Glenda Garcia joined WriteGirl in 2002. Ten years later, she has quite the story to tell. We hope her words will inspire you to make a generous year-end contribution to WriteGirl to help us give more girls the opportunities for brighter futures.
“In high school there was nowhere to go for a girl like me, an opinionated Latina with idealistic dreams. I was so fortunate to find WriteGirl, an organization that not only invested in my success but genuinely cared about what I had to say and the direction of my future.
As a mentee in WriteGirl, I received personal and academic guidance. My WriteGirl mentor nominated me for the full-tuition Posse scholarship, which I went on to receive. In May 2009, I graduated magna cum laude from Dickinson College with a degree in Women's and Gender Studies. Upon graduation, I joined AmeriCorps VISTA as an after-school coordinator and teacher for an underprivileged community in Somerton, AZ. The mentorship that I received through WriteGirl helped me understand that students' learning does not end in the classroom--it flows out into community centers, coffee shops, bookstores, libraries, and especially after-school programs.
I recently completed my term as a Fulbright grantee in Thailand. My journey to Thailand began the first day I entered my first WriteGirl workshop back in 2002.
As a low-income Latina from a single-parent household, I would have never envisioned myself as the recipient of a nationally renowned scholarship who would study abroad in India, graduate from a top liberal arts college, intern at our nation's capital and then secure a very prestigious fellowship.
WriteGirl provides girls with the confidence and support to go after their dreams and beyond. ”
– Glenda, WriteGirl Alum
"At WriteGirl, I found long-lasting friends, an inspiring mentor, and most importantly, my creative voice and the confidence to let it out and allow it to be an essential part of me.
My mentor not only challenged me to explore new literary forms, but she also dared me to imagine beyond my shy little shell in middle school and dream big dreams.
WriteGirl's work goes beyond what you see on paper; it encourages young girls to expand their imagination as writers and as individuals. Since WriteGirl, I've learned how to let my confidence and individuality shine through, whether that be during a poetry performance, my graduate studies, or my work as a researcher."
– Lovely, WriteGirl Alum
From WriteGirl Mentors and Volunteers:
"I see the women in the girls. In their shining eyes I see their future as leaders, women of strength and purpose."
"I love this program. I'm in complete awe of how women can use their ink to write how they feel."
"I could drown in the incredible words that these women have to say."
"How lovely to be so moved, so surprised, so brought to dreams."
"I love being a part of WriteGirl. It's even fun without a mentee, because now, I can claim every girl as my own."
"There is nothing more hopeful than listening to the powerful words of a young woman."
"I suddenly feel inspired to pull all those very empty blank books out of the drawer and actually fill them."
"Oh my! What we have built together! We are WriteGirls and that really means something!"
"We had several things in common - namely that neither one of us was popular in seventh grade."
"I've been busy doing - this reminded me how nice it is to stop, think, listen and share."
"My mentee is an amazing person who has, I'm afraid, probably enriched my life more than I have hers! She is a dedicated writer, working on poetry, a children's book, her plays, and a NYT Lives column that we will be sending off soon. We were thinking about both starting novels this summer as our long-term projects. It's so easy in talking with her to forget that she's 17-- so interested in complex storytelling issues and sophisticated ideas. I struggle to keep up! I was a little intimidated about working with a girl with a disability, and for the first few minutes I felt like I must be doing everything wrong, but then we both just started talking about our favorite books, and trading ideas, and things we hate about bad movies and love about good movies, and suddenly we were quoting lines from "When Harry Met Sally" to each other. Now when I talk about her to my friends, I don't even mention that she has a disability, because, as a writer, she doesn't. She's got more ability than most. Her attitude is fantastic, and I am eternally grateful to Write Girl for bringing her into my life. I feel certain that she will, if she chooses to, become a professional writer, and I look forward to helping her in any way possible."
"This has been a very important period of growth for me not only as a writer, but also as a person, and WriteGirl has played a very important role in helping me become the best I can be."
From WriteGirl Mentees:
"Today was very exciting because I got to meet my mentor. Also, all the activities were excellent. I laughed and met new girls. It's great to be in a place where we all share the same thing which we love, Writing."
"This workshop was so exhilarating, insightful and productive. Poetry is the bomb!"
"I thought I was the only one that had something more to say than what I ate for lunch, but after hearing all these people I have found that I was wrong."
"A day that begins with trigonometry is destined to suck... until WriteGirl comes along and saves the day, gives some peace of mind and words to a numerically challenged girl like myself!"
"I pulled my tired sick body into the workshop, thinking I would leave. Instead I was transfixed, my mind pulsating with ideas."
"I go on and on, and I'm still not finished."
"I love that there are many more free thinkers that are my age than just me. It's a wonderful thing."
"I love when people laugh at the words I write."
"Poetry is much more freeing than I thought."
"If I wouldn't have had you to push me in this whole application process, I don't think I would have even applied to college. But now look at me! I really think my chances at USC are as good, and maybe even better, than most. You have done more for me than you will ever know!"
"Today I learned being vulnerable is okay."
"Yes, it is true. You can totally be so pulled into a story you're writing that it's like reading a book by somebody else..."
"I loved the flash fiction exercise - I will definitely use it the next time I get stuck writing. Awesome!"
"WriteGirl is a wonderful program, and so needed in our communities! It's a very worthy cause that produces great work and hope with the girls. It gives them guidance and a place for their voice. It is encouraging and uplifting."
– N.B., longtime WriteGirl supporter
"What's right with WriteGirl is that young professional women writers are jumpstarting the muse within teenagers. No vision is beyond the horizon, no expression suppressed. And the girls' families get it, too! Community at its finest."
– Lauren Deutsch, WriteGirl supporter
"Every Friday I observe WriteGirl creative writing workshops, I'm astounded by the superior quality of teaching that is going on. The content and lesson structure always keep the students engaged. Developing "the hook" is something all teachers work on, and WriteGirl has it down pat. I've been teaching for 20 years and what they accomplish is just phenomenal."
– Jill Myers, LACOE teacher
"WriteGirl taught the young women at Destiny how to give voice to their ideas, observations, thoughts, and experiences. WriteGirl is the most phenomenally empowering experience with words that the mind, heart and soul of a young high school woman can have. I love WriteGirl!"
– Pamela Jenkins, School Counselor