learn / 2020
In March 2020, WriteGirl moved quickly towards shifting all in-person creative writing workshops, one-to-one mentoring and college entrance guidance to a digital platform in response to COVID-19. WriteGirl Connected would be a digital suite of interactive programming that will engage hundreds of home-bound Los Angeles youth and keep them on track to graduate from high school and enroll in college. Funding will support the development of a robust suite of digital programming so that teens can create, learn and connect from anywhere.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- East LA
- San Gabriel Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
- South Bay
- Antelope Valley
- County of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
What is the need you’re responding to?
In the wake of upheaval caused by COVID-19, we have reached out to more than 700 WriteGirl teens and program alumnae to connect with our members and learn how we can help. We have learned first-hand that the girls we serve are in need of a sense of community and connection now more than ever. Many feel isolated, stressed and uncertain.
Consistent class schedules and extracurricular activities have been disrupted and life milestones, such as high graduation ceremonies, have been cancelled. Many of our high school students are participating in online classes, but are unable to see their teachers’ faces as they carry out their daily assignments without personal interactions. Building upon WriteGirl’s 20 years of success inspiring girls to academic and creative success, WriteGirl Connected will give hundreds of Los Angeles teen girls an engaging, interactive and positive online space to learn, create and be inspired. WriteGirl Connected will allow us to reach more girls than ever.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
Since 2001, WriteGirl has provided a consistent and supportive community of accomplished women writers who have guided 100% of the seniors in our Core Mentoring Program to enroll in college. We want to continue to send all of our girls to college and this transition to a digital learning environment will allow us to achieve that goal for the girls we serve, and many others in need.
We would like to reinvent WriteGirl in digital form to continue to present interactive creative writing workshops led by professional women writers, one-to-one mentoring, publishing opportunities through a new and expanded WriteGirl blog, and an expanded alumnae network.
We have decades of expertise in creating a unique learning environment through a robust curriculum that we call “literacy in disguise.” WriteGirl’s unique community of dedicated and trained mentors provides individual guidance to inspire even the most reticent learners. Taking this program online is a natural next step for WriteGirl.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
WriteGirl has guided more than 1,000 underserved girls to graduate from high school and enroll in college, many with scholarships and as the first in their families to go to college. Our alumnae mentees are pursuing ambitious academic and professional goals, using the power of their voice, their confidence and their enhanced skills as writers to advocate for human rights, environmental protection and marginalized communities. WriteGirl Connected would exponentially expand our ability to reach and transform the lives of the city’s most vulnerable youth. WriteGirl’s safe and supportive atmosphere empowers teens to use their voices to create positive change in their families, neighborhoods and the broader community of Los Angeles.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
We are committed to providing quality content that embodies WriteGirl’s high standards in presenting the uplifting and engaging educational programming that is the hallmark of our organization. We are confident that WriteGirl Connected will maintain these standards, allowing us to do more for greater numbers of youth.
We will measure success through the number of girls participating in online workshops, the level of their engagement, the number of submissions to our blog and publications, the increasing number of matched one-on-one mentee-mentor pairs, and of course their success in graduating from high school and enrolling in college.
We will conduct surveys and periodic focus groups with our mentees to make sure we’re giving them what they want and need. We will also conduct regular “mentoring roundtables” enabling members to share feedback and strategies about their mentoring experiences.
As we reinvent this full slate of online programs, we are excited to see how we will be able to give girls the support they need now to develop the confidence and creative skills they need to thrive in high school and beyond into creative careers.
Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?
- Arts education
- Enrollment in afterschool programs
- High school graduation rates
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to CREATE
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Host public events or gatherings
- Communications support
- Office space for meetings, events, or for staff
- Capacity, including staff
- Strategy assistance and implementation