A television writer and a high school student unpack laptops at a coffee shop and debate narrative structure. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist breaks down her technique to an audience of eager young women. A writer finally gets the cadence of her poem just right and her heart beats a little faster with pride. This is Girls Write Now.
Heading into our twentieth anniversary, Girls Write Now is New York’s first and only writing and mentoring organizations for girls.
Girls Write Now mentors underserved high school girls from throughout New York City’s five boroughs — over 90% high need and 95% girls of color — who must rise above the race and income-based inequalities of the city’s public school system and the nation’s workforce. Through one-to-one mentoring with professional women writers and media makers, writing and technology workshops, and leadership, college prep, and professional development opportunities, we inspire women to share their craft and empower girls to find their voices and tell their stories.
OUTCOME AND IMPACT
Our approach works: 100% of our senior girls go to college armed with writing and multimedia portfolios and a strong sense of self — more than half with awards and scholarships. Our girls have performed at Lincoln Center and the United Nations, published original work in Newsweek, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and our award-winning anthology, and earned hundreds of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
Girls Write Now has been distinguished three times by the White House as one of the nation’s top after school programs, twice by the Nonprofit Excellence Awards as one of New York City’s top ten nonprofits, and as a founding member of the multimillion dollar STARS Citywide Girls Initiative reaching thousands of girls. The organization has received the Youth INC Innovators Award, NBCUniversal’s 21st Century Solutions prize for social innovation through media arts, and the Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) People’s Choice nomination. Girls Write Now has twice been named by Time Out New York a top place to volunteer, as the organization has been covered by major news outlets like the The Nation, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, ABC Good Morning, Glamour, Elle, Upworthy, and countless others.
In fall of 2016, Girls Write Now received the White House Champion of Change Award for creating opportunities for girls from marginalized communities so that all young people can reach their full potential.
Girls Write Now recently completed a strategic growth plan, created with input from 100+ stakeholders. The plan outlines our initiatives to double the number of girls we serve; deepen our programming through integration of college readiness, curricula choice, and digital access across our writing and mentoring programs; and expand our alumnae services to support girls through transitions to college and into careers. In 2016, Girls Write Now inreased our numbers served by 30%, matching more pairs than ever before.
From young women exploring writing to seasoned professionals practicing their craft every day, Girls Write Now is dedicated to providing guidance, support, and opportunities for underserved high school girls to develop their creative, independent voices, and write their way to a better future.