This blog post was written by Jessica Merino, Programs Intern
There is something special about being a new intern. It reminds me of being in a foreign country – everything a mystery, glistening with newness and awe. The unfamiliar faces and languages heighten a girl’s senses, enabling her to pick up on even the faintest of nuances.
This state of careful observation, sparked by a combination of excitement and fear, is perhaps an intern’s most valuable resource. She is able to pay close attention to the subtleties of an organization – to the rhythm of the talk, the formality of the interactions, the ebb and flow of the work environment.
Within my first week as a programming intern at Girls Write Now I was welcomed into an atmosphere of warmth and compassion. Not yet familiar with the GWN lingo, I instead heard the gentle cadence of the staff’s voices, always open, eager and encouraging. I quickly became accustomed to the sound of their laughter, sporadic, yet consistent throughout the day. Equally inferable was the deep appreciation for the relationships that have developed through their work, many of which extend beyond the walls of the office. There was no confusion, then, as to why the office would spring to life whenever someone, anyone, stepped through the door.
As you may already know, Girls Write Now is growing. In a sector where simply staying afloat is a feat in and of itself, GWN’s decision to broaden its program and double the number of girls they serve is truly astounding. Maya and her board of directors have built a team of talented, intelligent, and tremendously hardworking women who are just as dedicated to one another and their internal dynamics as they are to the organization’s mentors, mentees, and the larger NYC community.
This genuine loyalty is made apparent as soon as you walk into the building. Open the door and be greeted by an array of smiles and friendly hellos. Take a few more steps and you’re likely to notice a mentee sitting at a table, chatting with a cohort leader or working on her latest piece. Look up at the walls and find a seemingly endless supply of books, incredible books, by the likes of Elena Ferrante, Maya Angelou, and the mentors and mentees themselves. Girls Write Now is not only a visionary organization taking a bold and revolutionary stand against the status quo, but also an authentic space where girls can come to explore, create, and breathe.
As I spend more and more time with Girls Write Now, part of me is sad to be losing the naive intern gaze. Yet, I would never give up that set of eyes for the feeling I currently have of being a part of a truly momentous organization.