Learning lab offers support for seniors

Students get help writing college essays


Adviser of the Learning Lab Kari Conroy helps senior Mya Quiñones with her essay Nov. 5. Conroy helps students with a variety of writing related tasks.

Jayde Claussen

Learning lab teacher Kari Conroy said she enjoys helping kids use their voice in writing to convey who they are and their message to the reader.

“I love hearing (students’) stories. Sometimes they make me tear up (and) sometimes they make me smile. Conroy said. “I love when kids finally get (their essays) done and I love the excitement of them liking what they wrote. I like helping them use their voice to communicate what they’re trying to say,”

Senior Euan Lim said he’s been getting help writing his college essays in the Learning lab.

“Conroy reads through my essay, gives me feedback and sometimes gives me suggestions to change things,” Lim said. “She also helps with basic editing to take it from a first draft to a better draft, one that will be more acceptable to send into colleges,” Lim said

Senior Emma Roloff said she is also receiving help writing her college essay, and Conroy has helped her communicate her story in a clearer way.

“At first it was mostly us talking about what we can put in and take out to make what I wanted to say more clear. We went over that, and Now I mostly just get help with editing,” Roloff said

Conroy said students often think there’s nothing interesting to write about, when that’s not the case.

“The biggest mistake I see people make is they don’t think there’s anything interesting for them to write about. Usually what I do with students is if they are unsure, I sit down and interview them or I’ll ask a friend to interview them and they’ll start telling me things which seem very ordinary to them because that’s all they know. I’ll say, ‘that’s what you need to write about,’ that really a cool thing and people don’t always see that in themselves,” Conroy said.

Lim said the learning lab isn’t busy because of the new restrictions on students’ time in the hallway, and not enough students are aware of the resources the school offers.

“I think part of the reason why it’s not busy is because the school now has stricter hallway rules, so people can’t just come in whenever they want. I also think a lot of people don’t know this resource is available because I didn’t for a really long time,” Lim said

Roloff said although she has little experience working in the learning lab, she’s become aware of the influence it holds.

“I’ve only been here a couple times, but I’ve noticed that it’s a really good open space where people can come in and get help if they have a study hall or open hour,” Roloff said.

The learning lab is open the entire school day and is a resource that provides help with homework, projects and college essays.