Where CPS Students Can Get College Essay Support

While the Chicago Teachers Union walks the picket line and contract negotiations continue, one of the biggest challenges for Chicago Public Schools seniors is lack of support to write and polish college application essays.

But help is on the way. Community groups are stepping up to help seniors with that piece of the college application process. Most of the time, the 10 recent college graduates who make up the University of Chicago College Advising Corps are embedded within 10 different CPS high schools. During the strike, they are holding intensive workshops at libraries around the city. Today and tomorrow, they’ll be at four different locations across the city: Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Chinatown and Rogers Park.

If seniors need computer access and a taste of a college campus, this week Dominican University announced it would make space in their computer labs available to CPS high school students for the duration of the strike. Plus, they’re throwing in a free lunch. You can sign up here.

Photo courtesy of Dominican University.

And, if you’re looking for something quick and dirty to just get it done, the youth writing-oriented nonprofit 826CHI offers a free lesson on writing powerful personal statements. It’s geared to teachers, but it is free and it seems like a parent could easily sign up and obtain the lesson for guidance in helping their senior keep moving on writing that essay.

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Maureen Kelleher

Maureen Kelleher

Maureen Kelleher is a senior writer and editor at Education Post, but before that she spent a decade as a reporter, blogger and policy analyst. Her work has been published across the education world, from Education Week to the Center for American Progress. Between 1998 and 2006 she was an associate editor at Catalyst Chicago, the go-to magazine covering Chicago’s public schools. There, her reporting won awards from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the International Reading Association and the Society for Professional Journalists. A former high school English teacher, she is also the proud mom of an elementary student at Chicago’s Namaste Charter School. Find her on Twitter at @KelleherMaureen.

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