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MESA Strikes Again

By Jessica Bowman
On October 4, 2018


On September 20th, MESA members Emily Holleran, Isabelle Elasser, and myself, alongside English Professor Joseph Mealey, travelled to the Hopkinton Middle/High School in Contoocook, New Hampshire, to help the seniors write and refine their college entry-level essays.

The event was part of a fair that was going on within the Hopkinton school during their school spirit week. It was Hopkinton’s first annual event titled, “Navigating Your Future: A Senior Experience,” run by the high school’s guidance department.

The workshop began at 1:40pm and lasted for an hour, with a break to switch groups in between. Hopkinton Middle/High is a small school in the middle of a very rural town in New Hampshire. For the entire hour, only about thirteen students showed up to revise their essays. According to the guidance counselor, Amanda Santoro, that was a decent enough turnout. Light desserts were also offered for the duration of the event, keeping both the students and the MESA members happy.

The students of Hopkinton were split into groups of three with one group of four during the first session. Each MESA member worked individually with the group of students to look over their essays and give them critiques on how they could improve them.

Many of the seniors in Hopkinton showed initiative with their futures and a concrete grasp of the English language, enough to write competitive essays. Seeing the kids light up talking about their essays and expressing themselves in their essays was more than just an opportunity to put on a resume. It was a chance to wholly interact with the new youth of today and to be fleeting mentors to shape someone’s future.

When asked what she thought about the students and the turnout of the event as a whole, Emily Holleran said, “Their topics were already so creative. They seemed on the right track, but it was fun to tweak their essays and see them get excited about different ways they could phrase sentences to make them sound better.”

Isabelle Elasser noted that, “They came with new ideas I had never heard of.”

In addition, Amanda Santoro expressed deep gratitude to the members of MESA who showed up to run the workshop. The day was a win-win for both the students of the high school, who received insider’s perspectives on what is expected of them as college entry-level students, and for the MESA members who received an opportunity to be mentors and great content for their resumes.


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