Everyone Has A Story…
…yet figuring out how to tell your unique, personal story can be daunting.
Champions For Learning’s rising 12th-grade students have recently completed draft versions of their Personal Statements – the essays written for college admissions committees showing who you are and why you deserve to be admitted – and are now working towards finalizing their drafts before the start of their Senior year.
Personal essay writing can be a painful and emotional process. Framing your strengths and experiences thoughtfully and with self-awareness—and in just 650 words or less—can be overwhelming. After all, this is one of the most important pieces of writing these students will have done in their lives up until this point. So are they nervous? Under pressure? You bet.
But what they aren’t is alone. To help take some of the anxiety out of the process, Champions For Learning volunteers and staff worked with students to guide them in crafting essays that they’re proud of. These sessions offered students a fresh, objective perspective, and help in identifying what’s working in their essay and what’s not.
Great personal statements bring students’ ambitions, challenges, and personalities to life. This week, students learned to pinpoint one story that best illustrates their brand and how to draw in and engage the reader from the very start. They also learned how to share their story creatively using fresh language and sensory details, honesty and clarity.
Angie Joseph, a 2017 Champions For Learning graduate and recent Florida Atlantic University graduate, was one of the volunteers on hand working one-on-one with students. “I think the most interesting thing I learned today is the amount of fear there is revolving around being boastful. I wanted to assure the students that they could be proud of what they have achieved and own their truths.”
“I wanted them to walk away with a better understanding of how to write a personal statement that was both true to themselves and their personalities. After speaking to them, I wanted them to come alive on the page… I’m excited to see them go for it!”
The college admissions process, and in particular the essay writing process, gives students the invaluable opportunity to delve into who they are and who they’re becoming, but it can be an overwhelming experience. This week, Champions For Learning students were empowered by the experience and, in turn, volunteers were inspired as they watched them grow.