Our Staff

David J Dent, Author, Professor and Creator of Write for the Future Coaching Method

David J Dent is a writer and Associate Professor of Journalism and Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, holding degrees from Morehouse College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has been teaching journalism and nonfiction writing at NYU for 20 years, and has twice won the university’s Golden Dozen Award for Excellence in Education.

In formulating the curriculum and instructional method of Write for the Future, David drew upon years of experience writing and teaching writing, which inspired him to create a variety of courses. David has personally trained Write for the Future associate coaches educational techniques to help high school students unlock the tools of journalism, facilitating their growth as writers by helping them craft strong admissions essays. This method of personalized instruction is at the heart of the Write for the Future program, transforming the college admissions essay into a snapshot of a student’s intellectual growth by highlighting a coming-of-age moment that exhibits self-discovery and maturity. With years of tremendous success, Write for the Future has expanded its educational programs to include creative writing instruction and coaching for middle and high school students.

David is detailing his method of introspective writing in a forthcoming book, The Best Essay of Your Life, to be published by Random House. The book includes essays and interviews with admissions directors at leading schools. He has also conducted writing workshops in many places, including Martha Vineyard, MA, Rome, Italy and Shanghai, China. David is the author of In Search of Black America, a New York Times Notable Book of 2000, and he has published articles in numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Essence, The Washington Post, Inc, and many others.

Valerie P Dent, Founder and Director of Write for the Future

Valerie P Dent, a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Columbia University School of Law, has worked as an attorney, teacher and businesswoman. As Co-Founder and Director of Write for the Future, she oversees the administrative and business development components of the organization. She also works as an attorney for a major economic development organization in Harlem.

Julian Beale, Program Manager and Administrative Assistant

Julian Beale graduated from NYU in 2009 with a major in psychology. At NYU, he was part of the research team that studied the neural mechanisms of prejudice and stereotyping. He was also a Teaching Assistant who led recitation sessions in Introduction to Psychology. Julian also worked at Mount Sinai Medical Center as a Research Assistant on studies relating to autism. In his spare time he writes and performs music as a member of two bands, in which he plays keyboard, guitar and sings.