This post was written by Stephanie Huancas a member of the Girls Write Now Youth Board and Mentee Alum.
I must confess: I am sometimes not a prompt person. The MTA has been the very bane of my existence, as it is for most city-dwellers and commuters. However, on October 17th, the day of the Digital Media Mentoring Program’s Visual Storytelling workshop, I was graced by some commuters’ deity and the agile Uber driver who got me to Queensboro Plaza to board the N train to Union Square with time to spare. Upon arriving at the New School, I passed through the state-of-the-art-looking gates and down the stairs where I found and met Girls Write Now staff, ready with my clipboard.
First assignment: tape signs directing people to our workshop in the computer labs. It didn’t make sense to place some of the signs around the lab, so I asked the kind gentleman sitting in the IT window for a second opinion. Sure enough, I headed for the lobby and taped the signs that would lead the ladies to the sixth floor computer lab.
Second assignment: Introduction. If I were to make another confession, it would be that I’m no master in the art of introduction. Hi, my name is Stephanie, I was a Girls Write Now mentee back in 2005 until 2007, and I still keep in touch with my mentor to this day. After introducing myself, I felt a wave of awe flowing around the baby lecture hall. The mentors in attendance seemed especially interested.
The workshop commenced. As the mentees were making final touches to their work, I was jotting down my Tweet Story in what I could only hope was 140 characters or less. For a moment, nostalgia paid me an emotional visit. I felt like a mentee again, taking my first flash fiction/digital media workshop ever; we didn’t have a Digital Media Program back then. The only thing missing was the presence of my mentor, but she is never far in spirit.
The time came to set up lunch in the hall, where I had the pleasure of meeting one of the facilitators who would lead Part 2 of our workshop. Third assignment: Guard the food!
After lunch, we made our merry way to the computer labs for Studio Talk (Part 2 of our workshop), where I played photographer and uploaded records of our revolution to Instagram. As the mentees worked, I witnessed some of the most beautifully written creations through unique visual art, which took me back to my Xanga blogging days.
I wondered why we didn’t have a Digital Media Mentoring Program when I was mentee? Perhaps social media wasn’t such a big deal at the time. Facebook certainly wasn’t.We were but a small group of girls and mentees. Standing in the computer lab, I could now see how far Girls Write Now and I had come.