Save the date for 826 Boston’s annual college essay extravaganza, College Essay Boot Camp. Volunteers receive training and are paired with high school juniors and seniors who are working on those all-important 650 words. Morning and afternoon sessions will see at least 100 students. This year’s event is October 20, at Northeastern University, West Village G.

Both morning (9 AM to 12 PM) and afternoon (1 to 4 PM) sessions include breakfast or lunch and an optional campus tour of Northeastern University. The event is free and open to all students.

If you’re interested in attending, sign up here.
If you’re interested in volunteering, sign up here.


Last year’s College Essay Boot Camp was a huge success, thanks to the incredible outpouring of our volunteer network. Together we helped students write 140 college essays.

The college essay is arguably one of the most important pieces of writing our students will ever produce in their lives, but so many of them are trying to chart a course to college on their own. College Essay Boot Camp can be the critical support students need. If you were there, you were no doubt captivated by the student stories you read and edited.

Some stats about past College Essay Boot Camp participants:

  • 60% of students who attended had parents who were born outside of the United States;
  • 45% of students reported that they would be the first in their families to attend college;
  • 48% of students had not started their essays prior to College Essay Boot Camp…
  • and 70% of students left College Essay Boot Camp with a 1st, 2nd, or final draft in hand.

“Thank you, 826 Boston, for your amazing work with our college-bound students. Your programs truly make a difference.” – Josette Teneus, mother and guidance counselor, Charlestown High School

“To be honest, I came here with no ideas, no topic, nothing. I am so grateful to be a participant in this program. I overcame a lot.” – Former student participant

At 826 Boston’s College Essay Academy, students learned the ins and outs of the Common App and the components of a strong college essay as they start writing with the support of a trained tutor. At the end of the day, students left with a complete first draft of their personal statement. Stay tuned for summer 2019 Academy sessions.


In 2017, 826 Boston piloted College Essay Boot Camp on the road, a new way for college seniors to work with tutors on what could be their most important piece of writing to date.

We hosted mini-events at Babson CollegeHubspotMorgan Stanley, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Combined, we helped students write 196 college essays.

If you would like to get your company on the 2017 road trip, please contact our volunteer team by email to get started.