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826 Boston and Northeastern University work together to host College Essay Boot Camp

Kassmin Williams

College-bound students have the opportunity to get help with college essays during 826 Boston’s College Essay Boot Camp Saturday at Northeastern University.

The Roxbury-based organization has been collaborating with Northeastern to offer the daylong event—from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.—for five years.

During the event, a high school student is paired with a volunteer tutor who meets the student at his/her current stage in the writing process and works alongside the student to move to the next step.

In 2013, almost half of the students who attended the boot camp had not started their essays and some of them did not have topics. But about 75 percent of the students left with a first, second of final draft, according to a press release from 826 Boston.

826 Boston attracts a diverse group of volunteers to its youth writing and tutoring center and has used its networks as one way to recruit tutors for this event.

“College essays are the life stories of the 17-year-olds who have already surmounted extraordinary obstacles that few among us confront in an entire lifetime,” Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Walter Robinson said about the significance of working with the students at the boot camp.

Prior to the start of the event, tutors receive training in college essay writing to prepare them to assist the students in generating ideas and completing a first draft or taking their written essay to the next level.

Students are also given an opportunity to tour Northeastern as part of the experience.

For more information or to register to receive college essay writing assistance or volunteer as a tutor for the event visit

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