A writing and storytelling collective where teens share their thoughts on guided subjects and develop their writing, thinking and empathy.

Photo of Madeline Terry
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Additional categories (optional)

  • Education
  • Technology

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth


Help us stay in touch!

(213) 245-3367 10525 Cushdon Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90064

Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

There isn’t space online teenagers can just be ourselves and connect. Reading an essay written by someone with a different background might make you see things a different way, and it may make you feel less alone. Writing an essay forces you to put your thoughts into words which can help your mental health and improves your ability to communicate. Sometimes writing things down takes away fears, and allows you to let go of a thought.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

My idea is to create a website site for girls written by girls to help empower girls to tell their stories but I think it should be open to any gender. Each month has a theme and each week has a prompt and girls can submit their writings or drawings. If they don't like the prompt or finish writing something based on the prompt we send another one related to the theme. For example, one theme could be Family. And the result could be a collection of writings like: being an only child, why it's hard to tell your parents things, things I wish my mom taught me. It doesn’t have to be serious, the author's voice just has to be honest and have a point. Other themes could be: What it's like being a Girl/Boy, Violence, Stereotypes We also share information about writing competitions opportunities and internships. It would be anonymous - just first name unless they give us permission as a regular contributor. Teenagers who get published and this could help them with high school or college applications. Our stories are often told by other people and this empowers us.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

I am passionate about and have been working towards SDG-5 Gender Equality for the last year. I am club leader for Girl Up and we advocate and fundraise for girls to go to school and be counted. I am a youth designer Novelly.org and a mentee at Writegirl. I love to read, watch TV and movies and listen to music and hope to someday make a living telling stories in some form. The idea for this project is a combination of the people I met and conversations I have had within Girl Up, Novelly, Writegirl and also reading American Like Me and Taylor Swift's journals from when she was 13.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

Link sharing from Google Drive https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-0jBiGYhmUln8Ryv76XRO8lrR8FZtMcZ

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Misunderstood will have a theme for every month and each past month will be archived. On a daily basis a new essay, story or poem will be published as a feature on the site. We will have an open request for submissions for original unpublished work, it is the authors choice whether or not to be published with a profile or not, but every story posted will have a first name and an age, maybe a city. I imagine it to be a literary magazine or collection of essays or stories. As our readership grows we can expand to other categories like crafts or photos or beauty,

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

I think I can create something that is unique and interesting and that anyone who is involved will be proud of. The closest thing I can think of is rookiemag.com and that has shut down.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

This project is still in the idea stage but my first goal is to obtain submissions and get some regular contributors then I will engage the global Girl Up network and everyone I know to participate. I would measure success by the number of people who submit work and the number of people who read the work and the quality of conversations on .

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

I would like to expand to: Artwork, Drawings, Photo Journalism, Song Playlists, Crafts, Book recommendations and even songwriting.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Design

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Anna Gabriella Casalme

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Jon

Stories are the most powerful tool for change. They allow people to consider a different point of view by allowing the reader to give the time to understand and stand in the shoes of the writer or character. A wonderful idea from a talented and motivated individual.