Fresh and Healthy Starts for Everyone

It has been a WOW summer for sure as we launched our first book, WOWsdom! The Girl’s Guide to the Positive and the Possible (grab your copy here). Supporters, contributors, and our Generation W team SHARED THE WOW with events in New York City and Jacksonville (soon to be in Toronto), and continue to spread their own WOWsdom through social media. Let’s keep that momentum going, here is a fun post you can share. As we catch our breath after returning from the BlogHer National Creators Summit in NYC, we love you Samantha Skey and Jen Denton, we are preparing to celebrate WOWsdom! with our Washington, D.C. friends in September and are also busy getting ready to visit with our WOW girls who are getting back to school.

I read a message from our WOW Executive Director Atiya Abdelmalik this week who reminded our WOW community that not every girl heads into the new school year with the anticipation of a successful year and a great experience. Some girls are dealing with very serious issues at home and in their communities, issues that will ultimately affect their self- esteem, social interactions and academic performance. I wanted to share Atiya’s timely message to our mentors as we head into this new school year. She wrote:

As mentors, we have a unique opportunity to significantly impact the educational experience of girls.  According to, students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip class.  In addition, students with mentors maintain better attitudes toward school and are 55% more likely to enroll in college.  And, because our school communities are not always filled with kind words, it has been found that mentoring programs not only reduce violent and aggressive behavior but help teens have more positive relationships with their peers.

I encourage you to connect with your mentee over the next few days and see how she is feeling about heading back to the classroom—or heading off to campus if she is in college.  Share your own first-day-of-school memories—the good, the bad and even the ugly…letting her know that she is not alone in how she feels about the start of a new school year. 

I hope her words resonate with you as they did me. I hope they serve as a reminder to connect with the students in your life to check on their bodies, minds, and spirits. Let’s make a concerted effort to do everything we can to make this a true season of fresh, healthy starts everywhere for everyone!




by Donna Orender