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Wednesday Churn: Spotlight on Creek

What’s churning:

Six seniors at Cherry Creek High School are blogging for The New York Times about their quest for college.

The students – an ethnically and economically diverse mix of three young men and three young women – will post first-person essays about the trials of applying to college and the tribulations of acceptance/rejection letters.

Two of the writers, Sophia Gimenez and Jessica Ray, kicked off the series yesterday. In his introduction, on-again, off-again NYT education reporter Jacques Steinberg wrote:

The series makes it debut today — with dispatches from Sophia Gimenez, who is applying to a constellation of women’s colleges and seeking substantial financial aid, and Jessica Ray, who dreams of a career as an engineer. Their writings, and those of their classmates, will continue to be featured on The Choice (blog) on a regular basis through spring.

Over the next few days, you’ll also meet Kori Hazel, a son of divorced parents who likens the college search to nothing less than a prison sentence; Avery DiUbaldo, who is applying to theater programs and has already submitted all of his applications ahead of the Jan. 1 deadline; Michael Campbell, who says he must have missed “the take-it-easy-senior-year-thing” and who describes himself as afraid of rejection; and Uyanga Tamir, a native of Mongolia who is desperately in need of scholarship assistance, but who knows that few schools are “need-blind” in their assessment of international students.

“If I cannot afford the tuition,” she writes in her first post, “I simply cannot go.”

Steinberg wrote that he picked Denver “for a much needed change of scenery” from the East Coast and he described Cherry Creek as “an idyllic-sounding public school in a small suburb of Greenwood Village.”

Already, some readers are quibbling with that depiction in their comments. For the record, Cherry Creek is the state’s largest high school with 3,501 students in fall 2009. It has a poverty rate of 7 percent, well below the state average, and a minority enrollment of 19 percent.

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