Please Critique my DS!

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)

Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:38 pm

Please Critique my DS!

Postby glasnost » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:53 pm

Hi! I just registered but I'm a long-time lurker. I'm writing my DS and hoping to submit it as an addendum to my apps pretty soon.

I don't quite know what to say for the diversity statement, I'm Mex/Am but I don't feel I've faced much adversity nor have I figured out how to fully incorporate my heritage into the DS. I'm kind of lost and would really appreciate your comments/suggestions!

I am only twenty-three years old but many of the kids I grew up with are now parents of school-age children, working low-paying, menial jobs to keep their families afloat. Some are in prison. There was a chance my life could have turned out that way had my fourth grade teacher not recommended me for our school district’s gifted and talented education program. Once I was in the program, I was put on a track that took me to -----, exposed me to new people, new perspectives, and a different world. Most of the kids I grew up with were not so lucky and I feel an obligation to help change that.

I was on a different track from most of the kids I grew up with but I still went to school with them; I saw first-hand how our lives were heading towards dramatically different outcomes. Starting in middle school it was clear there were different expectations for us: I took pre-Algebra instead of general math, Ms. -----'s English class instead of any other. Most other kids were placed in classrooms with teachers who expected little more from their students than regular attendance and good behavior. In high school, the gap widened further. While I was taking Calculus and AP English, most everyone else took consumer math and literature classes where you only read one or two books the entire year. Even worse, as early as ninth grade, couples in the other classes were becoming parents and were no longer students at all. Gangs, which in middle school had been more of a joke, became much more serious, pulling kids out of school and into group homes and juvenile detention centers.

Luckily, my environment was not a hindrance to my success: my dedication to school and my parents’ high expectations kept me on track. But I also caught a lucky break when my fourth-grade teacher recommended me for the gifted education program. I realize now that one person who cares can make a huge difference in a young person’s life. I want to be an attorney to represent young people who grew up neighborhoods like mine. I feel that growing up in a poor community and seeing friends of mine get caught up in the criminal justice system gives me a unique perspective on the relationship between crime and poverty. Our shared experience will allow me to understand my young clients’ frustration, their fear, and will motivate me to fight for them so that they too may catch a lucky break and avoid being tracked into failure.

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Re: Please Critique my DS!

Postby lawrencecis » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:40 pm

Hey Glastnost, Generally, I liked it. It's probably kinda tough writing this in your position.

One thing I would recommend is to speak more to your Mexican heritage. I don't know how much you associate with it, but this essay could probably be written for any ethnic (or other) group. Actually, now that I look back, you didn't even mention it. Definitely put it in there somewhere. However, I wouldn't necessarily correlate being Mexican with being poor or in a gang; but rather how you appreciate it, look back on it, how it shapes you, how your going to bring that into the class.

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