Essay Writing Sessions


Writing Workshops registration

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All-virtual Essay Writing Sessions

Each week from June through September, we will offer a set of 3 writing sessions. Each set of 3 sessions will cost $299.95. While are willing to guide students in creating any essay or responding to any writing prompt over the course of the 3 sessions, we recommend that students develop a “My Story” essay to begin the process. The My Story is an autobiographical essay profiling each student’s journey, background, obstacles, triumphs, leadership, service, and gifts and passions. In essence, the My Story essay becomes the lens through which all other essays and writing prompts can be viewed.

Each of the essays from which the following excepts were taken, began with the student’s “My Story” essay.

Admitted to the University of Chicago

Joining the middle school band was a critical turning point in my life. Through our shared passions in music, I developed a culturally diverse group of friends who represented my first sibilance of stability. Excelling academically and musically, supported my application to the International Baccalaureate Program at St. Petersburg High School. Throughout high school, I have experienced the most consistent and stable housing of my lifetime. I still find myself dealing with stereotypes. I get questions from both my black and white friends intrigued by my being Jewish and on free-and reduced-lunch shattering their perception of all Jews being financially successful. As the Pit Captain and Co-Drum Major of the marching band, I have expanded my musical repertoire from what would be appropriate in Temple to genres that would rock the house in a Baptist Church.

Symbolic of the pounding sounds of percussions, I am a fierce debater. There are no topics for which I do not hold an opinion. As a proud member of the Young Feminist and Young Democrats Clubs, I regularly engage in heated discussions across such topics as privilege, social justice, gun violence, and educational inequity. As the President of the Temple Beth-El Youth Group, my very presence as the dark-skin curly hair biracial liberal Democrat continually challenged the traditionally conservative views at my Temple…

Admitted to Johns Hopkins University

I first recognized the importance of vulnerability in patient care through the Medical School Intensive within the Summer At Hopkins Pre-College Programs. One of the assignments was a simulation: the “patients” and “doctors” were given a guideline. After completing the activity, there was a questionnaire for us both. To my surprise, I didn’t do as well as I could have due to my inability to ask about the patient’s symptoms in a way that made them feel comforted and less stressed. I disregarded the patient’s distress and failed to achieve vital information in so doing; I only sought out key information that would help me diagnose my patient. I have always seen myself as an empathetic person, but this moment made me realize that I need to emulate my feelings for music to my patients.

To achieve this at Hopkins, I can see myself volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, employing my passion in piano to uplift patients and their families. Through interacting with pediatric patients at the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, I hope to gain greater experience in patient care as my empathy and interpersonal skills will improve the more that I volunteer. I also would love to contribute my voice as a musician to encourage other pre-med students in the Women’s Pre-Health Leadership Society to take up music as a way to comfort patients in a deeper and more intimate way…

Admitted to Williams College

Until the age of nine, my life consisted of awakening at 6:00 am each day to race my uncles and sisters to the fields where we picked corn, squash, and other vegetables until 8:00 pm. Then one day, my mother returned to my grandparents’ home in Veracruz, Mexico and brought me and my younger sister to America, placing me onto a pathway into a previously unimaginable future. 

The day after reuniting with my parents, I entered the fourth grade as a non-English speaker living in a household of non-English speakers. Four years passed before I could read, speak, and write fluently in English. Now, I am fluent in Spanish, Nahuatl, and English….

Admitted to Elon University

I was born in the countryside of Vietnam where human rights and human dignity were overshadowed by illegal monetary exchange and bribery—essentials for survival. Desperately seeking access to education, economic opportunities, and human justice, my family announced our departure to the land of freedom and prosperity—the United States. 

At the age of twelve, I was a careless youngster occupied by the thrill of exploration and unconcerned about the transition. Days after our arrival at a new residence in an unfamiliar country, realization tapped me. The foreign language, unfamiliar settings, and vast cultural differences created an unfamiliar distress. It might sound dramatic, but the volition and competence to adapt and assimilate to a new set of customs were the only mental support that kept my family surviving. We entered a foreign nation without any advanced knowledge, like newborns from mothers’ wombs, we miserably started from zero…

Admitted to the University of Southern California

When our 80-member football team spent a day at the Salvation Army Bellwood Boys and Girls Club, for 78 of the players it was a fun afternoon with underprivileged children and a check into the community service box on their college applications. However, for me, I recognized some of the students from my former elementary school. As we reminisced about our time at Centennial Place Elementary School, I was reminded of my mother’s love for the school and its reaffirming culture. One of the other Black players joined me in making a commitment to spending time regularly at the Boys and Girls Club. Whether serving as role models, tutoring, or engaging in conversations, we view our respective journeys as intertwined.

My invisibility at off campus gatherings and candid conversations at the Boys and Girls Club have framed conversations in my role as a discussion group leader for the Westminster Black Affinity Group, a safe space where Black students in grades 9-12 engage in discussions and conceptualize strategies for dealing with the issues of race and class in our school and issues of racial and social justice in the larger society. The rules passed on by my mother reassures me that we all are in need of rules that guide our purpose.

Admitted to the Honors College at North Carolina A&T

Growing up under the watchful care of my grandparents, I entered preschool in the sweltering Jamaican heat with 20 other students in a one-room classroom. Without a cafeteria, air conditioner, or lights, I sat each day in my striped uniform, red socks, and held a wooden pencil looking at the green chalkboard awaiting instructions with natural sunlight shining through the four windows amidst the noise of big ceiling fans. My teacher often wrote notes to my grandparents regarding my willingness to learn at such a young age with such pronouncements as, “I believe Jada will become a top academic student.” However, my Jamaican teacher’s belief in my ability would be questioned shortly after my arrival into the United States. I had no idea America is where I’d face my most significant challenge. 

Upon entering kindergarten at Sanders Elementary School in Austell, Georgia, I was lost. I experienced difficulty transitioning from Jamaican Patois to English. My enunciation of words left my classmates laughing and teachers wondering if I had a speech impediment. My kindergarten teacher lacked both empathy and patience, requesting that I be placed into Special Education. This took a toll on my belief of becoming a top academic student at a young age. I doubted myself and sometimes refused to speak when spoken to by teachers. However, Ms. Astin, a middle aged and compassionate white woman with low cut brown hair, and dark blue eyes requested that I be placed into her first grade classroom for gifted students.

Certified College Admissions Counselor, Mychal-David Wynn (’12 Amherst College, BA English), will provide expert college essay writing assistance. The 3-part series will be presented from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Students will receive recommendations as the Common Application prompt to which they should choose based on our review of their background, activities, and college list.

Below is the full set of Common Application essay prompts for 2022-2023. The Common Application will also retain the optional COVID-19 question within the Additional Information section.

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

The set of the virtual sessions will follow the following format:

  • A component of the writing process will be introduced
  • Students will then engage in a circular process of writing, review, and feedback until students arrive at a final draft
  • The final draft will be edited and returned to the student within 72 hours

Students must complete the actions outlined on the New Students  page prior to receiving login credentials.

Note: Registration fees are non-refundable. Please review our Terms and Conditions  prior to purchasing your registration. 

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