This blog post was co-written by program interns, Jocelyn Jacoby and Emily Becker.
As part of our College Bound program, Girls Write Now organizes college essay writing workshops aimed at kickstarting the application process and getting a jump on the ever-important essay. Following the Morgan Stanley Resume Writing Workshop earlier this summer, volunteers and mentees met throughout the month of July to pour over essay drafts and hone their prose. Check out some personal reflections on the series below!
“For me the college essay writing process feels like it was yesterday, but I am sure glad it is over. Many of the girls come into our College Bound Essay Writing Workshop feeling unsure what they want to write about, unsure how to express themselves to a college admissions office in so few characters, even unsure what college admissions officers are looking for in the first place. Here at Girls Write Now we work to answer these questions and help the girls walk out of the workshop with a solid first draft and the confidence to continue working on it.
After being given time to first outline then write a draft, we broke into small groups to share and help each other, guided by a writing mentor. I loved being able to hear each of their fabulous essays and watch how well they were able to give and receive advice from their peers. Towards the end many of the girls asked me questions about the application process and college itself and I was happy to be able to counsel them on the subject given how enthusiastic they are. I know every one of them will bring something marvelous and unique to whichever school they attend.” — Jocelyn Jacoby, Program Intern.
“Of all facets of the college application process, the essay is perhaps the most personal, the one place where you can abandon the laundry list of activities and instead focus on reflecting your true self. This July, our girls took a break from summer jobs and trips to the beach to hunker down and tackle the tricky business of beginning. At our Essay Writing series, our fabulous team of volunteers broke down the writing process, emphasizing the importance of letting your story shine in the essay. The girls were challenged to identify what aspect of their lives the application would be incomplete without. Faced with this gargantuan question, the girls responded with incredible, varied stories—stories of fighting gender expectations in the weight room, of celebrating Ramadan in India, of the power of a name. The girls broke into small groups, and, led by a volunteer, filled the circle with the power of their collective voices. Through discussion and critique the girls became to shape their writing, crafting the foundations of honest, funny, and moving essays. A few weeks later, the girls had the opportunity to come in again, this time to meet one-one-one with a volunteer for personalized feedback. We know their dedication and enthusiasm through the summer months will churn out some truly amazing essays!” — Emily Becker, Program Intern.