April 12, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Boston GLOW Awards $10,000 in Scholarship Funds
Boston, MA – On Tuesday, April 12, 2011, Boston GLOW presented scholarship prizes to the ten finalists of the organization’s first annual IGNITE Change Essay Contest.
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.
The IGNITE Change essay contest was conceived by Boston GLOW to give teen girls in Boston’s most overburdened schools – specifically in Dorchester, Boston and Cambridge - the opportunity to use their voice to promote local, actionable, and positive change. Writers were asked to put forth ideas for change in their schools, communities and cities, in 1500 words or less. Finalists were chosen by a panel of local female authors based on the voice of the piece, originality, establishment and resolution of a singular conflict and a sense of personal insight. Each winner received a personal response to their essay. “We wanted to pair each finalist with a professional female writer who could encourage them to share their stories and inspire them to develop their voice to influence change,” explained Boston GLOW founder Leah Moschella.
The prizes awarded, totaling $10,000, will support finalists’ educational endeavors ranging from four-year college to writing classes to leadership programs. “The aim of this program is to help these young women access resources and identify opportunities not available to them through their schools or communities,” explained IGNITE Change co-founder and local author AC Gaughen. “There are so many programs out there that can help them develop their voices and be heard.”
“In our first year, we engaged exactly the young women for whom we created this opportunity,” explained Boston GLOW founder Leah Moschella. The group of finalists included two immigrant young women, one teen mother, one young woman living in a shelter, another who had previously lived in a shelter and one who had dropped out of high school and recently obtained her diploma. “Now that we’ve reached these young women, we can help them understand their abilities and the importance of letting their voices be heard.”
The event, held at Maggiano’s Restaurant, included finalists, their families and the panel of young adult authors who chose the winning essays as well as leaders from Boston GLOW. Boston GLOW will work with the finalists throughout the year to develop academic goals and identify opportunities for use of their educational scholarships. Boston GLOW will also facilitate writing workshops for the finalists and students new to the contest this fall in three Boston-area schools.
Contact: Emily Copeman www.bostonglow.org