Please check out my diversity statement. Is it too long?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
Grad09
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:17 pm

Please check out my diversity statement. Is it too long?

Postby Grad09 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:52 pm

Hey guys,

so as the title says, please critique my ds. Im concerned with grammatical errors, content flow, and getting my point across. I wonder if its too long, its about 1 page single-spaced. Should I send it single or double?

Thanks for the help!






Growing up in XXXXX, a small town on the border of New Jersey and New York, was difficult but beneficial. The town is more characteristic of a city; its population is remarkably dense. Over 99% of the inhabitants are Hispanic, the majority being Dominican or Central American. As such, the city has experienced an influx of illegal immigrants looking for opportunities in employment. Spanish is the city’s primary language, and English speakers find themselves often in need of a translator. There are no houses in town, only poorly maintained apartment buildings and the occasional duplex—symbolic of a relatively comfortable living. The majority lives with household incomes under 30K. I lived in XXXXXXX for 18 years.
I was raised by my grandparents, Cuban immigrants that came to this country with only the clothes they wore to escape political persecution. I was raised with strong ethical fundamentals that reflect both their appreciation for American ideals and their disdain for Cuban civil liberty infringements. My grandmother was a hair stylist in Cuba, and occasionally cut hair for friends, while my grandfather walked 6 miles daily selling lottery tickets. I did not enjoy the luxury of money for leisure, nor did I enjoy the cold of winter when the heater was too expensive to use. But, I was never hungry and always properly clothed.
From high school to the present, I have held many different types of employment. I was always forced to work to earn my living because my grandparents struggled financially. I have been a grocery bagger, a construction worker, a cook, a waiter, a referee, a varsity basketball coach, an administrative assistant, and a loss prevention service officer. My experience as a construction worker was by far the most impacting. I worked alongside immigrants with no papers for three summer and winter breaks. I worked intense physical labor for twelve hours a day, six days a week for $350 every Saturday. Consequently, I developed a humble appreciation for an education and a dollar bill.
The XXXXX school system was my greatest disadvantage. The schools were underfunded and the facilities poorly maintained. Most teachers gave easy assignments and a light workload, fearful the majority of students would fail if challenged academically. XXXXX High School was full of drug dealers, gang members, and teenagers with no interest or ambition in education. The average SAT score was a 780 (on the 1600 scale.) In 2005, only 12 students scored over 1000 on the SAT, and their names were placed on a bulletin board in the hallway for recognition. I was one of about 20 students to go on to college, out of a graduating class of almost 200 people.
Going to XXXXX University was an awakening. My first year, I worked two jobs and walked-on to the division-I Men’s crew team. Unfortunately, my first-year grades suffered as a result. I realized my priority was academics before all else, so I left the crew team in order to keep my jobs and focus on school. I have been on the dean’s list every year since.
My experiences as a minority provide the basis for my unique view of society. I have experienced Hispanics being racist towards their own kind. I have witnessed minorities succeed and be marginalized. I have friends both poor and privileged, and I value money differently than others. I formulate diverse perspectives unseen to the average law school student, and I am prepared to bring these opinions to the debate, the classroom, and the court. I view my disadvantages growing up as a learning process for valuable life skills and qualities, and I consider myself fortunate to have endured. I have lived how the other half lives; I find it my duty to voice their beliefs.

User avatar
acrossthepond
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:20 am

Re: Please check out my diversity statement. Is it too long?

Postby acrossthepond » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:59 pm

Grad09 wrote:Hey guys,

so as the title says, please critique my ds. Im concerned with grammatical errors, content flow, and getting my point across. I wonder if its too long, its about 1 page single-spaced. Should I send it single or double?

Thanks for the help!






Growing up in XXXXX, a small town on the border of New Jersey and New York, was difficult but beneficial. The town is more characteristic of a city; its population is remarkably dense. Over 99% of the inhabitants are Hispanic, the majority being Dominican or Central American. As such, the city has experienced an influx of illegal immigrants looking for opportunities in employment. Spanish is the city’s primary language, and English speakers find themselves often in need of a translator. There are no houses in town, only poorly maintained apartment buildings and the occasional duplex—symbolic of a relatively comfortable living. The majority lives with household incomes under 30K. I lived in XXXXXXX for 18 years.
I was raised by my grandparents, Cuban immigrants that came to this country with only the clothes they wore to escape political persecution. I was raised with strong ethical fundamentals that reflect both their appreciation for American ideals and their disdain for Cuban civil liberty infringements. My grandmother was a hair stylist in Cuba, and occasionally cut hair for friends, while my grandfather walked 6 miles daily selling lottery tickets. I did not enjoy the luxury of money for leisure, nor did I enjoy the cold of winter when the heater was too expensive to use. But, I was never hungry and always properly clothed.
From high school to the present, I have held many different types of employment. I was always forced (I would change this to required, or it was necessary?) to work to earn my living because my grandparents struggled financially. I have been a grocery bagger, a construction worker, a cook, a waiter, a referee, a varsity basketball coach, an administrative assistant, and a loss prevention service officer. My experience as a construction worker was by far the most impacting. I worked alongside immigrants with no papers for three summer you need an S and winter breaks. I worked intense physical labor for twelve hours a day, six days a week for $350 every Saturday. Consequently, I developed a humble appreciation for an education and a dollar bill.
The XXXXX school system was my greatest disadvantage. The schools were underfunded and the facilities poorly maintained. Most teachers gave easy assignments and a light workload, fearful the majority of students would fail if challenged academically. XXXXX High School was full of drug dealers, gang members, and teenagers with no interest or ambition in education. The average SAT score was a 780 (on the 1600 scale.) In 2005, only 12 students scored over 1000 on the SAT, and their names were placed on a bulletin board in the hallway for recognition. I was one of about 20 students to go on to college, out of a graduating class of almost 200 people.
Going to XXXXX University was an awakening. My first year, I worked two jobs and walked-on to the division-I Men’s crew team. Unfortunately, my first-year grades suffered as a result. I realized my priority was academics before all else, so I left the crew team in order to keep my jobs and focus on school. I have been on the dean’s list every year since.
My experiences as a minority provide the basis for my unique view of society. I have experienced Hispanics being racist towards their own kind. I have witnessed minorities succeed and be marginalized. I have friends both poor and privileged, and I value money differently than others. I formulate diverse perspectives unseen to the average law school student, and I am prepared to bring these opinions to the debate, the classroom, and the court. I view my disadvantages growing up as a learning process for valuable life skills and qualities, and I consider myself fortunate to have endured. I have lived how the other half lives; I find it my duty to voice their beliefs.



I don't think it is too long. How is it different than your personal statement though? If you are worried about length is there anywhere you overlap?

Other than that I think it is well written and definitely helps show your background.

Grad09
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Please check out my diversity statement. Is it too long?

Postby Grad09 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:12 pm

Thanks for the input. I was concerned with conveying diversity through my background, especially highlighting culture, educational and socioeconomic disadvantage.

Its much different from my ps, where I discuss why I want to go to law school, some academic honors, community service, etc.

Since there is no overlap, there is no place to shorten either of them. Do you think two pages double-spaced is too much? I feel like I'm sending in 2 personal statements. Will this be frowned upon as a loophole for giving a ton of personal information or is it ok since it specifically addresses "diversity?"

Thanks again!




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