My first encounter with Girls Write Now occurred during my first year living in NYC. A friend had told me about a Chapters reading... more »
My first encounter with Girls Write Now occurred during my first year living in NYC. A friend had told me about a Chapters reading and suggested I go. When it was over, I walked out feeling more alive and more inspired than I had in months. I am now in my third year as a mentor with Girls Write Now, and am as inspired now as I was then. Working with my first mentee through her junior and senior years of high school, celebrating with her as she was accepted into her first choice for college and shedding tears as she left were so incredibly rewarding. I have begun a new adventure with a new mentee, and it's been so much fun sharing in her enthusiasm for all that GWN has to offer. Monthly group workshops challenge us to expand our writing skills while learning about different genres; our weekly pair sessions allow us to read poetry and champion each other's writing. Being part of the GWN community is the most supportive, rewarding experience I've encountered since moving to NYC. Witnessing such a diverse community of women writers--mentors and mentees alike--grow in their writing, form friendships, and be proud of their accomplishments is awe-inspiring. Girls Write Now empowers young women writers to find their voices and perhaps even more importantly, to use them.
I've been volunteering with GWN for about 8 years, taking on various roles throughout my time, from mentor to member of the Program Advisory Committee to doing both at the same time. While the organization has grown tremendously since I joined, it has remained a supportive community for both young girls and women. Because I've been around for so long, I've been able to see growth within the girls as they make their way through the program and then go off to college. Shy young girls become confident young women, excited to revise and share their work, and to see that is truly rewarding. I think GWN is a great program for high school girls looking to not only improve their writing but to have a safe space to come into their own as women. It's also a wonderful opportunity for adult women to be part of a community of like-minded ladies.
I recall saying this when Girls Write Now asked me to represent them at a small board meeting- Girls Write Now has been the best program I've been involved and seen in my twenty years of existence. I have four years being part of Girls Write Now's community. Two years as a mentee and two year as a mentee alum in their Youth Board. As a mentee, I received a lot of privileges: support from my GWN mentor and GWN staff and writing resources and great book recommendations, college prep, breakfast, and so much more. Besides the privileges, I also encountered and met inspiring guest speakers. As a youth board member, I get to witness and take part into the behind scene work. I see all the dedication and creativity that the staff produce and execute to make GWN into a fun and comfortable environment and build up that sense of community. I get to enjoy that sweet perspective working behind scenes. Also, GWN has given me an opportunity to feel productive and help me gradually overcome my shyness and relate to other people. Overall, I think Girls Write Now is
a safe space for the mentees and as well as for the mentors to be ourselves and discuss through writing what really matters to us.
I believe that Girls Write Now upholds a legacy of women writers and fulfilling the dreams of young girls whom can make a difference through writing.
This is my third year with GWN, and the thing that has always impressed me about them is how they are always self-examining and striving to improve.
I just started as a mentor and I am already in awe. Girls Write Now manages to be completely open and welcoming of new ideas and yet still be the most organized volunteer group I have ever encountered. The Girls Write Now staff and my fellow mentors are filled with positive energy, and I am overjoyed to be spending the coming year working with them.
Saturday morning finally arrived. It was first day of the Girls Write Now mentoring training program. I was so happy to be part of the program. I arrived on 8th Avenue and found the building. I took a deep breath, and pushed the doors open. I was so nervous that I wanted to run back home. I entered the lobby and meekly approached the concierge. I asked for the Girls Write Now Program. He must have had keen insight because he gave me a big smile and said, "It is on the 20th floor." I entered the elevator along with several other girls. The journey up felt like an eternity. I began to fret over the usual worries such as, "Will I make a friend? Will the mentors be kind? I began to regret that I did not persuade a friend to participate in the program with me. Ding. The elevator arrived, and it broke my stream of self-doubting questions. I said to myself, "All right, let's get this show on the road." I stepped off the elevator and I was greeted by a two other mentees. They gave me a warm welcome, a big smile, a name tag and a gift. I was given my own personal journal. I ran my fingers over the cover and smiled. Somehow I knew I was in the right place. I was asked to complete an application consisting of mixed questions about my background, interests, likes and dislikes. Then all of the mentors and mentees were instructed to break up into groups. I socialized with professional women who have exciting and creative careers. I could not believe that I had the opportunity to meet a woman who works in advertisement at MTV. I also met an author of a cookbook, and spoke with other journalists. I felt as if I entered a world that was never available to me before. I felt lucky. Later, I had the chance to participate in a discussion with women from diverse backgrounds. We discussed values pertaining to the writing field such as respect, creativity, and family. These are values that I cherish, and it was nice to share them with other women who cared. The day ended with a discussion about future events and learning the Girls Write Now Pledge. I was so excited to hear that I will have the chance to attend so many exciting writing workshops and visit places such as Barnard College. I looked at my watch and I could not believe that four hours had passed. I left the building with more confidence then I had when I entered. I also had a huge smile and a good feeling in my heart.
I have been involved with Girls Write Now since 2006, and from the start was inspired by the effectiveness and the passion of this organization and its volunteers. I have worked and volunteered in the nonprofit sector for the past twelve years, and never have I been so impressed with an organization as I have been with Girls Write Now. In the "safe zone" of the writing workshop and one-on-one mentoring relationships, high school girls develop their voices, their confidence, their creativity. They are bold and fearless, and ready to take on the world.
Girls Write Now is a small organization that achieves big things. It is organized, inspiring, creative, joyful, smart and fun. I wish I had a community like this when I was a girl--I might not have been so confused about my goals. Everyone works harder, is more dedicated and is better at their jobs (both volunteer and staff) then anyone I've ever met. The girls are vulnerable and strong and watching them grow as writers and women is a privilege. It's all a privilege, one of the best things I've ever been part of.
I am a new mentor and look forward to meeting my mentee and working with her. So far, Girls Write Now has proved to be a very compassionate organization dedicated to the welfare of all concerns, and to developing the writing potential of the girls. It has well-structured and diverse programs, and a great support team. The staff and volunteers are terrific and the energy and inspiration they exude is infectious.
I've been shooting the readings and events for this organization for 5 years. It's one of only two organizations that I feel strongly enough, and that the work is valuable enough, that I continually feel inspired to stay involved. When I'm shooting video for them, I'm seeing the results of their work clear as day though the lens of my camera, and how much the experience matters to the girls as they read their stories and poetry.