College Essay Mentoring

Mentoring high school juniors and seniors to brainstorm, edit, and craft personal statements for college applications.

The College Essay Mentoring Project (CEMP) pairs high school juniors and seniors with volunteer mentors to work on their college application essays. A majority of the students served are first-generation applicants to college. Volunteer mentors come from all walks of life and share a dedication to positively impacting the lives of young people. Literary Arts provides training and guiding documents to prepare mentors to work effectively with students from diverse backgrounds. 

Literary Arts’ Youth Programs co-created CEMP with award-winning teacher Susan Bartley at Franklin High School in 2010. Mentors travel to high schools to participate in one-on-one mentoring sessions with students. In 2019, local companies The Standard and Wieden+Kennedy hosted sessions where students received mentorship, learned about their job fields, and toured their offices.

We will continue using both formats in the coming year, including new partnerships with Portland State University and creative ad agency Roundhouse.

Volunteer as a Mentor

Interested in mentoring local high school students? Please sign up on our volunteer page, and we will follow up with you.

Sign Up

Involve Your School

If you are an educator from Portland Public Schools or an East Multnomah County high school who is interested in hosting a mentoring session at your school, please sign up on our volunteer page, and we will follow up with you.

Sign Up


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