First. My life has had many firsts I am a first generation Ecuadorian-American. I was the first member of my family to learn English. I am the first member of my family to graduate high school, first college attendee and first college graduate.
I met my father a handful of times and it was like meeting a stranger every time. I was raised by a single mother. When my mother first left her family in a poor, rural area of Ecuador and came to the United States she came as an immigrant, she worked two jobs as a seamstress and at McDonald’s. After I was born, my mother kept working, leaving me with whichever of her friends was available during the day. While my mother worked, I learned English from television and took care of the cooking and cleaning. My mother had never become literate and struggled with basic math, so at nine or ten years old, I was in charge of the household finances.
At my junior high school graduation my mother told me, in tears, that I’d already accomplished more by the age of 14 than she had in her life. Her obvious pride in me and her desire for me to have the opportunities and success that she never did have inspired me ever since. My mother’s words guided and pushed me throughout my high school years. Many of my peers in Sunset Park, Brooklyn were already having children, dropping out of school, or getting arrested. Instead of falling into the same traps as my classmates, I got a job so I could help pay the rent.
When I was a junior, my mother’s health declined and she could no longer hold down two jobs. With our finances thus strained, I was very tempted to quit school so I could get another job. My mother, however, spoke to me of her dream of attending my high school graduation and seeing me attend college. Until that moment, I had never seen college as even a remote possibility for me.
My mother has been the strongest influence in my life. She willed me to envision a life I hadn't even imagined for myself: she saw college when I saw two jobs; she saw me as a lawyer like the ones she watched on television when my classmates were more likely to be legal trouble. My mother inspired me to strive for goals that are nearly unheard of where I grew up. There has never been any doubt in my mind that I was able to rise above the environment around me and graduate from high school because of her unfaltering faith in me.
For college I attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice it was a new world to me. It took me around a year to get acclimated to life in college. I already had a definite passion to better myself but I didn’t know how. I was able to get a job working as a cadet with the New York Police Department’s gang division while I was in John Jay. The experience broadened my worldview by exposing me to people from all walks of life, and had a positive effect on my studies, by giving me real-world exposure to how the laws I was learning in class were used in real life. The combination of college and working in with the NYPD were very influential in me maturing and growing as a person.
By my senior year of my undergraduate studies, I had decided I wanted to pursue a career as a lawyer. I left the NYPD to pursue a position as a receptionist in the Brooklyn District attorney’s office domestic violence bureau. There I got to see the effects that laws have on people from a new angle. I also witnessed the restrictions that lawyers must operate within, how hard the attorneys worked, and their genuine desire to be a force for good in the world. A mere six months later, I was promoted to paralegal. I graduated with my degree in criminal justice having learned not only how to read about the law, but also with a firm understanding of the hard work it will take to earn a law degree and become a successful lawyer, and confidence in my ability to do it.
I have set my sights on law school because I have seen first-hand how a legal career empowers a person to make a difference. Thanks to my mother, it now no longer seems like an impossible dream. She inspired me to reach beyond the apparent limitations of my circumstances to better myself.
As I look back over my life, from early childhood to college, I have come to realize that while being the 'first' so many times has not been easy, it has prepared me for yet another first: law school. I want to do it for myself and my own goals, and also because I want to someday see my mother crying proudly at that graduation too.
This is my personal statement I'd like to personalize it to Brooklyn law school which is my number 1 choice. 157 LSAT. 3.17 gpa good x factors... Should I personalize. Thanks
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