Riddle us this: how do you turn a twice-weekly babysitting gig and school band into a resume admissions officers will fawn over? How do you begin an essay that will introduce yourself to a total stranger — in 650 words or less? And how on earth do you sail the perilous seas of college applications with a cool head on your shoulders?
These questions may not have straightforward answers, but we believe that a supportive community is a great start. That’s why we put together our summer workshop series, Girls College Bound, focused on helping high school girls navigate the college application process. So, what does the Girls Write Now-brand of college prep look like?
Step 1: Get real with your resume. In June, we partnered with Morgan Stanley to connect students with professional businesswomen to work on resume writing skills. There’s a real art to boiling down busy lives into bullet points, and thirty-two girls were determined to learn it. Each pair talked so warmly and rapidly it was almost hard to end the day!
Step 2: Explore your essay. At the next workshops, girls and teaching artists read examples, discussed storytelling strategies, and worked in small groups to give each other feedback on potential topics and very rough drafts. Despite the stressful subject at hand, both sessions were filled with jokes and laughter — proof that the community that edits together stays together!
Step 3: Examine and edit. Girls College Bound wrapped up for the summer with a one-to-one editing day. We paired students with professional writers who spent an hour (or more) combing through their college essay drafts. All day long girl after girl (and editor after editor) got so excited about their ideas that they talked all the way to the door, stacks of notes in hand.
Now that the resumes have been refined and essay drafts have been marked up for edits, we’re wishing good luck to the nearly ninety girls who participated in Girls College Bound as they finish up the rest of the application process. We certainly feel confident about their applications — and think they do too! (Girls told us that the workshops were “more intimate and personalized”, “more in depth”, and “focused more on uniqueness and personal style” than the help they would have otherwise received.)
A big thank you goes out to our many volunteers, who acted as dedicated teachers, sage mentors, and kind confidantes, as well as our generous friends at Morgan Stanley, who gave their space, time, and top-notch advice.
- Participants from this summer and more high school girls from all over New York City will have the opportunity to join us again in the fall, when Girls College Bound continues with informational seminars on financial aid and campus life.