10×100 Campaign – WriteGirl

A closer look at 10 nonprofits we are supporting this year who are making a huge impact.

We’ve been honored to celebrate our 10-year anniversary by making donations of $100, each, to 10 non-profits in 2023. This 10×100 Campaign has been our way of giving something back to the world that has given so much to us. This month, we’re donating $100 to WriteGirl, and sharing this Q&A with the organization’s Executive Director Keren Taylor.


When was WriteGirl founded and how does it fulfill its mission?

WriteGirl was founded in Los Angeles in 2001. Within a community of women writers, WriteGirl promotes creativity and self-expression to empower teen girls and gender-expansive youth. Programming objectives include teaching teens a robust set of writing and critical analysis skills and guiding underserved teens to develop their creative talents.

Tell us more about the people WriteGirl serves and why it’s so important.

WriteGirl is a nationally-recognized writing and mentoring organization that helps teen girls and gender-expansive youth, ages 13 to 18, discover and express their creative voices. Founded in 2001, the WriteGirl organization serves more than 1,000 youth annually, predominantly in the Los Angeles area as well as nationally and internationally. Through workshops, mentoring and publishing opportunities, WriteGirl helps teens develop creative writing and communication skills as well as confidence. WriteGirl envisions a world where all teens live, write, and speak boldly as they become inspiring, transformative leaders, driven to effect positive change in their communities. WriteGirl received national attention in 2021 when WriteGirl alum Amanda Gorman performed her poetry at the Biden-Harris Inauguration. In California, the student to counselor ratio is at 509:1, meaning many students aren’t getting the individualized attention they need. WriteGirl provides in-depth college entrance guidance at no cost to its participants and has maintained a 100 percent success rate in helping its seniors not only graduate from high school, but also enroll in college.

Teen girls continue to suffer disproportionately from the pandemic and the increased influence of social media on their daily lives. A recent U.S. government survey on teen girls’ mental health found that more than one third of respondents have “feelings of persistent sadness and hopelessness.” WriteGirl focuses on trauma- and healing-informed curriculum that encourages youth to share their challenges and successes, helping them connect and empathize with each other through the power of creative self-expression and giving them hope and specific goals for their future.

Over the past year WriteGirl has matched nearly 150 teens with their own one-on-one mentor. Our teens tell us that a caring role model can make all the difference, giving them someone to offer them hope and help them set goals for their future.

WriteGirl also works with boys and co-ed groups under the name “Bold Ink Writers.” As a founding member of the Arts for Healing and Justice Network (AHJN), the WriteGirl Bold Ink Writers Program brings creative writing workshops and mentors to youth who are incarcerated or systems-involved.

In 2013, WriteGirl was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest national honor awarded to exemplary out-of-school time programs.

Since moving all programming and operations online in March 2020 in response to COVID-19, WriteGirl has had the opportunity to expand our reach beyond Los Angeles to begin serving teen girls and gender-expansive youth nationally and internationally. WriteGirl has held online workshops for teens in North Las Vegas, Wisconsin, Uganda, Cameroon, and Tajikistan and has provided weekly writing mentors to girls in Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Poland, Philippines, Italy, Nigeria and Canada. We’re excited to continue our expansion efforts and continue to reach more girls worldwide.

Can you share a story about how someone’s life has changed because of WriteGirl?

WriteGirl Alum Kai Adia is a blogger, content creator, and emerging writer of science fiction and fantasy. A WriteGirl mentee throughout her high school years, Kai graduated from Pitzer College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Analysis and English & World Literature.

Kai is the co-founder of an independent publishing platform called Bee Infinite Publishing, which highlights the work of BlPOC creators. In 2020, Kai published her first book, The Depths of Anima, a collection of poetry that takes an introspective look at Black girlhood. Kai continues to participate in WriteGirl events and recently took part in the 2022 WriteGirl Poetry Workshop as a special guest panelist. During her four years as a WriteGirl mentee, Kai learned that writing doesn’t have to be a solitary practice. She was able to share her work with her mentor and others at WriteGirl workshops to get feedback on revisions. She also developed the skills to write in different formats.

Kai said she thrived on the exposure to so many different kinds of opportunities while in WriteGirl. “WriteGirl is an ecosystem of people helping you. I learned that if I continue to trust myself and believe in the power of my pen, this writing will take me many places.”

How does WriteGirl use its donations?

Funding supports activities that include year-round creative writing workshops, one-on-one mentee-mentor pair matching and management, volunteer recruitment and ongoing training, college entrance guidance workshops for WriteGirl high school juniors and seniors, career-focused workshops and mentoring for program alumni who are college students and recent college graduates, editorial and design expenses for Lines & Breaks (WriteGirl’s online journal featuring writing by our teens and alumni), public readings, leadership development activities and workshops offered to WriteGirl high school sophomores, juniors and seniors participating in our Bold Leaders Program, writing workshops for incarcerated and system-involved youth served through our Partner Programs, writing workshops and mentoring serving transgender youth in Altadena, and writing workshops for teen girls in Uganda and Cameroon.

How can people help WriteGirl fulfill its mission?

Donations can be made online, by phone or by mail. Another inspiring way to support WriteGirl is to purchase a WriteGirl book! WriteGirl recently published a journal of writing tips and activities in partnership with Chronicle Books called “What’s Behind the Blue Door? Creative Writing Prompts to Invite Inspiration.” A portion of the proceeds benefit WriteGirl.





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