Hard work + determination + a compelling story = great essays

November 25, 2018


Time for a brief reflection at the close of this Thanksgiving week—it’s been a busy one, as I work with students rushing to finish their four University of California admission essays before Friday’s deadline. But I wanted to take a break from editing long enough to say how grateful I am for the wonderful students I’m working with.


Among the students receiving free help from The Write Direction are several who will be the first generation in their family to attend college. One, Vianey Sanchez of Early College High School in Costa Mesa, will be the first girl in her family to graduate from high school.  


When I asked Vianey to write about why attending college was so important to her, she had this to say:

“I live in a society where people have the impression that based on my ethnicity I will not make it as far as to attend college. Due to my parents’ economic status, they had to immigrate to the U.S. very young; therefore, they didn’t make it through high school. Going to college would not only debunk that ideology, it would show that everyone who wishes to pursue a higher education, regardless of ethnicity, is capable of achieving their goals.”


Vianey is a strong writer who’s done an exceptional job on her UC personal insight questions. She’s accomplished exactly what we counsel students to do—using their honest voices to talk about themselves and their lives so admission officers understand their strengths, special talents, and personal circumstances. Vianey’s responses to the personal insight questions range from teaching herself Portuguese and learning how to do traditional Mexican embroidery to working in her dad’s auto detailing business. And she’s written a powerful essay of how she convinced her family of the importance of her mission to attend college. I believe that any admissions officer who reads Vianey’s essays will be impressed by her determination and her unique gifts. I don’t know where she’ll wind up going to college, but I do know she’ll be an asset to whichever campus she chooses.


And now… back to reading student essays.



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