November 4, 2014

The College Application Essay Workshop

As the school year begins for B-CC seniors, there is much to look forward to: They’ve survived junior year, with its heavy course load, its endless SAT/ACT practice, and, perhaps most trying of all, its tendency to provoke parental freakouts.

So much is behind these 17- and 18-year-olds (well, maybe not the freakouts), but there’s one final hurdle on their path to the future: the college application, and, most angst-producing of all, the application essay. For many students (and their nearby relatives), the experience of producing those 500 words casts a long shadow over the fall of their final year of high school.

But for Madeline Linder and 54 other B-CC seniors, these past couple of months were significantly less fraught, thanks to the B-CC High School Educational Foundation’s College Application Essay Workshop.

According to Madeline, the workshop, which was taught last summer by Sarah Mahoney and Claudia Frank, two of B-CC’s very own English teachers, “was definitely so helpful. It’s hard motivating yourself after junior year, but it gave me time to come up with an idea, time to write it, and feedback from the teachers, which was great.

Her mom, Penelope Bell, couldn’t agree more: “She started the school year with a completed essay, removing a major source of stress during the college application process. Best of all, she wrote the essay in four workshop sessions, without us having to nag her into doing it.

The workshop, part of the Foundation’s expanded summer offerings, ran in two sessions, from July 8-11, and from August 12-15. Designed for students needing extra support, the program is open to all rising seniors. “We couldn’t believe the response we got,” says Sarah Mahoney. “We had a waiting list of about 30 kids. We were amazed so many kids were willing to give up 10 hours of their summer, but they were. And it really paid off: Each kid got about 20 minutes of one-on-one time with us each day.

Another plus, she added, is that she and Ms. Frank “have known a lot of these kids for a couple of years. The kids are comfortable with us, and feel comfortable challenging us. In the back-and-forth, the essay really becomes something that is theirs, and it says something about them, which is the ultimate goal. They’re proud of it.

In order to continue to underwrite this workshop, the Foundation needs your help. The college application essay is just one component in our Campaign for Academic Excellence, which comprises a mix of our traditional programs plus some exciting new initiatives, and provides a continuum of year-round support for our students.

Donate today and  help us help all the students at B-CC!

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Campaign for Academic Excellence

The Foundation’s Campaign for Academic Excellence provides a continuum of year-round integrated academic support and enrichment programs that promote high academic standards and success for all students at B-CC High School.



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Partnership with B-CC High School Since 1995

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Educational Foundation was established in 1995 during a time of declining enrollment and deteriorating facilities at B-CC High School. The Foundation took on the charge to help improve school facilities, raise academic rigor, and re-engineer B-CC for the 21st Century

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Educational Foundation was established in 1995 during a time of declining enrollment and deteriorating facilities at B-CC High School. The Foundation took on the charge to help improve school facilities, raise academic rigor, and re-engineer B-CC for the 21st Century.

Foundation Net Revenue 1996-2016 By the summer of 2016, the Foundation has raised more than two and a half million dollars to meet that challenge and to invest in academic excellence at B-CC High School. With new programs and a newly modernized facility that was completed in February 2002, B-CC’s enrollment, reflecting community confidence in the school, has been increasing steadily ever since.

The generosity of alumni, parents, faculty, students, businesses, and community members has made it possible for the Foundation to fund innovative academic support programs that promote high academic standards and support success for all B-CC students. In the process, the Foundation helped bring several “firsts” to B-CC High School:

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