Begging for Diversity Statement Edits-Afghan/Language Theme

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
noahzak
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Begging for Diversity Statement Edits-Afghan/Language Theme

Postby noahzak » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:59 pm

PLEASE give me feedback on this- I keep having the same people look over it and we are all a little burnt out. Thank you so much!! (It is 2.5 pages on Word) I really appreciate it! I know people might be sick of me begging for edits but honestly, any feedback helps.

When I was in kindergarten, the school principal told my mother I’d have a wonderful career as a translator. She had overheard me talking to my grandmother and a friend’s father, arranging a playdate for myself. My grandmother, who was born in Afghanistan and didn’t speak English, often relied on me for her everyday tasks, from grocery shopping to deciphering the evening news. From a young age, I’ve understood the power of words. I realized that an otherwise intelligent person can be susceptible to injustice due to their inability to grasp a particular language. Ultimately, my exposure to this reality as a child shaped me into the person that I am today.
After I graduated from college with a degree in journalism and international relations, I worked as a magazine and copy editor, a freelance newspaper writer and a social media expert. I was applying my degree into developing the career I thought I wanted. It was working for my father, however, that revealed my interest in advocacy.
My father, an Afghan-American businessman, travels frequently to Afghanistan and communicates with officials in English between his trips. Despite the fact that he has lived in the United States for almost 25 years, he has elementary knowledge of the language. So, when I moved back home after college with a writing degree, I became my father’s unofficial secretary.
As the oldest of my parents’ five children, I had become their de facto ambassador to all things American early on. In high school, we learned what the SAT was together. Later, as the first member of my family to enter college, it was my job to convince my parents it was appropriate for an Afghan girl to move across the country for her education. When my younger sisters entered middle school, I started picking their classes with them. Later, working with my father, I created a hybrid job for myself and discovered new strengths: I became a translator, writer, editor and champion for causes I hadn’t previously explored.
In the summer of 2010, en route to Afghanistan via Germany, my father called us during a layover. As we listened to my father, whose anger I’d experienced many times but his embarrassment I’d never encountered, I tried to fight the wave of pity that engulfed me.
Despite the fact that my father had reserved seats near the front of the plane, the airline had inexplicably moved him to the very last row of seats. When he asked why, he was met by hostility and blatant racial discrimination: From mocking mispronunciations of his name to taunts at his spoken English, the airline had done everything they could to humiliate my father. They even warned him: “Sir, if you ask one more question, you will be thrown off this flight.”
As I fumed on the other end of the phone, my father asked me to call the airline the next day to find out what had happened.
“We need you to call because you don’t have an accent, so they will take you seriously,” he said.
Nineteen years after kindergarten, I was relearning the power of words. I called the airline the next day, a faceless woman with an uncontroversial name, speaking flawless English and somehow still expecting resistance. Over the next two hours, however, I was personally apologized to by three heads of the airline. Ultimately, while I was pleased that they were sorry, I lamented the sheer injustice of the situation, as well as the lack of attention that these unfortunately common incidents receive.
I won’t lie and say this is the moment I considered becoming a lawyer. I’ve always excelled in and enjoyed the legal nuts and bolts: reading and writing. This, in addition to growing up in an Afghan community within American society, has consistently led me to consider human rights advocacy. Although my current career as a journalist has offered me the ability to learn more about people than I’d ever imagined, I’d like to do more with words. As a human rights advocate, I want to change circumstances through the law on behalf of the mis- and under-represented in society.
As a lawyer, my work in human rights will draw on my own experiences as both an Afghan and an American. I’m American in my belief that anyone can succeed, but I’m Afghan in my stubbornness to prove my success. I’m American in my ability to sympathize with all types of people, but I’m Afghan in my deeper understanding of what it feels like to be sympathized with.
I know what it is like to work with people who are disadvantaged, whether that disadvantage manifests itself through social misunderstanding, a language discrepancy, or economic or political differences. While my interest in international relations reaches back to my college studies, I am more interested in laws as they relate to individuals. I am fluent in three languages (English, Farsi and Spanish) and I think this, with the addition of a law degree, will ultimately lead me to Amnesty International and The Center for Justice & Accountability.
In my life, I’ve witnessed an uncountable number of situations get muddled because of cross-language miscommunication. Justice, however, doesn’t have to be lost in translation.

noahzak
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Re: Begging for Diversity Statement Edits-Afghan/Language Theme

Postby noahzak » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:55 pm

Anyone?!? Can I be doing anything different to get feedback, or does my PS really suck that much?

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capitalacq
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Re: Begging for Diversity Statement Edits-Afghan/Language Theme

Postby capitalacq » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:57 pm

I really only briefly skimmed it, so perhaps someone else could offer you more detailed feedback..

but I think it's a fine topic, but it's way too long. It just strikes me that you could make the same points in a much shorter piece without having to cut out anything important.
for example, the following text seems pretty irrelevant. The first sentence is out of place/can be integrated into your father's story. The second sentence just seems unsupported/unnecessary. The rest seems like it would be in your resume.
I realized that an otherwise intelligent person can be susceptible to injustice due to their inability to grasp a particular language. Ultimately, my exposure to this reality as a child shaped me into the person that I am today.
After I graduated from college with a degree in journalism and international relations, I worked as a magazine and copy editor, a freelance newspaper writer and a social media expert. I was applying my degree into developing the career I thought I wanted.


Also, this text seems unnecessary and the sentences preceding and following it could be merged (or you could delete one):
As the oldest of my parents’ five children, I had become their de facto ambassador to all things American early on. In high school, we learned what the SAT was together. Later, as the first member of my family to enter college, it was my job to convince my parents it was appropriate for an Afghan girl to move across the country for her education. When my younger sisters entered middle school, I started picking their classes with them.



Anyway, what's your PS about? this reads to me more as a PS that incorporates diversity than a PS

noahzak
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Re: Begging for Diversity Statement Edits-Afghan/Language Theme

Postby noahzak » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:27 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I thought what my PS was about was pretty clear though- is anyone else who has read it confused? I definitely agree that it could be cut down, so I am taking your advice on that.

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capitalacq
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Re: Begging for Diversity Statement Edits-Afghan/Language Theme

Postby capitalacq » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:58 pm

noahzak wrote:Thanks for the feedback. I thought what my PS was about was pretty clear though- is anyone else who has read it confused? I definitely agree that it could be cut down, so I am taking your advice on that.

Is this your PS? title said DS so I'm confused

noahzak
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Re: Begging for Diversity Statement Edits-Afghan/Language Theme

Postby noahzak » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:01 pm

Yes...This is the whole thing. I guess I am confused at your confusion? I think it is pretty clear, or am I wrong?

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bk1
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Re: Begging for Diversity Statement Edits-Afghan/Language Theme

Postby bk1 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:11 pm

noahzak wrote:Yes...This is the whole thing. I guess I am confused at your confusion? I think it is pretty clear, or am I wrong?


This sure clears things up.

noahzak
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Re: Begging for Diversity Statement Edits-Afghan/Language Theme

Postby noahzak » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:36 pm

I could answer the question if I knew what it was. If you are asking if this is my PS, the answer is yes. If you are asking if it is meant to be a DS, I would say it is a PS that incorporates diversity. If you don't think it can be called a "Diversity Statement," then I have no problem just calling it a PS. I hope this clears things up. Thanks again for the feedback...




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