Can you critique my diversity statement?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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jdwinn0963

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Can you critique my diversity statement?

Postby jdwinn0963 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:26 pm

I am half Puerto Rican, which makes me a URM. Though I am only half Puerto Rican, I consider myself Puerto Rican and I am proud of it due to my upbringing. I have written my first draft of my diversity statement and I was wondering if you would be so kind to proofread it for me and tell me what you think.



My last name may be Winn, but I am a Torres at heart. I grew up closer to my maternal side of my family than my paternal side. My mother and her siblings faced their share of difficulties growing up but it taught them important life values. As a child who loved to observe the world around me, I watched and listened in as my uncles and aunts would discuss the difficult times during their childhood followed by how blessed and thankful they are for what they have now. Because of my upbringing, I am proud of my Puerto Rican heritage and I am inspired by the character and principle my maternal family members have.

My maternal grandparents moved from Adjuntas, Puerto Rico to Westfield, New York in the 1950s. My grandparents worked hard to provide for their ten children and seek after the American Dream. My grandfather was the breadwinner of the family and worked long hours for the railroad system in Upstate New York. At age 45, my grandfather was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and passed away shortly after. With such a large family and the main source of income gone, my family had to rally together to pull through this terrible time. The children, who were old enough to work, found jobs within the community to help support the family. My mother had to share a bedroom with five other siblings as they struggled to stay out of poverty. Though these were dark times for my family, it taught them a lesson that they carry with them today and pass on to their children.

Through their struggle were birthed perseverance and a strong work ethic. They learned the importance of keeping their eyes focused on the future and to never give up. To this day, my mother and her siblings work hard and persevere through life and the struggles they face. My mother currently works three jobs to provide for my sister and I and I have never heard her complain about the amount of hours she works. Growing up, she taught us the importance of a strong work ethic as she, along with my father, encouraged me to volunteer and get involved in the community. As I grew older, this work ethic that was passed onto me has allowed me to be able to pursue an undergraduate degree while working part-time and staying involved in my community. Perseverance has taught me to keep focused on my long-term goals even when life gets tough. I am thankful for being a Torres at heart and for being part of a family that came from Puerto Rico to seek after their American Dream. These life lessons will continue to be a beneficial asset in my life and it will lead to my success through law school and in the future as a health law attorney.

wlee1220

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Re: Can you critique my diversity statement?

Postby wlee1220 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:40 pm

I think it's a good start. What's missing is a little more about yourself. You talk a bit about your family history, which is good, but you are a little superficial about how that has impacted you personally. How specifically have you incorporated the work ethic learned from your family in your life? Do you have any examples that would flesh that out more? I would try to use a story or event as the focus and flesh out my family history around that story.

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Sls17

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Re: Can you critique my diversity statement?

Postby Sls17 » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:44 pm

wlee1220 wrote:I think it's a good start. What's missing is a little more about yourself. You talk a bit about your family history, which is good, but you are a little superficial about how that has impacted you personally. How specifically have you incorporated the work ethic learned from your family in your life? Do you have any examples that would flesh that out more? I would try to use a story or event as the focus and flesh out my family history around that story.


I agree with this advice. You know the old adage, "show don't tell"? Your diversity statement would be a lot more compelling if it could be structured around a specific memory you have, while still giving the same information about your family background.

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twenty

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Re: Can you critique my diversity statement?

Postby twenty » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:30 pm

DO NOT go for the "I'm half white and half PR... but deep down I'm 100% PR." It short-sells you as an individual if nothing else, and the first thing I would think as an ad-com is "Wow, this guy really wants the affirmative action boost, huh?"

Embrace your mixed heritage. Write about how you've come to blend your PR culture and ancestry and your father's non-PR side that embraces X and Y cultural values and became this super-human of diversity. :)



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