The Admissions Committee seeks a talented and diverse student body and will consider such factors as exceptional personal talents, interesting or demanding work or service experience, rigorousness of undergraduate course of study, leadership potential, ability to communicate effectively, and other factors. In addition, the Committee considers obstacles or accomplishments, including but not limited to: economic need requiring significant employment during college, social and cultural disadvantages, linguistic barriers and extraordinary family or personal responsibilities.
Spanning three stairs per stride as I crossed the threshold on the 50th floor, I could no longer get enough oxygen to continue the pace. Wiping the stinging sweat from my eyes, I glanced up to see my team waiting for my on the 51st landing—we agreed to stick together for the entire climb. Fatigue was heavily setting in for all of us, but we knew what was waiting at the top: a person who doesn’t have the luxury of being able climb to the top floor of a skyscraper, or her own house, for that matter. As my lungs gasped for oxygen I was reminded of the daily struggle for air that Meg's life entailed.
Floor seventy-five. My legs had become so physically exhausted by this point that I was probably generating more vertical lift by pushing off the hand railings. Verbal encouragement to my teammates transformed into physical assistance, mostly because I couldn’t catch my breath long enough to utter a coherent word, but also because my mind was somewhere else. Climbing each flight of stairs was eventually committed to muscle memory, and I began reminiscing about memories I have had with the person who was my motivation for this challenge.
Diagnosed with bronchiectasis 25 years ago, my best friend’s mother was given 12 months to live after her body began to reject her donated lungs last September. Since the disease causes her to get tired from even the smallest physical activity, I have been around to assist her as much as possible with everyday tasks. She taught me that being goal-oriented is the best form of motivation, and her next goal was to live to witness the birth of her first grandchild, my friend’s daughter. However, Meg’s doctors told her that if another donor wasn’t found very soon, it was questionable as to whether she was going to have that opportunity.
As for my own goals, my first one was to raise money for the research of Meg’s disease. After starting my own fundraiser in her name, I raised over $8,000 from 130 donors through promoting my cause primarily in local newspapers and online. I donated the money to the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, whose mission it is to promote healthy lungs and fight lung disease through research and advocacy.
I learned that RHAMC organized an event called Hustle up the Hancock every year, where individuals and teams registered to race to the top of the John Hancock building in support of lung disease research. This became my next goal. I organized a team of 14 people in support of Meg’s fight, and we trained for four months. The climb itself was the most physically grueling challenge I had ever set myself to, but reaching the top and seeing the look on Meg’s face as we crossed the finish line was almost as strengthening for me as it was for her. We were the reason she knew she was not alone in her fight against her disease. Meg taught me a great deal about not taking anything for granted and living to your fullest potential, and I have decided to do just that.
I have set my next goal at something I have always been very interested in but haven’t yet actively pursued: becoming a lawyer. I have a strong passion for helping people who may be unable to do so themselves, and I want to incorporate this into my future career. Everything I have learned through my support of Meg has further intensified my desire to attend law school. She taught me to take advantage of every ability you have been blessed with, which I intend on doing by pursuing a career in law. My compassion for the unfortunate and interest in justice make pursuing a career in personal interest law an obvious choice for me.