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A strong college application and personal narrative essay are two key components necessary for getting into the college of your choice: they are a reflection of who you are and they convince the college admissions officers why they should accept you. When you apply to college, you are just a name on a page among thousands of other names and pages; the application and essay offer the one chance to display aspects of your personality, character, and ambitions that set you apart from the sea of other applicants.

However, many students do not know how to utilize their application and essays to their greatest advantage, and it is critical that these items are carefully planned and constructed to ensure that they are not forgettable. The College Application and Essay Workshop will help you identify key strengths, personal characteristics, and life experiences to include in your college application and essay, and how to write them in such a way that they communicate your critical thinking ability, creativity, perseverance, drive, passion, and initiative.



Workshop details:

Introduction to the Common Application

You will receive an introduction to the Common Application (used by many schools). Even if a school does not use the Common Application, it is similar to the Coalition Application (also used by many schools) and colleges’ unique applications. Therefore, information can be easily transferred to these other applications.

Don’t know what schools you want to apply to yet?

The class is still for you! These two components are universal to nearly all college applications, whether they use the Common Application, the Coalition Application, or their own specific application. You can write these (aspects) now and have them ready for when you decide where you want to apply.

Introduction the the College Board website

You will receive an introduction the College Board website, which can help in identifying what schools to apply to, and what qualities those schools value.

Write your personal narrative essay

You will write and revise your personal narrative essay, which can be used as the main Common Application essay as well as the personal statement used at schools that do not use the Common Application. The personal narrative is not your typical English essay and you will learn strategies to write yours so that it is memorable and reflects your unique characteristics.

Individual Teacher Feedback

Personalized Written Feedback & Individual in-class Writing Conferences

You will complete a rough draft of your essay at home and submit it online for personalized written teacher feedback. Using online editing allows the teacher to leave written feedback prior to the next session, which allows you to jump into revising your writing during class. The teacher will give mini-lessons each class about writing skills and strategies, and you can apply these immediately to your writing since you already have your rough draft completed. This also allows for the teacher to hold one on one writing conferences with you, to explain edits and give further advice, which is only possible since writing and editing the rough draft is already completed. This creates a more efficient process and allows you to complete more writing and get more feedback in a shorter amount of time.

You may write and revise additional essays – Most schools require short essay responses in addition to the personal narrative, and if the teacher approves a final copy of the personal narrative before the final session, the student can use the remaining sessions to work on, and receive feedback on, an additional essay.

Complete the Activities Section of the Common App. and a ResumeYour Title Goes Here

While the essay often highlights one aspect, the extracurricular activities section develops a more complete picture. You will learn how to maximize short activity descriptions to highlight your skills, work, and leadership experience. We will also discuss how to group activities, to make the most of the limited space available in this section. Additionally, I will give advice on the best way to order your activities so that they are listed with your most impressive and illuminating activities first.

You can easily use this information to develop a resume which can be attached to the Common Application and used for schools that specifically require one.


Mrs. Cannavo was an amazing tutor and mentor throughout the beginning of my senior year of high school. College applications can be stressful and time-consuming but with her help, I was able to finish far before any of the due dates. The sessions with her helped me concentrate on my work. She helped me realize my strengths when it came to writing and worked with me through all the struggles I came across.

Abby C


Mrs. Cannavo is not only a great teacher, but is fun to work with. She makes the learning environment exciting and I feel like I come out of my sessions learning a lot!

Haley C.


The college application process can be extremely stressful for both the student and their family. Lauren Cannavo at Parrish Learning Zone took most of that stress away for our family. Our daughter used her services last year while completing several applications and actually getting accepted to her dream school. Lauren helped her organize her list of colleges and all of the different requirements and forms of applications, guided her through her thoughtful, unique essays and gave her strategies to organize her applications that highlighted her strengths to attract admissions counselors. We are so happy with Lauren’s knowledge, level of patience and commitment to our daughter that we have hired her to work with our second daughter who is currently in the application process. We highly recommend Lauren.

Stephanie C


Upcoming Workshops:

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