This blog post was written by Madhurie Parasram, Girls Write Now First Year Mentee in our Digital Media Mentoring Program. Madhurie co-hosted the 2017 QWERTY Digital Media Exhibition with her mentor Emma DeFelice on June 2nd. The event showcased work created by mentees in our Digital Media Mentoring Program throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, alongside a panel moderated by staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and co-host of Still Processing, Jenna Wortham.
As a first year mentee at Girls Write Now, you could imagine my surprise when offered the opportunity to emcee the annual QWERTY Digital Media Exhibition. I was quite hesitant to accept at first because public speaking isn’t necessarily a strong suit of mine. But since I am a senior, and this is also my last year as a Girls Write Now mentee, I decided to step out of my comfort zone. Also, it was guaranteed to be a delightful night because I’d have my mentor, Emma DeFelice, by my side.
Upon setting foot in the building that night, I immediately felt confident about my decision. I found myself in a cozy space with fairy lights accompanied by Lauryn Hill’s voice in the background; I was truly entranced by the warm environment. Before the show began, I was able to converse with the panel, which consisted of five highly intelligent women from diverse backgrounds. As a West Indian girl, I was thrilled to see minority women have a voice on the Girls Write Now stage. The panel’s discussion was incredibly informative and I will never forget how one of the panelists referred to my previously-mentioned Creative Writing major. Co-hosting QWERTY was truly an honor, and this night was unforgettable.