Amazing Alumna, October 2016
SanTresa Wright-Benjamin (R) smiles during a YPT workshop in the mid-1990s
“Hopefully I’ve made a difference in someone’s life or day.”
At the front desk of King-Greenleaf Recreation Center in Southwest DC, SanTresa Wright-Benjamin welcomes guests with a smile. A customer service representative with the DC government, SanTresa radiates warmth and capability, and keeps a sharp eye out for boys roughhousing in the halls.
We ran into SanTresa while holding youth writing workshops at King-Greenleaf for Crossing the Street: SW Is..., YPT’s upcoming celebration of Southwest’s past, present and future. “YPT?” she said, “I did that. I even have an old picture!”
But SanTresa didn’t just take part in YPT’s program: she was one of our very first students. Now in her thirties, she studied with us at Kelly Miller Middle School in the mid-1990s, not long after our founding. “I remember first seeing Holiday Heart at Arena Stage,” she says. “I enjoyed it very much so!”
For her own play, SanTresa tackled a difficult and personal subject: physical and mental abuse in the home. “The writing process was natural because it was my life,” she recalls. “The only difficulty was making it short.”
SanTresa’s fondest memory of YPT was “seeing my play as a transcript”—a tangible memento of her hard work and courage. She hopes to one day be able to perform her own play, and notes that YPT helped her get over her stage fright!
We are honored to have impacted SanTresa’s life, and so glad to see that she is passing that impact on to the young people she encounters every day. Thank you, SanTresa!