Tell A Girl She’s Brilliant

As most of you know, I am Vice Chair of the Board of an amazing organization, Girls Write Now. At GWN we match teenage girls with writing mentors. It’s a simple concept, which has been wildly successful. 100% of our girls have been accepted to college. They have won scholastic keys and last year we were honored by Michelle Obama.

I am writing this as part of our Spring Appeal. Short version, please give us some money. Whatever you have. Give us your latte money. Here’s a link and here’s why.

When I was coming up, there was nothing like Girls Write Now to guide me when I was just a baby writer trying to figure out what to do with myself. Picture Southwest Atlanta circa 1986. I was not in a good place. Because I had been skipped, I was younger than my classmates, but just as tall as I am now. (Not a good look at 15. I promise.) I had been bounced around a little bit– a different school for 7, 8, 9, and 10th grades, so I wasn’t really in synch with my classmates. Added to it all was the fact that I was enrolled in a Math and Science magnet program. What was a girl writer to do? Pray and wait for college.

When I got to Spelman College, Pearl Cleage told me I was brilliant and changed my life. This was before Oprah came a-calling and Pearl became a superstar. This was when she was a working writer who mentored a young lady who just wanted to write.

I am involved with Girls Write Now because I want all girls to have the experience of a one-on-one relationship with a woman writer who will read what she writes and listen to what she has to say.

We are a volunteer organization. Our mentors give their time. To be fair, our girls give their time, too. On Saturdays, they commute to Manhattan from as far as the Bronx to attend workshops on poetry, memoir, college-essay writing and more. Our Chapters Reading Series on Friday nights is SRO, every time. GWN is where motivation meets inspiration meets dedication.

The economy is in the toilet. We all know this. But certainly you can give a little something to help secure the future of our girls and really the future of American writing. These girls ARE the future. They are what America looks like. Help us get their voices out there. Please. Make a donation and let me know about it. Nothing is too small.

T

About TayariJones

Author of SILVER SPARROW, LEAVING ATLANTA, and THE UNTELLING.
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