Now celebrating 15 successful years, WriteGirl continues to provide a valuable space for girls – a safe haven for girls to connect with other girls, to meet accomplished women and be inspired, a place to stand up for their ideas and ideals and most importantly, to celebrate and cultivate their own unique voices.
Our Core Mentoring Program harnesses the talent of some of LA’s most well-known women writers to show our girls what they’re capable of creating. The result? 100% of our Core Mentoring Program mentees have graduated high school and have gone onto college. Before joining WriteGirl, many of these amazing girls don’t even think about college as an option for their future.
At the core of it all is WriteGirl Founder and Executive Director Keren Taylor, who was named a 2014 CNN Hero for her commitment to empowering girls through creativity.
“It was the fall of 2001, and I was laid off of my internet job. I took a few weeks to think about what I might want to do next with my life, and I found myself compelled to launch a writing program and organization for teen girls,” says WriteGirl Exec. Director Keren Taylor. “Public schools in Los Angeles are large, creative writing programs are rare or nonexistent and there aren’t enough college counselors to give girls the one-on-one support they need. Girls need to be guided and inspired to find their fire, their individual voices and their personal perspectives. And women writers need to have a significant way to share their experience and creative skills.”
In 2013, WriteGirl was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest national honor awarded to exemplary after-school and out-of-school time programs from across the country. The first lady applauded WriteGirl’s record of guiding 100% of seniors in its Core Mentoring Program to graduate from high school and enroll in college – a remarkable statistic in contrast to the 70% graduation rate of students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. WriteGirl has never turned a girl away and refuses to leave any girl in the program behind.
WriteGirl teens read their work at bookstores, festivals and special events, and WriteGirl publishes creative work from its members in an anthology. Our 14th anthology and latest book, Emotional Map of Los Angeles, released in May 2015, shares the poems and stories of 190 girls and women, chronicling their lives, their families, their dreams, and their emotions connected to Los Angeles. WriteGirl is proud to have won 72 national and international book awards since our first anthology!
“Never underestimate the power of a girl and her pen.” That is a motto that one of our teen girls wrote, and we have embraced that philosophy at WriteGirl throughout every thread of our organization.
Donate to WriteGirl in honor of our 15th season and help us continue to inspire bold voices, cultivate confidence, and instill bright futures for our teen girls.