No matter where you are in the writing process, our On Demand College Essay Support videos are available now to help you tell your story. Whether you’re brainstorming, drafting, or are ready to begin revising, join members of the 826 Boston team on an exploration of those all-important 650 words, all on your own time!

Lesson 1: Intro to the College Essay

To learn more about the “genre” of the personal statement, start here! This introductory lesson explores what colleges are really looking for when they read your essay, debunks some common myths and misconceptions, and breaks down some stellar sample essays that have been successful in the past.

Lesson 2: The Prompts

So, what do I write about? Choosing the right topic can be one of the most important—and challenging!—parts of the college essay writing process. In this lesson, Will takes a deep dive into each of the 7 Common Application prompts and provides tools for making the most of the word limit and telling your story most effectively.

Lesson 3: Outlining and Drafting

Once you’ve chosen a topic and decided on a Common App prompt, it’s time to start drafting! In the final lesson of our virtual college essay series, Will explains key organizational tools such as the Kernel Essay outlining model, closely examines a final sample essay, and shares drafting tips to strengthen your story.

We’re excited to host our annual College Essay Boot Camp (CEBC) on Saturday, October 28, 2023!

CEBC will take place at Northeastern University, located in the Northeastern Crossing room at 1175 Tremont Street, Boston. Current high school juniors and seniors who live in Boston are invited to attend. You can register here.

We have both a morning and afternoon session available for you to work with a volunteer writing tutor on your college essay. It doesn’t matter if you have a blank page, a first draft, or a final draft—all stages of the writing process are welcome. Space is limited so sign up for a slot ASAP!

Within a week of completing the sign-up form, you’ll receive an email that either:

  1. Confirms your seat at College Essay Boot Camp, along with additional details about time, location, and day-of information, or
  2. Confirms your spot on the waitlist, with information on next steps.

If you have any questions, please contact Celia Mendoza at

About College Essay Boot Camp

The college essay is arguably one of the most important pieces of writing our students will ever produce in their lives, but many students are trying to chart a course to college on their own. College Essay Boot Camp can be the critical support students need.

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