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He hasn’t yet declared a major, but he’s studying Chinese in Wesleyan’s College of East Asian Studies.At Scholar Match, Watson uses freewriting exercises to help students start their essays.
But first-generation college applicants have typically overcome obstacles that other students haven’t — and it’s a story worth sharing.
“It is hard for anyone at any age to reflect on their lives,” says Marisa Urrutia Gedney, Director of In-School Programs and College Access at 826LA, a nonprofit that helps students improve their writing skills and promotes access to college for low-income and first-generation college students.
His family was very poor and lived in a cramped, one-room apartment.
They shared a bathroom and kitchen with other tenants.
It can be particularly challenging for first-generation college students, who tend to dismiss the real-life circumstances that make their experience unique.
Here, first-generation students and experts who work with them offer valuable insights and advice.
’ It often takes some digging to help them get there.” For Ernesto Yelou, it took many drafts and a college rejection to help him get there.
Yelou lived in Panama until the age of 10, when his family moved to San Francisco.
He says his original essay, which he submitted to Middlebury College in his early decision application, covered too many topics. Nick and the other writing coaches at Scholar Match told me to focus on just one topic, but I guess I didn’t understand what they meant.
“I talked about moving from Panama to San Francisco,” he recalls. My essay was all over the place.” Yelou wasn’t accepted at Middlebury and he was devastated.