Unanswered [6] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Undergraduate   % width Posts: 7

"Youth Tutors of Greensboro" - Common App- chose "other" essay option


Astraea7 4 / 10  
Sep 19, 2010   #1
It's too long, but I know I can whittle it down probably another hundred words if I need to. But what do you think? This was really the only way I felt like I could expand on this topic on my common application or on the supplements in the kind of depth that I wanted to. Let me know your opinion! Thanks

Some people are talkers. Some people are drawers. And some people are readers. That's me. I'm a reader. If you put a good book in my hands, you're golden. Literature has been my sanctuary in which to escape from the chaos of a dysfunctional family, and it has given me the key to my own imagination, taking me on wild trips to the park with Mary Poppins and crazy adventures inside an over-sized peach with young James. As a child, I was snobby with literature. A good book was my good book, and any stranger who read it was trying to steal my bond with the characters. It was really only during my high school years that I figured out how lucky I've been in my love affair with books, and how many kids have yet to meet the right title and fall in love. After having this humble realization, I decided to do something about it. And so begins the tale of the Storybook Festival.

Youth Tutors of Greensboro, an organization I launched in my junior year, had completed a successful semester of tutoring. I began to wonder how, in the midst of math and critical reading analysis, we were instilling a love of reading in our children. In our fierce determination to raise test scores and provide mentors, we hadn't been focusing on the great commonality that brought all of us together in the first place: our love of delving into a good book. I spent my summer meeting with Jenny Caviness, Greensboro Youth Council's adult supervisor, discussing a festival that would get kids excited about literature. I began to realize that I had the power to make this event as explosive or as quaint as I imagined. I knew this was my opportunity to transform my idea into reality.

Planning an event for YTG was overwhelming- the volunteers, materials, and money that were required were staggering. I applied for a grant from the Greensboro Teen Grantmaking Council and received 2,000 dollars to fund the event. Jenny described a GYC fall festival called "Ghoulash" in which we could have a trial run and see how my idea played out. I decided to have YTG host a room at the event and work out the kinks before our spring Storybook Festival. We've chosen a Harry Potter theme, given that the final movie premieres in November, and we'll have a number of games and activities to excite kids about the series. Harry Potter books will be given away as prizes, and our volunteers will be decked out in costumes. This is our chance to get our name out to parents and students so that our spring event can be better publicized.

The Storybook Festival is unquestionably the high point of my high school career. It is the daydream that filled my days of lifeguarding at the pool, and the thought that brings me out of any teenage funk threatening to kidnap my motivation. I can envision the festival so clearly. As soon as a kid walks through the doors of the Cultural Arts Center, he will wonder if he's entered another world. To his left, Adventureland beckons him, with the fantasy and thrill of Narnia and Treasure Island calling him to come and dress up as a knight or pirate and gather round to hear stories of faraway places and daring deeds. To his right, the sights and sounds of the Animal Kingdom capture his attention. A monkey from the Natural Science Center is shaking hands, and he can get his face painted as a cheetah or lion and watch puppets act out The Jungle Book. He walks down the decorated hallway and enters the Sports Arena, with games such as table-soccer and football. Hula hoop competitions are in one corner, and stories of exciting mountain climbs and thrilling water sports are read aloud. After experiencing the magic of the themed rooms, he wants to own and read the titles featured, but he doesn't know where to find them. The answer looms in front of him- a Scholastic Book Fair. He can pick out books to his heart's content, and a portion of the profits will go towards the YTG fund so he can come again next year. He leaves with a goodie bag and his mind lost in a newly enlarged imagination.

The idea of having other people experience something that has existed solely in my mind for so long is terrifying, yet exciting. My mom says that a child who doesn't love to read just hasn't found the right book yet, and I think she's right. The festival is reaching out to every elementary school in Guilford County, and since I am ensuring that it becomes an annual event in the community, children can look forward to it every year to rekindle their love and vigor for reading. I think I've successfully grown out of my literature-snob days. Now what brings me pure happiness isn't keeping my books a secret for my own enjoyment, but rather watching a child's face light up while reading one of my favorite stories for the first time and knowing that I helped to create the atmosphere that made it possible.

Shadow93 9 / 40  
Sep 20, 2010   #2
I recommend refocusing a topic that showcases YOU more than your YTG event. Thinking about it, I still don't know that much about you. Aside from the fact that you love reading. I think most admission officers want to know about you as a person and not how the event took place. The latter half of the essay seems a bit unnecessary.

I think you might want to narrow your topic a bit more, to showcase your individuality (who are you, and not just what you are capable of) I enjoyed your writing style immensely, clear and functional. However, if you plan to apply to a good school, they might ask for something with more... "magic" and spirit.

You can try deleting a bit of the details of the book fair and talk more about how the transformation from keeping a book to sharing it affected you. Make it more descriptive and more memorable!

It will be challenging, but with your abilities, I'm sure you can do it ^_^

I hope this helped!
mea505 - / 265  
Sep 20, 2010   #3
Some people are talkers. Some people are drawers. And then some people are readers. That's me. I'm a reader. --> good sentence for an opener.

t's too long, but I know I can whittle it down probably another hundred words if I need to. But what do you think? This was really the only way I felt like I could expand on this topic on my common application or on the supplements in the kind of depth that I wanted to. Let me know your opinion! Thanks

Yes, it is too long....and you can "whittle" it down -- by getting rid of some of the extraneous sentences in the essay. I read through the essay twice, and I went away with the idea that you, too, know which sentences are not needed. Go through the essay and get rid of them, as they are redundant...you seem to say the same thing twice at times, or you expound on an idea too much. Also, don't abbreviate anything in an essay, spell it out.

I think that your essay depicts a remarkable time in your life, one that you would want to get up on the roof top and shout about -- that is good. You can also write about it...and make it shorter and more succinct.

Mark
OP Astraea7 4 / 10  
Sep 20, 2010   #4
Thanks for your reply! I do have a question though. If for my stanford app, there are a number of shorter essays where I really get to showcase my individuality, is it ok to use this essay on my common app? The problem is, I never really get to explain exactly what this program/festival is, and how it came about. I won't get an interview with Stanford, so this is my only opportunity. I get to write a letter to my future roommate, talk about an intellectual experience, etc. with Stanford's app. What do you think?
mea505 - / 265  
Sep 20, 2010   #5
Maggie,

Unless someone else knows something about it that I don't know, then I do not really see a problem in you using this essay. I would just make it shorter.

Mark
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Sep 22, 2010   #6
I can't really explain why, but this is my suggestion:
Some people are talkers. Some people are drawers. And some people are readers. That's me. I'm a reader. If you put a good book in my hands, you're golden. Literature has been my sanctuary in which to escape from the...

This allows the reader to control the process of drawing a conclusion. I don't know how to explain what I mean... anyway, your way is good, and this is just an idea.

It was really only during my high school years that I figured out how lucky I'v e I had been in my love affair with...

Another idea I don't know how to explain:
Youth Tutors of Greensboro, an organization I launched in my junior year as the result of a ____________________, had completed a successful semester of tutoring.

This is very good stuff!
donrocks 5 / 120  
Sep 22, 2010   #7
I think Kevin is bang on( as usual) and you need to change the first line.
that is because we cannot attach tags to people. Most people are grey characters and the first shows immaturity. person has personality that makes him unique from others and thus, tags cannot be attached.

Otherwise, its a cool essay.


Home / Undergraduate / "Youth Tutors of Greensboro" - Common App- chose "other" essay option