First Day of LitWorld Girls Club in Harlem

Hello everyone! This is Ruby, one of LitWorld's newest team members. Over the past few months, I’ve been granted the honor of developing the first Girls Club Teen program in New York City for LitWorld. With the help of longtime LitWorld veteran Jen Estrada, we put together a young women’s reading, writing, and empowerment program for the Polo Grounds Center in Harlem. I’ve been so excited to help launch it, and happy the day had finally arrived!

Last Tuesday was our first day, and I couldn’t be happier to say it unfolded beautifully. With the help of LitWorld intern Lauren, we painted a poster for our summer “clubhouse” that displayed the seven strengths that the Girls Clubs are themed around: Belonging, Compassion, Esteem, Friendship/Sisterhood, Self-Respect, Curiosity, and Hope.

Every young woman that entered the room had a smile and a personality as bright and colorful as our poster. They embraced the idea of sisterhood immediately, and their enthusiasm for writing, reading, and most of all, their potential to harness their powers of being women uplifted me in a way I didn’t know I needed. Leading workshops like these are funny that way. My students never fail to teach me, to move me. In truth, they are my teachers, and I can’t wait to see what I’ll learn from them.

From our icebreakers to our first free write, I was inspired by their energy, the playful fire inside all of them. Loud or soft spoken, I can sense their potential to transform themselves, each other, and the world. Imagine my delight when our youngest and shyest of the group, 12 year old Michelle, volunteered to read her free write in front of the whole class, and had her older counterparts encourage her to feel brave enough to speak up. Witnessing that gave me all the joy I could ask for. And imagine, it’s only day one.

I can’t wait to share what’s to come. This is only the beginning… =)