Melissa Baumgart is a private tutor and an instructor at Writopia, a nonprofit on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where she teaches creative writing and essay workshops for children and teens ranging from ages 6-18. For years, Melissa has also volunteered with underprivileged teenagers at Minds Matter NYC as a mentor and Writing and Critical Thinking consultant, assisting them with their college application preparation, with an emphasis on their personal statements. Her own mentee received a full scholarship to SUNY Geneseo and is now earning her Master’s in Public Health Care Administration with a Master’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management. While at Minds Matter, she compiled a book recommendation list from both mentors and mentees, as a way of deepening students’ reading comprehension and expanding their exposure to books outside assigned school reading.
Melissa has also assisted a variety of graduate school applicants (for MBA, DO, physician assistant, and other programs) with their admissions essays, with placements at schools such as NYU Stern and the George Washington University. Melissa is a proponent of The Artist’s Way – a book by Julia Cameron that insists everyone can write – it’s just a matter of removing the anxieties and beliefs about what writing “should” be, and focusing on enthusiasm for the subject you want to explore as an entry point to develop the perfect essay. She is passionate about helping applicants find the words to express their unique experience and qualifications for the programs to which they are applying.
Melissa is from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she studied Radio/Television/Film and History. Melissa previously worked in television at HBO, Comedy Central, Spike TV, and TV Land. She completed her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts and her own writing is focused on young adult and middle grade fiction.