About the Founder 

“I appreciate what you have taught to all of us. We learned stuff from you and you learned stuff from us. Thanks for teaching me all the wonderful and funny stuff.  You are the best writing class teacher ever!”

-Veronica, Grade 2


Jennifer Sarja has been teaching writing for more than seventeen years.  A graduate from Phillips Exeter Academy, Jennifer began her formal writing education at Middlebury College and  earned a joint degree in writing and history at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.  In 1996, Jennifer completed her Master’s Degree in Writing at NYU and moved to Los Angeles to await her film adaptation of Robert Cormier’s The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, which starred Elijah Wood, Rachel Leigh Cook, and Janeane Garafalo.  While in Los Angeles, Jennifer developed a teaching program which has carried many students to great success.
In the fall of 2004, Jennifer was invited to join a Women’s Empowerment Delegation to Ethiopia and Uganda in order to chronicle the group’s journey. Since her return from Africa, she has dedicated herself to writing and teaching and instilling in her students the leadership skills required to effect positive change throughout the world.  In the spring of 2005, she opened YouthInkwell’s Center for Writing, where young people can learn about social issues as they learn to write.  Three months later, she founded the nonprofit YouthInkwell Publishing in order to provide young authors with a venue to use their writing and art to change the world. Under her supervision, more than one hundred young writers and artists have published their work to raise money to build water wells in East Africa.  Jennifer is the also the author of When Watute Wants Some Water

In the spring of 2010, Jennifer arrived in New York were she took a year off from her work at YouthInkwell to spend an amazing term as the Director of Educational Programs at Scribble Press. Since the fall of 2011, Jennifer has been offering YouthInkwell classes onsite in NYC while running a rigorous, individualized, online writing and critical thinking program for students enrolled at some of the world's most competitive schools.