College Essay Boot Camp, Spring 2018

College Essay Boot Camp is each student’s entry point into ThreeSixty, and for those who continue with the program this summer and beyond, it’s just the beginning of their ThreeSixty story. For all, though, boot camp is the chance to transform and share their diverse life stories, and to create that polished, adaptable college essay that will help land students in colleges and universities from coast to coast. 

In April, despite wonky wi-fi and a snow day (ah, April in Minnesota), a classroom of eager Harding High School teens joined ThreeSixty and a half-dozen all-star volunteer writing coaches over spring break to kick their college essays into shape! These students brought their trust, poise and fearless per-spectives into camp and produced powerful, personal pieces that we—and they—proudly share with you.

- Chad Caruthers, ThreeSixty executive director

College Essay: Life's Short, Go See the World

When I rushed into at my grandma’s house on the morning of February 26, 2012, she was already dead. I was 8 years old and I knew she was sick. Her death was still sudden and unexpected.

College Essays: Divorce Teaches Independence


College Essays: Music Opens Doors to Opportunities

The beauty of the piano was that it became a large part of who I am. The consonant and dissonant sounds of jazz, classical, and modern music fill my limbic cortex with everlasting joy.

College Essays: Working Hard to Get Ahead

I cook. I clean. And I’m already a parent to my younger siblings.

College Essays: Golf: A Driving Force

My arms were shot. They were heavy and numb. I’d been practicing my swing for three hours straight. But I knew it was the only way I could improve.

College Essays: The Day I Saved My Brother

Flashing in front of me were two worlds that would soon come shattering into millions of pieces at any second: mine and his.

College Essays: Opening Up to Therapy

The door to the doctor’s office creeks open slowly. A thin Indian woman sits down next to me. She’s a psychologist. Concerned, she drowns me with questions.

College Essays: The Fight to Succeed

The first fight of my life was in the forest of my Thai refugee camp. It was hot, so hot, and we battled for three minutes in the first round of our bout. Countless punches struck my stomach.