Discovering magic in mentorship: How one CNN Hero impressed hundreds of younger girls to write down their very own success tales


Keren Taylor, who started WriteGirl, a creative writing and mentoring program for teenagers in Los Angeles, has seen it firsthand.

“What we see is that young people have been slipping away. Many of them are not showing up at school, online,” said Taylor, a 2014 CNN Hero.

When the pandemic hit, Taylor’s team moved all of their programs online in order to reach “the most teens, that are in the greatest need.”

“Many of our girls come from environments where they’re really struggling with unstable family situations, violence in their communities,” she said.

With a goal to empower girls through creativity and expression, WriteGirl offers participants support, guidance and the tools to have their voices heard. During the pandemic, mentees have continued their exploration of subjects such as poetry, screenwriting, journalism and songwriting.

In a recent workshop, singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb took lyrics that the girls wrote and turned them into song.

Since 2001, CNN Hero Keren Taylor's WriteGirl program has helped thousands of teens find their voice.

The organization in recent years has expanded…