On Oct. 15, a free college-writing essay clinic opened its doors to seniors looking for some advice and feedback on their personal statements from a group of 20 professionally trained teachers.
At the start of the first couple of sessions held in a span of three days, 102 seniors were split by the first letter of their last names into groups of three. Each senior had the chance to talk to a teacher for 20 minutes to obtain some advice on their essays and to get assigned to a specific teacher who would be their essay coach for the next month or so by appointment.
“Students get close to an hour of professional time in which they did not have to pay a penny to get really excellent advice on how to make their pieces better,” said English teacher Clare LePell.
During these half-hour appointments, students asked teachers for advice on what worked in their essays and what needed improvement. Even though the time was short, students were more than satisfied with the results thanks to a few pointers on how their essays could improve.
LePell’s advice to seniors is to not wait until the last minute to write essays and to take advantage of the programs provided by the school that are free of charge.
“The essay clinic helped condense my essays and cut unnecessary words so that the important messages stood out and didn’t lose their meaning,” said senior Amanda Suhalim.
The clinic was first created by LePell six years ago with the help of the School Improvement funds. But in the past two years during the state budget cuts, those funds were cut. With the help of CVHS Principal Mary Ann Valles, discretionary funds were provided and the program was able to continue and provide help for seniors.