#Admitted: How to ACE the College Essay

Eleventh and 12th grade students from the Atlanta Leadership Academy participated in a college essay-writing workshop on Saturday November 7, 2015.

The two-part program featured a panel of current students and recent graduates from Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Howard University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and The University of Georgia.

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“I really enjoyed speaking to the panelist from Howard,” said Helena DeVone.

DeVone, senior at D.M. Therrell High School, wants to attend Howard University and double major in marketing and mass communications.

What started out as a discussion about how to get into college, organically transformed into a discussion of Historically Black Colleges and Universities versus Predominately White Institutions, two-year versus four-year colleges and in state versus out-of-state schools.

“Don’t limit yourself without knowing what kind of resources you have,” said Cierra Thornton, a 2015 UGA graduate. “That goes for essays and application fees.”

Following the panel, academy students were given the frameworks of how to write a great essay, writing prompts from the Common Application and examples of great and average essays. With paper, pens and laptops in hand, students got to work on crafting their “perfect” essay.

The panelists’ broad range of experiences and majors from sociology to computer science added an extra level of exposure to students’ undecided about what major to pursue.

Academy senior, David Manuel, plans on going to the military but came to the program to hear what college was like from the panel. Manuel left the workshop with the start of a vivid, detailed essay about a childhood incident.

“The reality is many of our students don’t have a strong support system to help them navigate the process of applying to college and writing excellent essays,” said Vanecia Thompson, Moguls In Training Coordinator. “We wanted to do something that would make an immediate impact.”

In proper New Look fashion, panelists were given code names at the end of the program. Special thanks to our panel Devontte DeCaul, Ayanna Kosoko, Karri Thomas, Timberley Thompson, Cierra Thornton and Kerri-Ann Watson for joining us and sharing their experiences!

Support More College-Prep Workshops like these by investing in the New UNL Spark Lab, a Youth Center for UNL Students to Learn, Create and Innovate. Donate Today at www.UshersNewLook.org/SparkLab