Livi McKenzie Earns Senior Spotlight

Livi McKenzie Earns This Week’s Senior Option Spotlight for Her Essays Alive Event

Livi McKenzie (center), Pictured with Her Essays Alive Subjects (l-r), Dany Banks, Valentino Musumeci, Lily Feinberg, and Elliot Porcher // Photo Courtesy of Blake Broder
(Left) Livi McKenzie Addresses the Crowd at Essays Alive; (Right) Livi McKenzie Pictured with Her Essays Alive Subjects (l-r), Danny Banks, Valentino Musumeci, Lily Feinberg, and Elliot Porcher // Photo Courtesy of Blake Broder

The college application process is a shared experience among most teenagers at Montclair High School and is often an extremely daunting affair.  Livi McKenzie, in conjunction with one of Essay House’s founding partners and coach Meg Siesfeld, created an event for students to display their Common Application Essays to students and adults of Montclair. “I thought it would be cool to share that experience with Juniors who are about to write their college essays because I think a lot of the misconceptions people have about the process should be addressed” Livi explained as her inspiration for the event. Earlier in the school year, Livi directly wrote her college essay with Meg Siesfeld – she described the usually disconcerting experiences as a phenomenal process.

For her unique internship, Livi McKenzie managed logistical aspects of the event. When Meg Siesfeld and Livi met they would work on securing a venue for the event and garnering support from Montclair High School administration and faculty. Livi learned how to compose formal emails and correspond with professionals – skills she will use for the rest of her life.

She received support from Montclair High School and the Montclair community at every stop along the way.  Livi mentioned, “the hardest part of the whole event was getting people to show up.” She advertised Essays Alive with different platforms of social media, flyers, and word of mouth.

When asked why she created this event, Livi responded, “I didn’t want my college essay just to be read by administrators at colleges and never be read again, because I was actually very proud of it.” Livi wants to make the essay aspect of college applications, which can be filled with rejection, something to be proud of. “All of our college essays are really good, and shouldn’t be just shared to colleges.” Most students struggle with the topic of their college essays and Livi believes her event will reassure students that any topic, as long as it is meaningful, can become an exceptional college essay. The essays covered a wide range of stories and life experiences that Livi hopes help make a students future college essay easier to write. “If one person was inspired by my essay, then I know I made a difference.”

The Essays Alive event took place on June 4th at Montclair High School. Many students, parents, caregivers, and teachers attended and participated in a questions and answers portion.  Livi Mckenzie is very proud of the event and her favorite part of the whole process was seeing people take time out of their lunch periods and free time to watch Seniors showcase their essays. Since the main event has now passed, Livi is planning a smaller scale occasion for students to read their essays without rehearsal.

Livi is attending the University of Michigan in the fall where she is planning on studying Communications and Journalism. Livi would like to thank Meg Siesfeld for mentoring her and helping create this event from scratch. She would also like to thank Brenda Pepper for helping coach the Seniors with the delivery of their essay. Lastly, she would like acknowledged all of the Seniors for taking time out of their busy schedules and sharing their beautifully written personal college essays.

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