May 9, 2019

Photo: Mark (right) proudly shares his college essay from the New York Times with MMLA director of sophomore writing and critical thinking, Louise Tutelian (center), and fellow senior student Juny (right).

“I got the usual looks from people fresh out of bars or parties, either because of the stench of a hard night’s work on my clothes or because I was muttering to myself while feverishly flipping flashcards.”

– Mark, MMLA Class of 2019 College Essay, New York Times 2019 College Essays on Money

Mark plans to be a political science major and immigration lawyer but there is one thing he already is: a talented writer. Recently, Mark’s essay about his job working long hours at an upscale Japanese restaurant was chosen as one of the New York Times 2019 College Essays on Money. Appearing in the “Your Money” column on May 9, the piece was one of only five selected by Times editors from scores submitted by students across the nation.

Mark, who will attend UC Merced in the fall, developed and drafted the essay over time with the help of his MMLA teachers and mentors but the inspiration, emotion, flair, style, and depth are innately his own.

The piece made an impact, says Ron Lieber, the Your Money columnist who chooses the pieces each year.  “We’re looking to be moved,” he said in a recent email. “I read every word of every one. It’s a joy—the best part of my job.”

Click here to read Mark’s story in the New York Times. 

Congratulations, Mark!