Welcome, ExCEL Fellows!
We are pleased to introduce our first cohort of ExCEL Fellows!
ExCEL - Exemplifying Change, Empowerment, and Leadership.
Over the next few months, these young leaders will be learning about gender-based violence and working together to create a community action project that builds community support and protection for girls.
We are honored to facilitate this fellowship in partnership with Rutgers Univerisity, NJ DCF Division on Women, and other regional partners. Stay tuned for future updates about their impactful work! 💕🦋
2020 College Decision Day
100% (5/5) of our class of 2020 Write to Lead interns were accepted into 4-year colleges and universities, receiving full rides and partial scholarships. Here's where they've decided to go. Happy National College Decision Day!
Spotlight: Aminata Touray
Butterfly Dreamz Write to Lead is an internship for high school girls, where they are exposed to networking, career development, and the opportunity to form new friendships. Additionally, interns learn how to express themselves through the power of creative writing and journaling. Journaling is a style of writing that allows the writer to explore their thoughts and feelings surrounding the events of their lives. Though it may seem mundane, journaling is actually one of the most efficient ways to keep a mind at ease. That is what helped Aminata Touray during her high school experience.
Aminata Touray is a senior at Newark Tech High School in Newark, New Jersey. She was able to share with us about how she navigates her daily and school life with journaling:
Sadia [S]:What does journaling mean to you?
Aminata [A]: Journaling, to me, means telling your story in the eyes of you and you only. Whether it’s giving your opinion of something that happened recently or simply a ramble of your deepest thoughts and feelings, journaling is what it means to you. In the end, you open your wounds, and you let them bleed on a piece of paper, so that in some shape or form, it is mended. In my eyes, there is so much power in your emotions and journaling allows you to ignite that power for the betterment of yourself.
[S]: How old were you when you first started to journal?
[A]: I first began to journal at the age of 12 or 13. I remember the first thing I wrote was about my first day in 6th grade and how excited I was to be in this new chapter of my life. Soon, what started as something as harmless as telling the daily events of my life, ended up being a coping mechanism for hard times. When I felt like I had no one to turn to, I would look to my journal and write down all of the emotions I felt. I started writing poetry and found such a deep passion for writing. Being able to craft words together and make them impactful, to me, is like creating a new invention. I was able to make things that no other would; I cherish it everyday.
[S]: What types of things do you write about in your journal?
[A]: Wow…I write about a lot of things in my journal. Usually, I tend to write about things that spark emotions from me in order to organize how I feel and what next steps to take. Sometimes, I just write about random thoughts in my mind and some ideas I have about different topics—ranging from if aliens really look like us to what life would be like with no fingers. Journaling really does not have a limit in my mind. When I feel overwhelmed about everything, I usually write down key words that are in my head all jumbled together, rip the paper up, and throw it away. This allows me to declutter and to refocus on one thing at a time. Also, I will try to list out positive events that have happened throughout the day.
[S]:Would you recommend that other people journal? Why or why not?
[A]: I would definitely recommend journaling to other people. If you need a listening ear or just want to clear your mind, journaling can help you significantly. It can allow you to be more open and raw about your emotions, along with reevaluating everything. Where there is a need, journaling is there to help you try and sort out your emotions. :-)
As Aminata mentioned, journaling became a tool for her to vent when no one else would listen. At Butterfly Dreamz, we encourage our interns to write as a form of therapy, while also creating a trusting and loving form of sisterhood amongst fellow interns and mentors.
Tell us: How do you utilize journaling?
This blog is updated with love by the Butterfly Dreamz staff to keep you informed about our latest happenings.