April 16, 2012
Boston GLOW Awards $11,000 in Scholarships and Prizes to Local Teens
April 16, 2012, Boston, MA – Seventy guests gathered at Maggiano’s in Boston on Tuesday, April 10th, to celebrate the achievements of the ten finalists of the IGNITE Change Essay Contest, sponsored annually by Boston GLOW (www.bostonglow.org).
In it’s second year, the IGNITE Change Essay Contest is a major piece of Boston GLOW’s Girl’s Leadership programming. The non-profit targets underfunded school systems in and around Boston where teen girls may not be receiving the kind of encouragement that could be life changing. “We’re very specific about the schools we’re targeting,” founder Leah Moschella says. “We want this contest to make a significant impact in the community.”
That significant impact is exactly what they’re asking contestants to create. The essay contest calls for a work of not more than 1500 words answering the question “What would you change about the role of women in your city, community or school?” with an actionable plan for change.
“Of course, it’s not that simple,” says AC Gaughen, a board member for Boston GLOW and a local young adult author. “Giving scholarships is only the beginning of what we do. We’re looking to create a tangible support system for as many girls as we can.” That support system includes connecting the girls with a writing mentor who reads their essay and gives them a personal response, calling in young adult authors to be panelists for the contest, and introducing the finalists to professionals in their career of choice in the months after the contest.
This year the contest was judged by a panel of debut novelists: Hilary Weisman Graham, author of REUNITED, Gina Damico, author of CROAK, Gina Rosati, author of AURACLE, Lauren Morrill, author of MEANT TO BE, and Diana Renn, author of TOKYO HEIST, all of whom joined the finalists at the awards banquet to congratulate them.
This year’s contest winner, with a $1000 educational scholarship, was Zacorah Kamaria Jackman of Dorchester; first runner up, with a $750 scholarship, was Catherine Nakato of Somerville; second runner up with a $750 scholarship was Fatima Khan of Somerville; the remaining finalists each received $500 scholarship and are: Natesho Ali of Roxbury; Lin-Feng Collins of East Somerville; Giselle Maria Bonilla of Hyde Park; Kheyla Thaimar Orival of Somerville; Jasmine R. Taylor of Dorchester; Franchesca Viaud of Roxbury; and Crystal Walker of Dorchester.
In addition to the scholarships, every finalist received copies of the young adult novels CROAK by Gina Damico, REUNITED by Hilary Weisman Graham, and SCARLET by AC Gaughen; the Chicken Soup anthology EXTRAORDINARY TEENS; T-shirts and tote bags from Boston GLOW; Boston GLOW was also thrilled to offer a brand new HP netbook computer to each of the finalists.
“Your essays have inspired us,” AC Gaughen said to finalists at the event. “Your words have shown us that we are not creating a better future for you; you are envisioning and building a better future for yourselves and your communities. And that is so incredibly inspiring.”
About Boston GLOW
Boston GLOW is a local nonprofit that strives to empower women. Founded in 2010 by East Boston resident Leah Moschella, Boston GLOW fosters opportunities for women of all ages to become empowered community leaders and active world citizens. Through two specific program areas--Girls’ Leadership (GL) and Organized Women (OW)--GLOW strives to provide pragmatic programming, leadership training, and service-learning opportunities.