WriteGirl – a huge success story

I am contemplating volunteering to be a writing mentor at a Los Angeles-based nonprofit called WriteGirl. Launched in 2001 by Karen Taylor, #WriteGirl provides weekly one-on-one mentoring, schedules monthly workshops on a variety of writing genres, shares mentee work in public meetings, and publishes books with writings by its mentees.

Where do WriteGirl mentees come from?

WriteGirl mentees come from high-density public middle and high schools in central Los Angeles. These girls are recommended by their English teachers and are both low and high achievers.

Where do I fit in?

WriteGirl searches for professional women writers and women with strong communications skills who use writing in their careers in all genres – some like me, who work in multiple genres – who will volunteer to mentor these teen girls.

I first heard of WriteGirl at a friend’s birthday party. My friend asked for donations to WriteGirl instead of gifts and hosted WriteGirl staff, volunteers, and mentees at the party. I met the CEO, Keren Taylor that night and became immediately interested. Since then I’ve been giving WriteGirl some money every year, but only applied to be a volunteer this Fall.

Why do I hesitate?

Since filling out the volunteer application I’ve spent two full Saturdays with WriteGirl – one a volunteer training and the other a retreat with other volunteers – both new and experienced. Though I know I will work with WriteGirl in some way, I’m not yet sure how. They ask a lot of its volunteers, such as:

  • Attend monthly meetings
  • Engage with the WriteGirl mentees and the staff
  • Participate as an active member on one of the WriteGirl teams – I signed up to work on the fundraising team
  • Promptly read and respond to all WriteGirl member communications.

Ideally I would like to mentor a girl weekly one-on-one . However, the time involved, including the amount of driving back and forth to these meetings – plus all the other obligations given above – stops me in my tracks.

A huge success story

Yet, I keep thinking about WriteGirl’s huge success –

“100 percent of girls who participate in WriteGirl’s Core Mentoring Program have gone on to graduate from high school and have enrolled in college. In just seventeen years Keren Taylor and her WriteGirl mission have produced this miracle.

I’ll keep you posted on what I decide to do. To be sure, I’ll still be involved in some way to help #InspireATeen. And I’d love for you to join me.

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