top of page
  • Writer's pictureElizabeth La Porte

4 Ways to Stand Out During COVID-19

Plus Free Test Prep & Essay Class Discounts

August 15, 2020 Hello Friends, School is just around the corner, and students will have as we know a different school experience, including a limited set of extracurricular activities.  In the AUHSD in Lamorinda for example, sports will be cancelled until December, and clubs, while online, may need to curtail some of their previously planned activities.  So, with fewer opportunities to differentiate one's self, what can students do to stand out?   Research internships are practical, challenging, and rewarding.  Finding one, however, requires legwork, and starting early, especially if it's for next summer (yes, next summer) will yield results.  While many are focused on STEM, alternatives are readily available, too.   Here are 4 tips.  1. Check out university-sponsored internships. Stanford University has an extensive set of high school summer/internship programs with several STEM, bio-medical and exploration options.  You can find them here.  

2. Some professors welcome high school interns. Here are suggestions for finding these opportunities: ask your science teachers, parents, scout leaders, etc., if they know a "mentor" who is doing research.  Request an informational interview and ask them how they would get an internship if they were in your shoes.  Stanford's Office of Science Outreach offers this excellent step-by-step "manual" for reaching out to faculty members and finding lab internships.   

3.  Go online. Browse university websites and visit their academic departments and faculty pages in particular. You will be able to see what kind of research is being done at the school and this might help your search. Here's what MIT is exploring these days, for instance. 

4.  Search for internships at local industries or government facilities: municipal governments, federal agencies, state parks, wildlife reservoirs, water districts, etc. All of these staff scientists including chemists, geneticists, biologists, ecologists, and more.  Here is a sampling of only a few: 

Would you like to finish your college essays before senior year really gets under way?   College Essay Classes: August & September 2020

Register here for a hands-on College Essay Class taught by Liz La Porte, an experienced college advisor and high school English teacher.  She shows students successful college essays, helps identify meaningful and distinctive topics, and guides the writing process of the UC, Common App, and Supplemental essays.  Students learn how to create structure, develop themes, include transitions, and improve flow.

Classes are small; this means that students receive individual feedback and editing guidance plus the chance to ask questions about their college lists, Early vs. Regular Decision, the SAT vs. ACT, and more.  Because at-home assignments are provided, students are able to complete several essays over the four days of class, which meets from 4pm to 5:30pm via Zoom on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.  Tuition is $300 for six in-class + "homework" hours.​  Go to for more information.  The next class meets on Monday, August 17, and continues on August 19, 21, 23.  For a $25 discount for the August 17-23 class (only), register by emailing us at and include this code, Newsletter Discount.   August & September Classes Aug 24, 26, 28, 30 Aug 31, Sept 2, 4, 6 Sept 7, 9, 11, 13 Sept 14, 16, 18, 20 Sept 21, 23, 25, 27 Sept 28, 30, Oct 2, 4

NEW!  Upper Level SSAT Prep Plan: August 2020 - December 2021 + FREE SESSION Students applying for entrance to independent high schools by the admission deadline in January 2021 are required to submit their SSAT scores, along with other application materials.  Though they may take the test a total of five times (more than enough!) the most effective strategy is to take it in August to get a diagnostic/baseline score and then to prepare properly and regularly for a targeted result.  

We offer a comprehensive Upper Level SSAT Prep Plan which guides students through the three sections of the test: reading comprehension, vocabulary (synonyms and analogies) and math - beginning in August 2020 and ending before the January 2021 application deadline.  We meet with students weekly, providing them with full-length practice tests, customized and interactive practice exercises and quizzes, and personalized instruction, encouragement and support.  Our students have demonstrated significant increases in their scores; additionally, the test prep content gives students the opportunity to review and master skills taught in the classroom.  Register during the month of August and receive a no-obligation, free session; email us at

College Advising: Accepting High School Juniors Our education practice is now accepting high school juniors for the 2020-2021 academic year. We work with students to ensure their academic eligibility, leadership readiness, and initiative, all key metrics of college admission. Our Strategic College Admission Plan charts a clear path for juniors to optimize their GPA and course rigor, standardized testing, distinctive extracurricular opportunities, summer internships, and more. At the same time, students have the opportunity to explore their college choices, majors, and scholarship options. Contact us at to set up a no-obligation meeting to share your college goals and learn more about us. We'll then send a customized proposal outlining our specific service responsibilities, including several payment options. For more info, visit our website: Thanks for reading, and please forward to a friend.

Stay safe, 


Raised in Lafayette, Liz La Porte is an experienced college advisor and credentialed high school English teacher, who founded her education practice in 2012 to help students successfully navigate the college admission process. Working one-on-one with her students to maximize their applications and to write genuinely personal essays, her students have been accepted to Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, UCB, Duke, and others.  See the entire list of acceptances here.  Liz graduated from Swarthmore College, UC Berkeley, and UC Berkeley's California high school credential program.  Visit her bio here Acceptances Testimonials FAQ (650) 766-0969 For archived newsletters, click here. Copyright © 2020 Liz La Porte All Rights Reserved

40 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page