Draft 2 Any Advice is Helpful

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:29 pm

Draft 2 Any Advice is Helpful

Postby mike6018 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:38 pm

Thank you for your help in advance! I would especially like to know if this is an effective way to close the statement. BTW, with a 3.2 GPA and an LSA of 174, do you think it is worth applying to T14 schools?

On some level, I always believed that a person could accomplish anything with the proper motivation and effort. I was born with a condition known as biradial ulnar synostosis, meaning that both elbows are dislocated and fused, resulting in an inability to rotate my forearms and wrists. Unpredictably however, the biggest way that this condition has changed my life is not by limiting my ability to do certain activities, but instead by developing this deeply ingrained sense of potential. I truly felt that regardless of odds and obstacles, I could beat out anyone who was not handicapped simply by outworking them. Anytime someone laughed or doubted, I internalized their criticism and used it to drive me. Yet although people often praise the accomplishments of the disabled, many never realize that their true handicap is often a life based on spite rather than passion.

Early in my childhood, I began developing a very tangible sense of right and wrong. I was raised in an Inupiaq village in Alaska called Ambler, population 309, where my parents were missionaries. From a very young age I witnessed poverty and children being born into alcoholism. Moving to California later was eye-opening in that I explicitly saw that it is easy for people to ignore suffering that they do not see. I decided at this point that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people, and decided to become a police officer. My entire college experience was dedicated to this singular goal. Doctors had in the past told me that I would not be able to lift weights or be extremely active but again I was focused on proving them wrong. I lifted weights and trained constantly to prepare for a career as a police officer.

Upon graduating, I applied for a job in law enforcement. I went to the physical and met with the doctor. He said, “It’s very impressive what you have been able to accomplish, but I don’t think that we can accept you due to your condition.” Years of work seemed to be thrown away due to one sentence from the doctor. I was distressed but resilient, and I was still convinced that one could accomplish anything with enough dedication. I petitioned my congressman to do what they could to get my application through. I saw other doctors to try to get refuting statements. I had hit a wall. Up to this point I had overcome many challenges regarding my disability, but the reality was that I had never encountered a true brick wall obstacle like this one before.

My dream was crushed and my entire view on life had suddenly been turned on its head. Refocusing my goals, I was determined to become a business success. I obtained an entry level job at a major corporation and began moving up and assuming responsibility very quickly. I worked with abandon in my new career, working long hours developing a transportation needs database that reduced costs and increased our distribution efficiency. In this way I ended up managing a staff and an entire region in the logistics department of our business. I was on the road to success in my young career, yet my original goals were an inconvenient reminder of how I had strayed from my ultimate dream.

At that time, I had been volunteering working with the homeless and being in a leadership role in a college age group in the community, and the more I worked to help people, the less I wanted to compartmentalize my life into working to help myself, and then helping others on the side. My passion and dream had ultimately never changed from when I wanted to be a police officer. My passion was to help those in desperate situations.

Around the same time, I learned of a nonprofit organization called International Justice Mission, who is dedicated to providing legal aid to combat sex trafficking both domestically and internationally. Seeing a group of people so dedicated to helping a generally unseen portion of the population largely solidified my decision to return to my original passion to help communities in need. I still have my longstanding resiliency and motivation, and through these obstacles have developed an even stronger sense of determination.

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