Janel Pineda always knew she loved writing, but never thought about how that could impact her life. That changed when her uncle mailed her a newspaper article about a Los Angeles writing program for young girls. At age 14, Pineda joined WriteGirl, where she attended writing workshops and worked closely with a mentor throughout high school.
“I always wrote short stories and poems in my free time, but my school was strict about writing essays,” says Pineda, now an 18-year-old freshman at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. “WriteGirl helped me take my writing seriously and develop my passion.”