In Her Own Words: Doing the Write Thing

In Her Own Words: Doing the Write Thing

Exclusive Essay by Jacqueline Uy:

Back in elementary school, there was always that one kid who, when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, would say, “I want to be president.” That kid was me.

But as I got older I realized that what I really wanted to become was a journalist, specifically a foreign correspondent. Even with this, I never really thought that I would ever step foot in the White House, much less meet first lady Michelle Obama. So when the opportunity to do both arose, I reacted like any normal 16-year-old in my situation: I didn’t believe it. 

Read More

YOU ARE HERE Gets Outstanding Review in School Library Journal

YOU ARE HERE Gets Outstanding Review in School Library Journal

"Captivating and emotional from the first entry to the last, You Are Here is a compilation of journals, essays, poetry, descriptive writing, novel excerpts, songs, etc., covering topics ranging from growing up to love to infatuation to loneliness to despair."

Read More

PAPERBLANKS BLOG: WriteGirl Goes to Washington!

PAPERBLANKS BLOG: WriteGirl Goes to Washington!

As part of our Global Citizen program, Paperblanks® enjoys the opportunity to partner with some truly inspirational organisations. One such group is WriteGirl, “a community of women writers, [that] promotes creativity and self-expression to empower girls.”

Read More

ASIAN JOURNAL: First Lady Michelle Obama inspires Fil-Am teen

ASIAN JOURNAL: First Lady Michelle Obama inspires Fil-Am teen

Jacqueline Cablas Uy dreams of someday traveling the world to write newspaper stories that change lives. Growing up in a one-bedroom condo in Los Angeles, she often reads National Geographic and was inspired by the journalists who had the freedom to fly to exotic places and tell the world’s untold stories.

She always worried though that being a minority would limit her options, as she sensed a lack of Filipino American women at the top of the news business. But her WriteGirl mentor Katherine shows her she has the potential to break through barriers and declare her place in journalism.

Read More

THE REPUBLIC: First lady inspires young writers at White House

THE REPUBLIC: First lady inspires young writers at White House

The eyes of 16-year-old Jacqueline Uy glistened as First Lady Michelle Obama pulled her into a tight hug and whispered in her ear.

"She just told me to keep writing, and that her favorite thing to do was to write," said Uy, a member of WriteGirl, one of 12 after-school programs honored at the White House Nov. 22. "She told me to keep on dreaming, because someday I'll achieve my dreams and goals."

Read More

First Lady Honors WriteGirl as a Top After-School Arts & Humanities Program

First Lady Honors WriteGirl as a Top After-School Arts & Humanities Program

WriteGirl was honored by the White House in November 2013 with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest honor such programs can receive in the United States. Executive Director and Founder Keren Taylor and WriteGirl participant Jacqueline Uy personally received the award from First Lady Michelle Obama in the East Room of the White House.

Read More

NBC LATINO: After-school programs that change Latino students’ lives receive national award

NBC LATINO: After-school programs that change Latino students’ lives receive national award

On Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama gave 12 after-school programs from across the country the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. The award is the highest honor in the country for programs using the arts and humanities to help youth do better in school, keep them from dropping out, and raise their cultural awareness.

Read More

SANTA CLARITA SIGNAL: First Lady Honors Nonprofit Serving Santa Clarita Valley

SANTA CLARITA SIGNAL: First Lady Honors Nonprofit Serving Santa Clarita Valley

A program to help set girls at two Santa Clarita Valley probationary camps on the road to academic success through creative writing and mentoring has been honored at the White House by first lady Michelle Obama.

Representatives from WriteGirl, a nonprofit that serves girls at Camp Scott and Camp Scudder in Saugus, were presented Friday with the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award by Obama in the East Room of the White House. WriteGirl was one of 12 organizations nationwide to receive the honor.

Read More

KPCC: Michelle Obama honors LA mentoring program for teen girls

KPCC: Michelle Obama honors LA mentoring program for teen girls

First Lady Michelle Obama honored a Southern California mentoring program Friday at the White House, giving a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award to WriteGirl. The  organization matches at-risk teens with women writers. 

Read More

First Lady Recognizes WriteGirl as a Top After-School Arts and Humanities Program

NEWS RELEASE November 22, 2013* Download PDF

WriteGirl honored at the White House for empowering teen girls

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) WriteGirl will be honored by First Lady Michelle Obama in the East Room of the White House today as one of 12 organizations awarded the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.

WriteGirl, a creative writing and mentoring organization for underserved girls in Los Angeles, received the highest honor such programs can receive in the United States. WriteGirl is the only awardee in the state of California.

Chosen from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists, the 12 awardees were recognized for using engagement in the arts and the humanities to increase academic achievement, graduation rates, and college enrollment, as well as improve literacy and language abilities, communication and performance skills, and cultural awareness.

"Through these programs, young people are discovering their creative voices, developing a stronger sense of who they are as individuals, and gaining a deeper understanding of the world around them," wrote Mrs. Obama in the program for the award ceremony. "And, as young people navigate today's challenges, the programs we are honoring offer safe harbors that cultivate enthusiasm for learning, support academic achievement, and promote college readiness."

WriteGirl pairs professional women writers with teen girls for weekly one-on-on mentoring, writing workshops, public readings, and publishing opportunities. WriteGirl partners with arts and civic institutions each month for full-day creative writing workshops for hundreds of girls and women, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Autry Museum, the GRAMMY Museum, and Walt Disney Concert Hall. For 12 consecutive years, WriteGirl has maintained a 100 percent success rate in guiding high school seniors in their Core Mentoring Program to not only graduate from high school but enroll in college, a stark contrast to the 50 percent dropout rate at Los Angeles public high schools.

"WriteGirl is at the intersection of creativity and confidence," said WriteGirl Founder and Executive Director Keren Taylor. "We help girls raise their voices and see a clearer vision of their futures where they are the architects. This national recognition is an opportunity for our girls to feel that their voices are heard at the highest level of government in the country. That's powerful."

WriteGirl also brings workshops to schools in Los Angeles County serving critically at-risk teens, including incarcerated teens. WriteGirl was honored as the 2010-2011 California Nonprofit of the Year.

Executive Director Keren Taylor will be joined at the East Room ceremony by WriteGirl mentee Jacqueline Cablas Uy, age 16, a junior at LACES High School in Los Angeles and a current teen participant in WriteGirl. Jacqueline aspires to become a journalist and has a compelling piece of writing - "My Own" - in the upcoming WriteGirl anthology, "You Are Here: The WriteGirl Journey."

WriteGirl publishes award-winning anthologies that showcase the bold voices and imaginative insights of teen girls and their mentors. These books, which have collectively won over 60 national and international book awards, present a diverse collection of personal stories, poetry, essays, scenes and lyrics, as well as innovative writing experiments for writers of all levels.

"From children battling cancer to at-risk teenage girls, students from these 12 programs offer living proof that engaging in the arts and humanities helps you do well in school, graduate high school, and go to college," said Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. "Every year, we are humbled by the work these programs do and honored to support the life-changing impact they are having on the students they reach."

In addition to their recognition at the White House, each of the 12 community based programs will receive $10,000 and a year of communications and capacity-building support from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. For more information about the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, visit www.pcah.gov. 

 

About WriteGirl

WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring organization in Los Angeles that helps teen girls discover and express their creative voices. WriteGirl has two main programs: the Core Mentoring Program, in which at-risk teen girls are matched with professional women writers for one-on-one mentoring, genre-specific workshops, public readings, publications and college and scholarship application assistance; and the In-Schools Program, where volunteer mentors lead weekly workshops to improve literacy and communication skills at schools in critically at-risk neighborhoods.

WriteGirl enrolls more than 350 underserved teen girls (13-18 yrs) from the metropolitan Los Angeles region. In a city where the dropout rate hovers around 50%, WriteGirl has maintained a 12-year record of guiding 100% of girls in their Core Mentoring Program to not only graduate from high school but also enroll in college. WriteGirl publications have collectively won over 60 national and international book awards. WriteGirl was honored as the 2010-2011 California Nonprofit of the Year.

 

About the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the nation’s highest honor for after- school arts and humanities programs. The awards recognize and support outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression, and achievement outside of the regular school day. These programs excite and engage a range of students, cultivating imagination, collaboration, discipline and academic success, with demonstrable results. They also provide safe harbors after-school, weekends and evenings for children and youth in some of our country’s most at-risk urban and rural settings.

 

About the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

Created in 1982 by Executive Order, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) is an advisory committee to the White House on cultural issues. The PCAH works directly with the Administration and the three primary cultural agencies—National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)—as well as other federal partners and the private sector, to address policy questions in the arts and humanities, to initiate and support key programs in those disciplines, and to recognize excellence in the field. Its core areas of focus are arts and humanities education, cultural exchange, and community revitalization. Mrs. Michelle Obama, like other first ladies before her, serves as honorary chairman of the committee, which is composed of both private and public members. For more information, visit: www.pcah.gov

logos0238.png

CONTACT: 

Teresa Huang

213-253-2655

pr@writegirl.org