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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

60 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am constantly inspired and amazed by the staff and volunteers that make up Girls Write Now. When I began my internship with Girls Write Now, I was a recent college graduate and new to New York City. I knew I wanted to become involved with non-profits and was directed to Girls Write Now by a former mentor and friend. As soon as I became involved with the organization, I realized I had stumbled upon a truly unique community, one that I wanted to stay part of and one that I wanted to dedicate my time to. All of the leadership works tirelessly to create a challenging and supportive space for the mentees to explore their writing. The unyielding passion of all of the staff and volunteers for this mission shows through in the growth of the organization since it’s inception twelve years ago, the numerous awards GWN has earned, and the success, both in life and writing, of the girls who graduate from the program. I’ve also been particularly impressed with how GWN welcomes and empowers its new members while also supporting long-term volunteers.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a volunteer for GWN for the last 5 years and never ceased to be amazed at the quality, carefulness and rigor of both the mentoring program and the monthly workshops -- the curricula for which is renewed each year. Their retention and college acceptance rates are about the highest I've seen in my personal career as a development professional working with youth organizations -- and the enthusiasm and concrete commitment of their volunteers AND staff is really unparalleled.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer intern at GWN for seven months before coming on board as the second full time staff member. Upon joining the organization as an intern, I immediately felt connected to the whole GWN community. I really feel that the community aspect of GWN is something that sets us apart from other mentoring organizations. I worked intimately with our amazing and inspiring group of mentors and mentees and was encouraged to involve myself in all aspects of the community and running of the organization. As an intern, I gained invaluable experience and knowledge about the workings of a nonprofit, and quickly decided that this was the field I wanted to work in. I've also had the opportunity to work with talented and brilliant women who have supported, encouraged, and challenged me, effecting my own growth as much as that of the teen girls we work with.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Girls Write Now!!! I joined as a mentor four years ago and am currently a program volunteer. Our girls are strong and sassy and special. Supporting their growth into healthy young women and helping them develop their literary voices has made my life richer. I love our community and take every opportunity to spread the word.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about this organization! I was a mentor with Girls Write Now for seven years and am now on the Program Committee. I was paired with five wonderful mentees over that time and every one of them taught me something too and inspired me. The girls in this program are so motivated, talented, bold, and creative. And they get so much out of the program -- from the personal guidance from a professional writer to the group writing workshops, to the public readings. It is an amazing opportunity to be part of this community and help these young writers find their voices and grow. The mentors gain so much as well! I am always inspired and proud when I see our mentees read their works on stage at our annual reading. Throughout the course of a season, they all learn so much and really come into their own. Every year is more special and impressive than the last!

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The creative nurturing and confidence that Girls Write Now brings to female writers, both girls and women, is invaluable. From the organizations administrators to the mentors to the mentees, this is a group of outstanding women.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Girls Write Now is an incredibly supportive and creative community that always inspires me and makes me feel welcome. As an intern, I met interesting and talented women and girls. As a new mentor, I loved learning about writing exercise ideas at the mentor training, and am excited to meet my new mentee! I am sure Girls Write Now will continue to grow and thrive.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GWN is such an amazing organization! SO glad I found it and am able to be a part of it. I'm a first year mentor, but already I feel like i'm a part of a great community. It is a great motivation for me to continue my writing.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just joined Girls Write Now about a month ago and already I'm so impressed with the organization. They are focused, enthusiastic, professional, and inspiring and in only two orientations it's clear to see what a difference they make in the lives of young women in this city. At our most recent orientation, the mentors met the mentees for the first time and it was great to see how some of the returning mentees were filled with confidence, how they were proud and excited to identify themselves as writers, and how the new mentees had breakthroughs in just one afternoon, some of them saying how they had talked and wrote about some very personal things for the very first time.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been blessed to be a newcomer to an organization that encourages young writers and young women to be themselves and expand their horizons. The staff is wonderfully kind and this years crop of mentees astounds me with their grace and intelligence.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Where can you possibly go wrong with Girls Write Now? NO WHERE. GWN is my sanctuary of hope. With all the love and support ,us, the mentees, recieve from the GWN staff and mentors, I wouldn't ever trade it in for another. GWN is life. We, as a community, write because it is embedded in our DNA. GWN has become a part of us

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Well-organized, a great mission, and fun too! I'm a mentor this year, and looking forward to all the events with my mentee!

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just starting out as a new mentor this year and got to meet up with the group of mentees today--what an amazing group of young ladies. I'm so excited to be a part of an organization promoting women's voices from an early age. And I'm so impressed by what a thoughtful program the ladies who started this organization have put together. The expectations are realistic, positive, and encouraging, both for the mentees and the mentors. I fully anticipate that I'll end up learning as much or more than my mentee. Here's the adventures ahead and those that this organization has already launched people on for the past 12 years.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Girls Write Now (GWN) is a wonderful organization that offers substantial services to teen girls from underserved communities in NYC. They have a dedicated group of volunteers who help to make all of their programs great successes. As a volunteer advisory board member, I help GWN strategize about fundraising. In March 2009 I honored GWN at my birthday party to raise awareness of the organization and raise much needed donations.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a mentor for a year and it was hands down one of the most rewarding experiences I've had. I forged a wonderful bond with my mentee and I watched her blossom as a writer and as a young women over the course of the program. Not only did I help her, but I found my own writing improved as well--i was truly inspired after every single workshop. GWN is an amazing organization doing amazing things and I hope it can find funding to thrive for years to come!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I mentored with Girls Write Now for three years and still have a relationship with my former mentees. Girls Write Now provided an amazing, supportive atmosphere to foster female friendships and creativity. It enriched my life and if I hadn't moved out of New York, I would still be involved. Thank you for everything!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a mentor with Girls Write Now for 3 years and love being part of such a smart, fun-loving, enthusiastic group of writers. The mentors are an inspiring group of professional writers, editors, and educators who find time in their busy lives to help show at-risk, aspiring teenage writers that they too can become published writers, eloquent speakers, and accomplished women. Many of the mentees are shy and unsure of their abilities in the beginning of the season, and yet at the end of the season are reading their poems, stories, even singing orginal verse! at public venues in New York City. The bravery of these teenage girls in inspiring, their bravery is fostered by the mentors--this is a true group effort at improving our community at a grassroots level and not letting girls go unnoticed.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Writing can be a solitary passion, but each season GWN offers its members a warm, rigorous and vibrant community of women writers, which encourages individual creativity and growth. Being a part of GWN is life-changing, for mentors and mentees alike. The program is so thoughtfully designed and well-administered, the staff makes it look easy, though of course it is anything but!

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've mentored with Girls Write Now for a year now, and it's been one of the best experiences of my life. The program is so encouraging, and the girls gain so much self-confidence in their writing. I still can't believe that 100% of GWN alumnae go on to attend college -- that alone should speak to the power of the GWN community! My mentee and I are very close and continued to work together on her writing even in the summer "off-season," and look forward to working together again next year.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just started mentoring for GWN and am blown away by the incredible women I've already met through the program. It's seamlessly organized without feeling corporate, and incredibly inspirational without feeling too rah rah. I'm so pleased and honored to be a part of something so special.