College Essay Coaching

Words define a student: athlete, valedictorian, first-generation, coder, council leader. Words can also tell the story behind the transcript. 

 

Tackling the College Essay

It’s simple to say that an effective college essay doesn’t list accomplishments but tells a personal story. What’s hard is asking students to create a window into their unique character in 650 words. 

The best solution to this big ask is to start small. I work with students to identify specific story moments so the reader can picture them in time and space. Unique is universal, and sensory details are what allow admissions officers to envision that student in their academic community.

The summer workshop with Kelly Jean was not only a learning experience of expression and insightfulness but also one that connected me to other youths my age going through the same college application process. With her lessons and personalized feedback, both inside and outside of meetings, and the amazing friends I have met, I am extremely excited to announce that I have been accepted into my dream school: Harvard.

Center for Fiction Summer Workshop Student

As a professional college essay writing instructor, I understand that the admissions process can be a stressful one, even in the best of times. Now, students are feeling the added pressure to report about how they’ve weathered the pandemic along with trying to make sense of our country’s continued civil unrest. 

My goal is to help students mine their memories while also being respectful of the trauma many of them are still processing. I love watching students embrace the value of their stories and share vivid details of their personal experiences, whether it be that Dr Pepper tastes like peace or how a bare wall without a crucifix looks like a life transition. 

Want to provide support for your student or academic community? I offer:

  • Private coaching.
  • In-class workshops: There are six “Storytelling for College Essays” sessions to choose from, each 45- 60 minutes long.
  • Two-week after-school workshops or weekend intensives where the first half is generative and the second focuses on revision techniques to strengthen the storytelling. 

Contact kjfitzsimmons@gmail.com for a free 30-minute private coaching consultation to schedule a group workshop or tailor one to fit your needs.

My experience includes designing and facilitating in-person and online workshops with House of SpeakEasy, The Center for Fiction, Model Laboratory Schools at Eastern Kentucky University, and more.

In a recent workshop, one student noted, “I was pleased we could write about small moments that made a big impact on our lives. Before this class, I didn’t think I had anything that was good enough for my college essay.”

This feedback touched me because it embodies my intention to help high school students turn real moments they experienced into memorable stories that will wow admissions officers. Read more testimonials here.  

Prior students have been accepted at Bates, Baruch, Brown, Case Western, Columbia, Cornell, Fordham, Hampton, Harvard, Marist, Middlebury, Northwestern, NYU, Princeton, Pitt, Smith, SUNY ESF (Environmental Science and Forestry), Syracuse, University at Albany, UMass, UPenn, URochester, Williams, Wellesley, Yale, and more.