As a college applicant, a girl participating in our college prep series faces a challenge she has no doubt already encountered as a writer: the tricky business of investing ink and paper with her own distinctive voice. The Common Application, a standardized application accepted by over 400 colleges and universities, asks students for details about their classes and extracurricular activities, a teacher recommendation, and a 650-word personal essay.
So how do you make your voice stand out amidst the hubbub? At least the Common Application’s essay questions give a girl plenty of latitude to work with. Choosing from several options, she might pick:
- “Recount an incident or time when you experience failure,” or
- “Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content.”
Yet in response to these broad questions, Girls College Bound participants created essays rich with specific details, style, and story. They told stories about sitting at a grandmother’s old, oak dining table, about witnessing racist taunts on New York streets, about painful failures and personal epiphanies, and about the struggle of ordering coffee with a thick Brooklyn accent and attitude.
Over the course of an hour (and sometimes more), each girl got to dig deep into her essay with the one-to-one help and guidance of a professional writer, honing the voice, argument, and style of her essay with an eye towards what colleges want to see.
We know that these extraordinary essays are just the beginning for these girls. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for their college hopes and can’t wait to see what they do next!
- The one-to-one essay editing workshop was just one part of our college prep series. Find out how participants went from resume to essay over the course of one summer!
- 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.