storytelling, and produce engaging multimedia stories with social impact.

Published on Swearer Sparks, the stories not only provide valuable points of connection among students, alumni, faculty, and community members, but also present media as a powerful tool for social change in the world. Most of the stories produced by S4G are first-person audio or photo projects that center on narratives within the Brown community and explore perspectives and questions about social change work on- and off-campus.

Meet our storytellers past and present, or learn about upcoming workshops and events in our Storytelling Speaker Series.

FEATURE: "Storytelling Initiative Receives Global Innovation Award," January 2015

About the Program

Storytellers for Good gives me a space to talk with hugely inspiring changemakers about what drives them, and how they do what they do. It’s an incredible privilege, but it has also helped me understand how – by using my own media skills to share their work and ideas in a way that makes people care – I have the power to make an impact, too.” – Liza Yeager ‘17, Storyteller for Good

Storytellers participate in weekly editorial meetings in order to build skills, workshop and share their individual stories. The production of these stories includes research; storyboarding; interviewing; editing media through rounds of feedback; and producing a final piece for the web.

In addition to regular peer critique of their work, Storytellers are also connected to a powerful network of alumni and professionals working in the fields of media, storytelling, and social impact. These professionals lead workshops and serve as mentors for students as they sharpen their narrative voice and technical skills in digital storytelling.

Through their work, student storytellers have the opportunity to build a multimedia portfolio; gain exposure to an audience of thousands; and work on a creative, supportive, and fast-paced team.

On finding a space to explore storytelling:

Want to know more about S4G? First, look and listen to some of our stories:

Rooted to Home: Taking Cultural Community Beyond Campus (audio) by Isabel DeBre ‘18

Saron Mechale '17 and Bereket Zekarias '15 created what they couldn't find at Brown: a close-knit community for Ethiopian and Eritrean students to gather, celebrate their culture, and engage in reciprocal service.

Let’s Talk About Mental Health (audio) by Sophie McKibben ‘16

Stefanie Kaufman ’17 was a typical teenager until the day her friend Brittany committed suicide. Here she talks about her work creating Project LETS, a suicide prevention organization focused on erasing the stigma around mental health and self harm.

What Will Be: 11 Students Dive into a Summer of Social Innovation (photo slideshow) by Liza Yeager ‘17

The Social Innovation Fellows are re-envisioning their futures, learning, taking risks, and making change all around the world.

Making Space for Sexual Assault Survivors  (audio) by Stefania Gomez ‘17

Katie Byron '15, often at the center of the college and national discourse on rape, talks about her experience on the Sexual Assault Task Force, where she works to elevate survivor narratives and individual voices.

Wrong and Strong: Telling a Story of Homelessness Together (photo essay) by Isabel DeBre ‘18

The Tenderloin Opera Company, led by the charismatic Erik Ehn, is unlike any playwriting group in the city. The eclectic community of homeless people and formerly homeless people, as well as students and advocates from Brown and beyond, write, share, and perform powerful, experimental work.

On their favorite stories:

FEATURE: "Photo essay spotlights civic action" via Brown Daily Herald, October 2014

Support our Storytellers:

During the program, students have the chance to connect for an hour each month with an alumni mentor working in the field of digital storytelling. We also bring alumni and professionals in the field to campus for workshops and events. If you are interested in supporting our students, please email to learn more.

How to Apply

Applicants will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Experience with digital media (such as writing/journalism,  photography, audio and video) or strong writing ability along with a burning desire to learn new forms of storytelling
  • Non-academic writing skills, such as creative fiction and nonfiction, journalism, blogging, etc.
  • Curiosity, ability to listen, and passion for connecting with others
  • Strong interest in the work of individuals and organizations with a social mission
  • Manages commitments gracefully with attention to accuracy, details, and deadlines


  • This position has a firm 10-hour/week commitment, including weekly 1-2 hour meetings. Because we offer extensive training and resources to our storytellers, and expect students to provide consistent feedback on each other’s work, we strongly encourage students to stay with the program for the full academic year.

  • All  new storytellers are required to attend our Kickoff Day on September 27th, 2015, 10:00am-5:30pm. If applying, please save this date.

  • Our weekly editorial meetings are held on Thursdays, 6-8pm. Once the group has been finalized, we can reassess if this weekly meeting time works best for everyone. 

Previous involvement with the Swearer Center and ownership of technical equipment are not required.

Graduate students are welcome to apply.

The application period is now closed for the 2015-16 academic year. Thank you for your interest!