Award #61: Girls Write Pittsburgh

girls-writeToni Morrison. J.K. Rowling. Emily Dickinson. Maya Angelou. Harper Lee. Next in this list could be a young girl getting her writing start here in the Steel City with Girls Write Pittsburgh.

Girls Write Pittsburgh is looking to build strength, skills, and self-awareness for teen girls using the power of the pen. Providing a safe, supportive, and stable environment with strong female mentors, the project will foster personal growth and development while encouraging self-expression through various genres of writing. While empowering teen girls by exposing them to new opportunities through writing, Girls Write Pittsburgh hopes to encourage the next generation of great authors.

Project coordinator, Vivian Lee Croft, recognized a need:

[Teen girls], specifically those who are at-risk or underserved, often lack skills and opportunities that result in critical thinking, as found in the craft of creative writing. While parents, caregivers, teachers, and mentors provide certain structure, many girls lack a creative approach to identify their own capabilities as individuals of worth.

Ms. Croft began Girls Write Pittsburgh to address that need and invest in today’s girls.

During group meetings, workshops, readings, and one-to-one writer-to-mentor pairings, this project will inspire Pittsburgh’s teen girls to find their voice, self-confidence, self-respect, and personal power through writing. The creative outlet of writing offers myriad tools for growth and development, providing teen girls with a method of self-expression along with skills that will last a lifetime.

Awesome Pittsburgh trustee, Eric Davis, appreciates the impact this will make:

Girls Write Pittsburgh partners with local outlets to provide a safe and supportive environment for girls to express their individuality. That, along with the potential to reach and benefit a great number of Pittsburgh’s teen girls is what makes this program awesome!

The Awesome Pittsburgh grant will be used to purchase notebooks and writing utensils for participants, expenses for seminars and workshops, as well as promotional materials to get the word out about the program.

Monthly meetings are currently being held at Brookline Teen Outreach Center on Wednesdays from 6-7:00 pm. As the program develops and grows, Ms. Croft is hoping to expand to include locations on the Northside and in Garfield. Girls can apply to participate by going to the Girls Write Pittsburgh website and completing the application.