Please Edit. Thanks!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
OliveM
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:18 pm

Please Edit. Thanks!

Postby OliveM » Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:17 pm

I'd like to avoid sounding too cliche. I talk about some of the projects that I've done working with families, but don't elaborate on them because they are in my resume. I'm wondering if each paragraph flows with the next and whether each paragraph is relevant to the entire theme. Please be harsh if you have to!



When I was an adolescent, a police officer came to our house looking for my mom. When I told him I didn’t know where she was, he assumed I was lying. “You’re going to turn out just like your mother,” he replied, looking at me with disgust. His accusation has stuck with me.

I don’t know why the officer was looking for my mom that day, but it wasn’t anything unusual. My parents were alcoholics, drug addicts, and criminals. My siblings and I became very familiar with family dysfunction. The only time my mom kept a steady job was during her stint in the Huber work-release program after her second or third DUI. Incidentally, our family was also very poor.

The fact that my socioeconomic status was an issue became evident to me at a young age. My younger siblings and I were the only students in elementary school that I knew of whose parents were on welfare. We were the only students that I knew of who received free milk at snack time. I was a poor kid surrounded by middle- and upper-class peers. I learned very early what it was like to be a minority.

When I grew older, I realized that I had the ability and privilege of disguising my lower-class identity. I began working two part-time jobs in order to earn enough money to buy things that other kids’ parents bought for them – uniforms and fees for athletics, a clarinet to play in band, clothes that weren’t hand-me-downs, and even a half-way decent car. I avoided inviting people to our family’s decrepit house and avoided inviting my substance-abusing parents out to public.

When I left for college I was relieved to be able to disassociate myself from the image of my family. Attempting to hide my lower-class identity had been exhausting. During this time I was able to identify with the gay community - another group of people whose struggles with identity and society were similar to the ones I faced. The people of the gay community helped me learn to embrace my lower-class identity rather than deny it. They showed me that the perspective my background forced me to have could be a valuable tool for helping others. In a sense, I was able to come out of the closet as a poor girl.

My newfound ability to embrace my status enabled me to put my perspective to use. I found enjoyment in working closely with disadvantaged people regarding significant issues affecting their lives. I discovered that it was easy for me to empathize with their situations, yet have the ability to analyze their issues objectively. I dedicated most of my activities to educating and advocating for people who may have been struggling with the same issues I had been struggling with.

While I spent a lot of my free time helping other families, I hadn’t escaped my own. I traveled back home from school several times a week to make sure my mother was keeping up with her bills and that she hadn’t poisoned herself with alcohol. I spent more time working than I did on school so I could keep supporting my family financially. When my younger sister died, I carried an even larger burden. I was now not only a substance abuse and financial counselor, but a grief counselor as well. Things were stressful at times, but I saw it as a way to practice skills I could use to help other families.

During my time as an undergraduate I was approached by a law student that I volunteered with to help with their mock trials. My job was to act as some disenfranchised client, while the law students acted as the lawyers. Although it was an act, I truly felt powerless and vulnerable while I was on the stand. I always had a script, but I was never prepared enough for the way the case would unfold. The experience reinforced two things in my mind. The first was that assistance for people that don’t understand the legal system is not only important but essential. The second was that my life perspective could be invaluable to becoming a lawyer who can represent these types of people.

Consequently, I began working on a project educating community members about their legal rights. By networking with people involved in the criminal justice system I found that I could help people research their legal concerns for free. The people who responded were relatively uneducated, so instead of simply giving them the information that I researched, I taught them how they could go about their issues on their own. I gave them resources and helped show them how they could become their own advocates.

Working with various families made me realize that the lower-class often times lacks a sense of power in, and responsibility for, the legal system. People of disadvantaged statuses can benefit from people like me who have come from their positions and can represent their needs. I don’t necessarily intend on serving as the voice for this vulnerable population, but instead my goal is to extend my insights onto other law students so that we can all benefit from my perspective.
Last edited by OliveM on Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ShuckingNotJiving
Posts: 266
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:24 am

Re: Please Edit. Thanks!

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:42 pm

it's thanxgiving. and i'm really not even trying to post on here, but this:


OliveM wrote:When I left for college I was relieved to be able to disassociate myself from the image of my family. Attempting to hide my lower-class identity had been exhausting. During this time I was able to identify with the gay community - another group of people whose struggles with identity and society were similar to the ones I faced. The gays helped me learn to embrace my lower-class identity rather than deny it. They showed me that the perspective my background forced me to have could be a valuable tool for helping others. In a sense, I was able to come out of the closet as a poor girl.


is just too much LOL to ignore.

DELETE!!!!

OliveM
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:18 pm

Re: Please Edit. Thanks!

Postby OliveM » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:54 pm

Ha ha. Agree. My friend says I should change it to "the homos" but he's gay so I told him his opinion doesn't matter.

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TommyK
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:08 pm

Re: Please Edit. Thanks!

Postby TommyK » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:55 pm

also, really? lower-class? Do people even use that term anymore?

The part about the gay community seems a bit forced and made me :roll: a little. Anything that makes you sound like you're equating your struggles with an oppressed group makes it sound a bit ridiculous. The poor have their own problems and you won't need to compare them to any other group to get your point across.




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