by Mel Wells
We had a busy and wonderful fall with the College Essay Mentoring Project! We returned to Franklin, Madison, and Roosevelt, and partnered with Gresham High School for the very first time. We held two sessions at Franklin and Roosevelt, for a grand total of six mentoring sessions at the high schools. A total of 83 mentors worked with 126 students on brainstorming, revising, and proofreading their essays for college and scholarship applications.
Of these students, 61% report that they are part of the first generation of their family to be heading to college, and 100% said they will use their mentors’ feedback. Students reported that their mentors were helpful in narrowing down ideas, organization, and finding their voice. They praised mentors for active listening, writing down details they heard, asking lots of questions, and helping students feel comfortable sharing their stories.
We want to give a huge thanks to the students and mentors who participated, as well as the teachers and librarians at each school who helped facilitate this project this fall: Elisa Wong and Sandra Childs at Franklin; Tara Hieggelke at Gresham; Daniel Fredgant and Nancy Sullivan at Madison; Keri Hughes and Betsy Tighe at Roosevelt; and Susie Bartley, now at Grant, who co-founded this project. We love walking around the libraries during these sessions and hearing positive, engaging work happening between strangers who are invested in a better future together. Thanks so much to everyone for being a part of this project!