My mom grew up in a small country town in Kinston, NC. Due to the fact that my mother was pregnant with me at 14 and my grandmother was in trouble yet again with the law, they decided moving would be a good idea before I came. I was born in Raleigh, NC at Wake Medical Hospital. Downtown Raleigh is a suburb of Raleigh populated by middle to upper middle class families where people work hard, send their children to influential schools, and enjoy a life protected from urban realities. Home for me however was in a fading heartless community across the tracks called Walnut Terrace—which still is the largest last remaining hood standing . In this sense, my own adolescence there was not unique.
Standing on my porch I could look outside and see the magnet school at the top of the hill. I could walk there if I wanted to, but because it wasn’t in my particular district, I wasn’t allowed to attend. I was bused to another school forty five minutes away. I was one of two black kids in all ofmy classes. We were always together. I often finished my classswork before everyone else as I couldn’t stop reading ahead. That made the teacher very annoyed because I would always spoil the ending to whatever story we were reading. By age 8, I was reading 350 page novels. I loved school. It was my escape to be whomever I wanted to be. There was an incident at school where a substitute reading teacher thought I was lying about finishing my work and then when I proved that, she thought I must have finished because I cheated. I was sent to the office and I was discplined by the principle with a ruler which wasn’t approved by my mom. Needless to say, I never saw that school again after that.
My neighboorhood was tough and to make matters worse, my grandmother was a local drug dealer. It afforded us some protection for no one messed with us. Every Friday night my childhood friends and I would sit outside and just sing until we had no voices. All the kids from the neighboor would gather in my yard and we would just have the greatest time, thinking we were the next girl group. At our community center, the housing authority set up talent shows with other projects for us to compete in and I used that as my opportunity to shine and to take the negative light off of my family. I sat at my window almost everynight and stared out of my bedoom window looking at the stars, dreaming of what I would become and if I would ever be able to escape Walnut Terrace .
As I look back on those humble beginnings the great sounds of Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle and Atlantic Starr, compelled me to strive to be a recording artist in my own right, and today I have accomplished that dream by releasing my first R&B single that has received notoriety.
While I have taken advantage of the variety of opportunities afforded to me and those that have passed me by, I have not taken anything for granted. To me, life in Raleigh was the result of incredible sacrifice and a lifetime of hard work by my mom and the people who love me. Many of my childhood friends are dead, in prison, drug addicted, or simply lost in a cycle of dead-end employment and unemployment. My fate could have been the same. Today, while I struggle to comprehend their selflessness, I look back on the journey of my own becoming.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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- Waggly Toast
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Good 1st draft. I think you're on your way. I would try and show how those circumstances directly affected you more and made you a stronger, more determined individual that blazes her way through difficult situations (i.e. unfavorable circumstances, racism, etc.). I would also add something about how those experiences will bring diversity to the school(s) to which you are applying. Were you the first in your family to attend college? Law school? What were some struggles there?
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