Gina is an emerging teen writer from the Bronx. Her mentor Kate is a native Canadian bound for med school. But after working together at Girls Write Now for two plus years, the pair has not only found common ground in writing — they’ve become partners and friends. “When I first started, I didn’t think I’d be able to be so open with my mentor. With Kate, I can tell her anything and that makes me feel really good,” says Gina. “We have a really strong relationship and I like that.”
Before heading off to med school, Kate is finishing a graduate degree in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where she’s used to pushing her students to get more out of them. Sometimes, though, when she and Gina get together, it’s the other way around. “I’ve always learned from my students, but never to the extent I’ve learned from Gina,” says Kate. “She’ll poke me and say ‘Kate, it doesn’t sound like you worked on this that much!’ ”
Opening each other’s eyes to new possibilities is what Kate and Gina do best, and lately they’ve been focused on getting Gina ready for her next possibility: college. Kate says Gina’s fearlessness has inspired her to be less afraid, adding: “I think we’re both exploring these big transitions together in different ways and that’s pretty special.”
- Watch Kate and Gina perform “Columbia University Christmas” together at 2012’s CHAPTERS reading series.