Personal Statement


Beginning Summer 2020, Orchid LQ Academy will be offering a 5-week workshop on writing personal statements for college applications.

With the University of California (UC) having recently abolished its SAT requirement, admissions officers will put great emphasis into an applicant’s personal and academic life.


Think of it this way: There are two students vying for the last spot in their chosen major. Both applicants have the same GPA, have scored well on their AP tests, and have an equal amount of extracurricular activities. Which student will the admissions committee likely select for the university? 


Personal statements offer admissions officers insight into each applicant’s life journey, into what motivates each university hopeful to pursue his or her goal. Through compelling stories, students will leave an impression to help differentiate themselves from other applicants competing for spots available to a select few. 


In our workshop, students will work through writing exercises designed to develop rhetorical strategies and narrative techniques essential to crafting a stellar admissions essay. They will familiarize themselves with the UC personal insight questions and draft their statements—statements which will not be shared in class. Furthermore, students enrolled in our workshop will have opportunities for one-on-one sessions with their writing instructor to better discuss their stories and their drafts.

Our goal is simple: Help students stand out and achieve their academic goals.

Image by Jess Bailey

More Information

What to Expect

  • In Class: Students will be introduced to the UC personal insight questions and will develop non-fiction storytelling strategies through in-class writing assignments, class discussions, and lectures. Students will also review standard English conventions, as well as read and analyze personal statement examples and narrative stories to identify what works and what doesn’t. 


  • One-on-One Meetings: Aside from in-class meetings, each student will privately meet with the writing instructor (either through Zoom or in-person appointments) to identify the prompts the applicant is considering and to thoroughly discuss the drafts.


  • Outside of Class: Students will apply the writing strategies they learn in class and in their one-on-one meetings by writing their UC personal statements.

Time Period

Our workshop is from July 10th to August 8th. Students will meet for an in-person group session for 2 hours on a Friday, and each student will also have a weekly 30-minute meeting with our writing instructor. Time and day for the 30-minute private session will depend on student/instructor availability.


Admission Requirement


Students wishing to enroll in our workshop must be an incoming high school senior with a minimum GPA of 3.75. GPA requirement will be waived for students who have scored a 1400+ on the SAT. 

Individual Personal Statement Session

Orchid LQ Academy also offers one-on-one sessions for personal statements. During these sessions, a student can work through his or her own pace and thoroughly discuss stories fit for an excellent admissions essay. Students can schedule remotely or come in for an in-person (preferred) session.

About the Instructor


Rae Lontok did her master’s studies in English literature at Loyola Marymount University, where she was a recipient of the prestigious Graduate Research Grant. As the writing instructor at Orchid LQ Academy, she has helped students score in the 98th-99th percentile of the SAT English portion and has worked with students to develop well-crafted stories for their admissions essays. Some her students have been admitted to UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and Chapman University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and journalism, and she has worked for Orange County’s own Orange Coast magazine.

Have more questions? Reach out to us, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.


9252 Garden Grove Blvd. Suite 4 Garden Grove, CA 92844

Phone: 714.468.7706       Email: info@orchidlq.com

For enrollment questions or for employment opportunities, fill out the form below and get

in touch with us.

OFFICE HOURS: M-Th from 3:30 - 4:45 pm; Friday and Saturday by appointment only.

TUTORING HOURS: M-Th from 3:30 - 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday by appointment only.

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