19 year-old Christina Strugeon of Potomac, Maryland, 14 year-old of Diane Kalita of Silver Spring, Maryland, 18 year old of Keona Gardner of Greenbelt, MD are the first cover girls of the DC MD VA (DMV) edition of Love, GIRLS Magazine. The girls were selected from among dozens of entries because they most represented the values of the magazine—Lead, Overcome, Value and Empower.
“I love the whole idea and works of Love, GIRLS Magazine. I wish I had something like this when I was in middle and high school to see real girls doing big things,” said Keona who is a freshman at Howard Community College. “It was truly an honor being selected and I’m enjoying the experience of representing what LOVE means.”
Seventeen year old Jasmine Babers started Love, GIRLS Magazine in the Quad Cities (a cluster of cities on the Iowa and Illinois border) area in 2012. She started the magazine to show a friend who was being bullied that all girls matter and that she was special, too. The magazine will focus on featuring articles of interest to teen girls and stories that represent leading, overcoming, valuing, and empowering. Love, GIRLS Magazine is online at www.lovegirlsmagazine.com and in print in the Quad Cities area, the Memphis metro area and now the Washington, D.C. metro area.
Girls between the ages of 13-20 write all of the articles for the magazine. Local female professionals with strong writing skills mentor each of the writers to help improve their writing skills. Each region has a volunteer magazine lead who hosts monthly writing workshops to nurture the girl’s skills in writing, photography, and other areas of interest to the girls.
“As a youth advocate and educator, a magazine like Love, GIRLS is a publication that every girl should read and be a part of,” said Carletta S. Hurt, the DC Magazine Manager. “We are about celebrating every aspect of girls from the ups and the downs because that’s what makes them strong and powerful women."
While most articles will focus on local activities, on occasion the writers will get unique opportunities, such as attending live entertainment events as red carpet reporters. “It was really amazing and everyone was so nice. It was an experience I will never forget!” said Raquel Strickland of Newark, NJ, a guest teen writer/reporter, who attended BET’s taping of the Black Girls Rock on behalf of LOVE Girls Magazine.
The D.C. edition of the magazine arrived on Saturday, January 18 and will be available at select schools in the area. The official launch celebration is February 1 at The Hill Center from 11 am – 1 pm.