Scholarship Day 2017: Putting the Pieces Together

“It restored my faith in my potential as far as my college pursuits go. I felt respected and acknowledged by a caring adult — my tutor. And that’s hard to find. I’ve been getting rejected from colleges and it made me feel insecure, but now I feel confident that I can accomplish things. My broken heart is put back together.”  — Claudia, West Adams Preparatory School

On Saturday, March 18, students from various LAUSD schools were able to transform their personal statements into scholarship essays with the help of volunteers. The first step is getting to college; the second step is paying for college. Scholarships are crucial to helping students attend and succeed in higher education. And it all starts with great writing.

By the end of the four hours, each student and volunteer pair aim to finish at least two scholarship essays. Each student comes with a folder of  essential information including transcripts, SAT scores, resumes, all personal statements they wrote for college admission, and two to three scholarships chosen for them based on matching identifying factors. Some identifying factors include: Dreamer, Feminist, Woman in STEM, Black/African American. With the idea of using content from personal statements they already spent hours  working on in the fall, volunteers guide students to craft new essays for the scholarship prompts.

At 826LA, we know that writing is never an easy process—it takes strength to tell your story and tell it well. But when a thoughtful volunteer takes the time to help a high school senior outline, draft, start, edit, or even finish a scholarship essay, it makes writing a little easier and even a little fun. Scholarship Day, in partnership with LA Promise Fund, aimed to do just that! At the end of the day, a star volunteer from CAA said, “It was fun. I wasn’t expecting that.”

We would like to thank Manual Arts High School, West Adams Preparatory School, and our Partners in Time for making this event possible as well as CAA for an outstanding troop of volunteers.

All photos courtesy of Jorge Segura. Check out more photos from Scholarship Day here.

Student Testimonials:

“My tutor took in mind my story and
continuously helped me by asking questions and helping me be vocal about my experience.”

“It really excited me for college. It also motivated me.”

“I feel the best part was working with a tutor that understands what you’re
trying to say and can relate.”

“Meeting my tutor, writing my essays, and leaving with confidence.” 

“My best part about Scholarship Day is that I got to interact with someone that was genuinely interested in my progress.”

“Small details make a huge impact.”

Want to help more students thrive in college? 

Caring and creative volunteers that are invested in the success of students is essential. Become a part of the 826LA community and volunteer. 

Sign up for an upcoming Volunteering 101!

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