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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Girls Write Now, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Unknown

Mission: Girls Write Now Inc. (GWN) is New York’s premier creative writing and mentoring non-profit organization, matching bright, creative teenage girls from the city’s public high schools with professional women writers in the community since 1998. Through weekly one-to-one mentoring, monthly group genre-based workshops, and a five-part public reading series, their mission is to provide a safe and supportive environment where underserved or at-risk high school girls can expand their natural writing talents, develop independent voices, and build confidence in making healthy choices in school, career and life. The organization has recently been featured in The New York Times and on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Girls Write Now has been distinguished by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities as one of the top arts- and humanities-based programs in the country serving youth beyond the school hours. More: www.girlswritenow.org.

Geographic areas served: New York City

Community Stories

132 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Vietduc N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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 ยป

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2 Anuja M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with many organizations that serve young people and focus, particularly, on helping them with their writing. " Girls Write Now" is definitely one of the very best. They're a well-organized, extremely creative, and widely diverse group of women interested in bringing the most up-to-date, practical, and yet wonderfully cutting-edge writing experiences to high school girls. One hundred percent of the girls
involved in the program go on to college. They don't all become writers, but they do have a much better idea of what it means to write well, and they have confidence in their ability to do so.

Previous Stories
10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of being a mentor at Girls Write Now for two years; thus, I've gotten to know two girls very well--helping each with her school and personal writing. I've also learned about the lives of hundreds of other girls--through readings and workshops--and met scores of writers, who have shared valuable writing tips. This year, particularly, has been rewarding for me. The high school girl I mentor grew up in Tibet, and I truly think I may have learned more from her than she has from me! Together we've opened worlds to each other.

16

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Family friend came over to the united states. She had poor English skills but was really excited about writing. Also very sky. This organization allowed to come out of her shell and become a confident writer.

15

Board Member

Rating: 5

Girls Write Now is consistently impressive at delivering quality mentorship to girls in the New York City public schools. At the same time, Girls Write Now provides a way and a space for women to volunteer their time and expertise and feel part of a meaningful community. As a board member and volunteer, I have connected to the organization for more than 5 years and GWN continues to impress me more and more.

17

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have attended several of the early presentations of Girls Write Now as well as, most recently, the Tenth presentation. I have been consistently impressed by the quality of the work, by the candor with which the young women address sensitive issues and above all by the passion they display. What I see is not only that they have learned a craft (be it poetry or story telling), but they have developed a voice. They speak for themselves, and they speak for their community as well -- bringing both the pain and the pride they have seen to the audience in ways that make it impossible to miss the point. Many of us have heard the slogan "educate a woman and you educate a family" -- I would add a new one to this "give a woman a voice, and you give her community a voice". Girls Write Now has given many, many young women a chance to be heard -- and this will improve their lives as well as the lives of those who hear them.

17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

17

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I originally learned about this organization from a friend who is an active volunteer and have since become a supporter and fan. I’ve also read the anthology of the girls and mentors work which shows off what talented writers are in the program. Not only does Girls Write Now addresses an important need in New York City, but I can see the organization also creates a close and strong community of women, writers and leaders.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have attended a few workshops and readings presented by girls from Girls Write Now and was amazed by the level of thought and care that went into the programming. I enjoy reading the monthly updates and newsletter which is sent out online. I have met and spoken with some of the Mentors who have given so much time and energy, who have committed to supporting and teaching the girls, and was inspired by their stories and writing. I was also very happy to watch the segment on national television about Girls Write Now. Watching the organization grow and affect so many people has given me a lot of hope for the future generations and the role that women play in the world.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a mentee in the GWN program, it's been the best experience I've had. It's amazing how so much peole have the same interest as I do. It's amazing how a writing program can promote so much enthusiasm towards writing. Well this program has. I've had an amazing time with my mentor who I love very much. I mean why in the world would I give up my time and some Saturdays for 3 of my life that I would never get back to a program I don't like. I wouldn't. So thank you for all GWN has given me.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Girls Write Now is a phenomenal program that allows young girls to further their writing with professional women writers. What can be better than that? It's helpful, relaxed, fun, and encouraging.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen first-hand how dedicated and ambitious the volunteers of GWN all are. They are constantly striving to improve and create an enriching and challenging program for the young woman they serve. The public readings showcase all the amazingly talented writers GWN nurtures and supports.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Girls Write Now is a wonderful program that inspires both the girls it serves and all of its volunteers. Even though I don’t live in New York, I began supporting this organization as soon as I learned about their mission.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As someone who's watched NYC's girls thrive as a direct result of their participation in Girls Write Now, I can't say enough about this organization. It truly gives girls the power to shine.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Maya Nussbaum is one of the most inspiring leaders I have ever met, and Girls Write Now one of the most innovative, top-quality, world-changing organizations I know about. I have had many years of experience sitting on the boards of various organizations dedicated to serving women and girls, including Stanford's Clayman Institute and The I Do Foundation, but I have never seen anything like Girls Write Now. What amazes me is the level of attention and dedication GWN demands of its mentors and mentees -- and the results that this high standard yields. Attending the readings where the girls and their mentors present their work inspires and awes me, and the impact of writing and speaking on the girls' lives is irrefutable. Girls Write Now is poised to grow and change the lives of young women not just in New York but beyond, and I am honored to be a part of it.