Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mission Bay High writing center has served 1,000 students

When a smiling tenth grader and Pacific Beach native named Stephanie Torres came into The Writing Center 154 for help on an essay for English class, Mission Bay High reached the goal set when the doors opened early last year... 1,000 students being served by the after-school program.

The center, located in the school's Room 154, was established to work with students on college essays, extended essays and general writing assignments for any class during advisory and at lunch. Teacher – and now students – provide one-on-one writing assistance, access to computers and printers, detailed reference materials and content-area experts.

The program has produced great results, according to Principal Fred Hilgers. Bertin Solis, a 2012 graduate, worked with staff to improve his writing skills and on nine scholarship essays.

"Bertin as diligently and painstakingly revised the scholarship essays in the Writing Center, focusing on his leadership as the wrestling team captain," said Hilgers, "and the countless hours he spent working at his family's seafood restaurant to help make ends meet."

Solis was a named at 2012 Gates Millennial Scholar, which will not only pay for his tuition and living expenses at UC Santa Barbara, but provide a unique level of mentoring and support.

"He serves as a shining example of not only determination, but of the power of writing," said Hilgers.

Mission Bay staff members involved in the program include Doug McIntosh, James Michaelian, Reid Brisebois, Pam Connelly, Rick Frink, Erin Panian, Hortencia Rubio-Garcia, Sam Sample, Nathan Sheehy, Tracy Borg, Barry Dancher, Ron Lancia, and Melissa Romero.

For more information on The Writing Center 154, contact Hilgers at