Next spring, She Write Press will proudly publish its Passion Project for 2016: the annual anthology for Girls Write Now. Girls Write Now is a New York City based nonprofit that combines mentoring and writing to change the lives of teenage girls, and, as a mission-driven company dedicated to empowering women writers, we couldn’t be prouder to be the girls’ publisher next spring.
However our support of this transformative organization—which has been honored not once but twice by the White House as one of the top fifteen after school arts and cultural organizations in the country—is year-round, and as 2015 draws to a close, GWN needs your help. Here are five reasons we are asking our community to rally around these brave, remarkable, talented young women by donating to their annual holiday appeal.
5 REASONS TO SUPPORT GIRLS WRITE NOW
1) Girls Write Now Provides a Path to the Future. In New York City, where only 40% of teenagers graduate on time, 100% of Girls Write Now seniors not only graduate, but go on to college. Given that 93% of the girls are high need and 94% are girls of color, this is a transformative achievement with long-ranging impact.
2) Girls Write Now Produces The Writers of Tomorrow. Only 27% of high school seniors nationally have proficient writing skills. GWN mentees are required to enter the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and in 2014, the girls won a total of 52 Gold and Silver medals, as well as three National Awards. GWN teens have performed their original work at Lincoln Center and the United Nations, published in Newsweek, ELLE India and, of course, in GWN’s annual, award-wining anthology!
3) Girls Write Now Goes Beyond Writing. GWN teens experience depression, eating disorders, and domestic violence, among other issues. GWN’s Therapy Panel–-made up of pro bono, licensed mental health professionals–-is on call throughout the year to support staff, mentors, and mentees. One in five American youths do not have a caring adult in their lives. Because of their mentors and the caring, experienced staff of Girls Write Now, 100% of Girls Write Now youths do.
4) Girls Write Now Teaches Girls To Proudly “Author” Their Own Lives. Girls who grew up feeling shame and even being punished for speaking their truths find a safe, nurturing, creative home in the GWN community. 93% of the girls said they were proud of their writing portfolio at the end of the program year, versus 45% of the beginning of the year. 100% of them agree with the statement that they have the ability to be a great writer.
5) As She Writers, We Get It. Every day in this community, She Writers share stories of rejections they have faced, obstacles they have overcome, and moments when being a woman writer has been a unique challenge. By giving to the girls of Girls Write Now, we are giving back to younger ourselves, delivering the powerful message: “Yes, you are writer!” to girls who need to hear it from us.
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