Ms. Keren Taylor
California, United States
Member Since: 08/20/2013
Keren Taylor, Executive Director of WriteGirl, has been a community leader for two decades. In 2001, she founded WriteGirl with the idea of pairing women writers with underserved youth to provide an out-of-school program of creative writing workshops, one-on-one mentoring, and college readiness guidance. For 13 consecutive years, 100% of seniors in WriteGirl’s Core Mentoring Program graduated from high school and enrolled in college—a remarkable statistic in contrast to the 68% graduation rate in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Keren has overseen WriteGirl’s expansion into a thriving community of women and teen writers and an organization that helps hundreds of Los Angeles girls annually.
In November 2013, WriteGirl was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the highest national honor awarded to exemplary after-school and out-of-school time programs from across the country. In 2014, Keren was selected as a CNN Hero, recognizing her efforts to leverage the professional skills of women writers to help youth. Working with a team of editors and designers, Keren has directed the production of more than two dozen anthologies of writing by teen girls and their mentors. To date, WriteGirl publications have been awarded 70 national and international book awards.
Passionate about helping women and girls, Keren is a popular speaker at conferences and book festivals nationwide, including the Association of Writing Programs Annual Conference, BOOST Conference, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and Guiding Lights Festival. Keren has led staff development workshops for the California Paraeducator Conference, California School-Age Consortium, California Department of Education, Los Angeles County Office of Education, L.A.’s BEST and the New York Partnership for After School Education, among others. Keren has been selected to serve as a Community Champion and facilitator for the Annenberg Foundation's Alchemy Program, helping guide nonprofit leaders to organizational success. Keren is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the President’s Volunteer Call to Service Award, Business & Professional Women’s Community Woman of Achievement Award, Soroptomist International’s Woman of Distinction Award, commendations from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and others.
Keren is an assemblage artist, jewelry designer and mosaicist. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of British Columbia, a Piano Performance Degree from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, and a Diploma from the American Music and Dramatic Academy, New York City.
Twitter Username: @kerentaylor
- CNN HERO (2014)
- Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award for WriteGirl, presented by Michelle Obama (2013)
- Executive Director at WriteGirl www.writegirl.org (December 2001 - )
- Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from University of British Columbia (May 1986)
Genres of Interest
Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Children's literature , Poetry