HS Dropout/Homeless One More Review PLZ!!!!

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ryanw5520
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:52 pm

HS Dropout/Homeless One More Review PLZ!!!!

Postby ryanw5520 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:41 am

<> I can only describe the feelings from the meeting that Monday morning as powerful. I was on staff at the St. Vincent Homeless Family Shelter in downtown Omaha. This particular weekend I was assigned the evening and overnight shifts. The Saturday night before, a man called and described how he and his sons had previously lived with a relative who they could no longer stay with, and needed shelter.
When they arrived, I noticed they were a rather stocky family consisting of a father with three sons, two were in high school and the other was around the age of ten.
<> We had rooms available, so I completed the initial intake process and made sure the rooms were prepped. I contacted the director and together we determined that it was okay to allow them to temporarily take two small rooms as long as I informed them that they may all have to move to one large room after the weekend. Being on staff at the time I could attest that the large room would have been uncomfortable for this family; it was typically used for multiple small children, containing bunk beds, a crib, and a toy bin. Therefore, the two small rooms were split with the older sons in one and the father and youngest son in the other.
<> We always opened the weekly staff meetings on Monday by detailing the events over the weekend for the professional case workers. The topic eventually settled on the occupancy situation of the family I received that Saturday. The staff became divided around one question: could we justify allowing the family to live more comfortably in two rooms if it means turning people away? As my turn to speak grew near, emotions of appreciation and remorse befell me. When my turn came, I was void of the usual nervousness and anxiety that accompanies public speaking, instead I felt an over-whelming confidence that was supported by feelings of purposeness, dignity, and appreciation. I then delivered a very effective and sound argument as to how allowing them to stay in two rooms would help maintain the family's morale, especially amongst the older ones whose age puts them at a greater risk of becoming individual homeless youths. I admit that I had a unique familiarity with the situation that fueled my advocacy.
<> No more than six years earlier, I along with my mother and little brother were forced to stay in the Salvation Army's emergency shelter. They let me have my own room, however, at fourteen I found it hard to muster any gratitude for the hospitality. Honestly, the staff there was exceptional. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how exceptional they were until moments before my turn to give my input for the meeting at hand. Why was I allowed a room of my own, while other families were left in strange situations: sleeping in their car or staying in abusive relationships? I realized that the staff that took care of my family did so by making us feel as welcome and comfortable as they could. I became aware of the humanity I was treated with before and I understood that my time in a homeless shelter was not something to look back on and feel responsible for, regret, or feel ashamed of. Rather, I was given the learning experience of a lifetime. Upon reflection, the staff at the Salvation Army made great steps to make me feel as autonomous and respected as possible. This allowed me to be a stronger person for my family, and I felt a duty to treat our new residents with the same dignity that was bestowed on me.
<> My position within the shelter compelled me to recall many of my personal experiences with poverty to help see things through the eyes of our residents, but more importantly I was granted an opportunity to see how I could tackle social issues on a larger scale. While working at the shelter I met Pat Ford, an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Nebraska in Omaha. He would visit our shelter often, helping clients with a broad range of legal issues. Although I had little more then a GED at the time, I derived, partially from his work, that an education was my best chance to hurdle the various challenges of poverty that was experienced by myself and countless others.
<> I will enjoy celebrating my graduation from the University of Nebraska at Omaha this spring. It is exciting to know that I will have the opportunity to start the family, and be the father that I never had as I am getting married in May as well. I am proud of the formidable road I traveled to get here and I see no reason to slow my pace. I just hope that the next chapter of my story can begin at XXX University School of Law, where I can learn a skill set that I can return to the society that took care of me years before.

mala2
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:39 am

Re: HS Dropout/Homeless One More Review PLZ!!!!

Postby mala2 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:57 am

I don't remember what it was, but I liked your previous intro better. This one comes off as less authentic.

LSATclincher
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: HS Dropout/Homeless One More Review PLZ!!!!

Postby LSATclincher » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:02 pm

Your unique story is wasted and diminished to 1/2 of a PS. The opening anecdote should be reduced to 2 sentences. I'd also swap the positioning. Open strongly with your background growing up poor. Transition into how that sparked you to enter into your job. Then transition into the job as legal aid. Then conclude on a "why law" note, not a "why x law school" note.

This is a truly great story for a PS. Stick to telling your story, not the story of that family.

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

Re: HS Dropout/Homeless One More Review PLZ!!!!

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:46 pm

The biggest problem with this essay is the first and second paragraphs. Lucky for you, this problem can be easily solved: cut paragraphs one and two and start at paragraph 3.

Then,

"Instead of "we always opened," Just begin with "Staff meetings always opened."

Add some more insightful details as to how your experiences fueled your desire.

Once you do that, your essay will be fine. Good, even!

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thexfactor
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:40 am

Re: HS Dropout/Homeless One More Review PLZ!!!!

Postby thexfactor » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:55 pm

so why are you going to law school? you want to be homeless again?
JK....

I thought the story was pretty good. Your story is really memorable and the adcomms will prob remember you by name.

What about adding a little in your last paragraph? and add more details about what you plan on accomplishing.....

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GATORTIM
Posts: 1214
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:51 pm

Re: HS Dropout/Homeless One More Review PLZ!!!!

Postby GATORTIM » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:02 pm

thexfactor wrote:so why are you going to law school? you want to be homeless again?
JK....


you beat me to it

SigBab
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:45 pm

Re: HS Dropout/Homeless One More Review PLZ!!!!

Postby SigBab » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:22 pm

LSATclincher wrote:Your unique story is wasted and diminished to 1/2 of a PS. The opening anecdote should be reduced to 2 sentences. I'd also swap the positioning. Open strongly with your background growing up poor. Transition into how that sparked you to enter into your job. Then transition into the job as legal aid. Then conclude on a "why law" note, not a "why x law school" note.

This is a truly great story for a PS. Stick to telling your story, not the story of that family.


I agree 100% with this. Not that I have any authority or bearing on anything...but you have two people with the same opinion now. :)




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