May 25, 2016 | Maud Inc.
Girls become young women, and then they become women. Along this journey of adolescence to adulthood, there are few organizations out there that assist girls in mentorship, communication skills and confidence — WriteGirl is one of them.
Keren Taylor is the executive director of WriteGirl - a Los Angeles based nonprofit organization that pairs young girls with professional female writers. Through mentorship and workshops, around 200 young girls each year have the opportunity to develop creatively and professionally in their personal and educational endeavors.
Keren describes to us her upbringing in Vancouver, British Columbia. She initially majored in Performing Arts - Music, Dance and Singing, and a time ago was a professional singer-songwriter in New York. In her 20s, she was transferred to LA to work with a Dot-com company and was eventually laid off. When she wasn’t performing or freaking out over losing her job, Keren worked alongside a community of writers. One of their discussions was around the idea about teens, and specifically teenage girls, not being able to tap into their inner creativity. It was then, when she didn’t know what she was going to do next that she then put down a plan on paper to create WriteGirl.
When asked about losing her job and starting WriteGirl she described it as being: “Scary but also invigorating. You also get this feeling when you’re stepping into a void — that no one is doing what you’re doing. The model was very unique — something that was so different and necessary at the time. Fifteen years later so much is still the same - we’ve grown but stayed the same."
Of the 200 girls that participate every year, there about 60 who are matched one-on-one with a professional female writer and spend time together outside of WriteGirl events or workshops. All of the girls that come to the workshops, which is about 80 girls to 80 mentors, experience the WriteGirl effect firsthand. The girls’ come when they are able — living in South LA and East LA, Inglewood, Mid Wilshire, Koreatown and Echo Park.