I'm so happy to report more good news! BA was one of my talented pro bono students last fall. When she reached out to me, she had two drafts written for the Common App--and we ended up scrapping both of them. The first was not compelling enough of a topic and didn't really show anything about her character except for having an unpopular birthday. The second had potential, but it was written in general sweeping statements which were hard to identify with and provided no space for self-reflection. So we worked on starting the second idea about her heritage and identity obstacles from scratch with a better emphasis on her personal journey and how she's overcome them. Seven revisions later, BA wrote me "Wow, I love it. Thanks so much for everything! I appreciate all you have done for me. I'll keep you posted with my college applications as you have done so much to help me through them." I'm so excited to share her results and testimonial below!
"I have worked hard throughout high school to prepare myself for the application process to get into my dream schools. But when senior year came and the time to start applying to colleges arrived, I didn’t know where to begin with my personal statements. I’ve always heard that you can literally write about anything in your essays and it will be fine. But anything doesn’t always show the best qualities in me.
"That’s where Yelena came and turned things around. Torn between topics, Yelena helped me brainstorm powerful events in my life that helped illuminate my strong characteristics that reveal who I am as a person while also making my statement impactful. She is extremely gifted in noticing significant features about a person just through her writing process. The fact that she actually takes the time to get to know her students before helping us with our work shows her determination to make our essays well written while leaving a great impression on the admission officers. She believes that every person has something amazing to share and she works hard to help us show that. With her help, not only did I come out with an incredible essay but I also learned more about myself and my values. I cannot thank her enough for her tremendous help."
-BA, accepted to Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Williams, UCLA, UC Berkeley & more