by Mel Wells
We had a very successful sixth year of the College Essay Mentoring Project! This fall we returned to Benson, Franklin, Madison, and Roosevelt High Schools, adding a second session at Benson and another drop-in session at Literary Arts. In total, 136 students had individualized mentoring with their essays needed for college and scholarship applications! (For comparison, last year we served 112.) We also trained and added 21 new volunteer mentors to our amazing roster. It is thanks to all 76 of this year’s participating mentors and their wonderful work that 100% of students said they would use their mentors’ feedback when revising their essay.
Here are some highlights from student feedback about their mentors’ work with them:
I started with just a thought and [my mentor] helped me to develop a full idea and feel good about my accomplishments. (BHS)
He pointed out flaws and made them strengths. My essay was strengthened in every section. (FHS)
She taught me a lot about improving my essay and how to make it sound more like me. (MHS)
It really helped me to go over the essays with my mentor, not only on grammar, but also with structure. (RHS)
I’m very excited to revise my essay now that I have these notes to go off of. (FHS)
She made me feel way more confident and helped me in every way. (MHS)
[My mentor] listened and offered her suggestions without making me feel overwhelmed. (BHS)
We also want to give a huge thanks to the teachers and librarians at each school we partner with: Ilsa Bruer at Benson; Susie Bartley (who helped start it all!) and Sandra Childs at Franklin; Brady Bennon, Daniel Fredgant, and Nancy Sullivan at Madison; and Justin Fahey, Keri Hughes, Betsy Tighe, and Catherine Theriault at Roosevelt. We simply couldn’t do this work without everyone’s help!