Youth Summer Camp: 10th-12th Graders College Essay Bootcamp with Suzy Kahn Weinberg

IN PERSON for summer 2023

StoryStudio is pleased to offer full scholarships to students who are unable to meet the tuition requirements.
If your child would like to apply for a scholarship, please ask them to fill out this form.

July 24 – 28 / 9am – 12pm Central

Let’s face it. It’s easy to panic about writing your college admission essay. It’s tempting to think there is a magic formula for writing the essay that colleges are looking for. The truth is colleges want to hear YOUR STORY, in your own voice.  And writing your own story should be a positive experience of self exploration and satisfaction that you are being your authentic self and have a great story to tell!

In this week-long camp students will complete a solid draft of their Common App Essay. Starting  with the 2023  Common Application personal statement prompts, we will use guided brainstorming and a story crafting approach to help you find the story  you want to tell.

Peer reviews and conversations along with one-on-one time with the instructor will serve each student to find support, inspiration, and confidence in your unique story.

  • Learn how to turn your personal story into a powerful college essay.
  • Find your honest and authentic voice. 
  • Understand why your story matters and what colleges want to learn from them.
  • Explore how to engage your audience/reader.
  • Employ effective crafting mechanics, style, and conventions.
  • Read narrative essays to gain insights into what makes a memorable, readable, and a great personal statement.
  • Polish your story during peer review and 1:1 review with instructor.

A writer, producer and personal narrative storycrafting coach,  Suzy’s personal and professional career center on the power of storytelling.  For 10 years Suzy has been  a co-producer of a monthly live storytelling series called ​Is this a thing?​ featuring true personal tales told on stage. She has been an active mentor and volunteer with Chicago Scholars, helping students from underserved communities in their college process. Big Shoulders Stories​ is Suzy’s latest venture harnessing her skills, talents, and deep commitment to better lives in Chicago into a focused offering: partnering with Chicago’s nonprofit organizations to identify, nurture, and showcase storytellers and their stories in live  and recorded events.

Daily Timeline & Breakdowns

  • 9am: 45 mins
    • Daily greeting, warm up, and community-building
    • Storycrafting: techniques and approach
    • Examples and discussion
    • BREAK (8 min)
  • 10am: 45 min
    • Essay Roadmap and Structure
    • Independent exploration and writing 
    • BREAK (8 min)
  • 11am: 45 min
    • Peer review
    • Instructor review
  • 11:45: 10 min
    • Reflections and takeaways
    • Next steps 
  • 11:55: END