PI (i.e., Small Business & NPO) P.S.

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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:25 am

PI (i.e., Small Business & NPO) P.S.

Postby Lovely_08 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:22 am

This is the final draft of my personal statement, and I would greatly appreciate any pointers in the right direction re: quality of the tone, structure, flow, etc. of my essay. Thanks in advance!


The sun was just beginning to rise over the horizon, but as a seven year-old, I was wide awake watching early morning cartoons in a stranger’s living room. Though the setting was unfamiliar for me, I was not the least bit unsettled by it because this scenario had become a typical occurrence by then. After accompanying my mother to a client’s home, I would then wait a few hours until a family friend took me to school later. As a home health aide, my mother worked inflexible hours that sometimes required her to leave home no later than 6 o’clock in the morning, oftentimes with her children in tow. Undoubtedly, this schedule created a stressful situation for my mother – especially since my father was almost always out of work – but the salary she earned from that job supported us when my father’s lack of a regular paycheck could not. Yet, in spite of her circumstances, my mother always had an entrepreneurial spirit. She saw her job as merely a means to an end since running her own business would one day mean never again having to worry about getting the heat cut off in the middle of February, or having to struggle to keep a warm meal on the table every night.

I wanted to help mitigate some of my mother’s financial burdens, so when it came time for me to declare a major in college, this motivation led me straight to the Department of Political Science at XYZ University. Not only did I study the political landscape of the world, but I learned more about the dismal socioeconomic one here, in the United States, for many low-income Black families. The latter struck a chord with me because of my own modest upbringings along with having to see my mother make every effort to start a business in vain. On a similar note, while enrolled in a behavioral research methods course, I wrote a paper regarding race and cultural attitudes and their effects on the Black student. One recurring idea in my studies pertained to how students who came from a low-income background were less likely to seek higher education. After doing more research into the topic, I found that when these same students participated in after-school programs, they were more likely to succeed academically and were less prone to becoming teenage parents or getting involved in drugs and crime. As an adult who has made her share of poor lifestyle choices as a teenager, I can look back and say that I was able to mature past my own self-destructive behavior with much soul-searching and by being raised in a pro-education household. Nevertheless, I can not help but wonder every now and again what difference one such a program would have made in my academic career were it made available to me when I was growing up.

Since graduation, I spent the lion share of my time starting a home care service with my mother. The agency never materialized to an extent because as two women with no experience in the business side of home care, we were a bit unequipped to handle the rigors of entrepreneurship. After carefully considering my options, however, I concluded that I will go to law school with the intention of helping my mother start her own business. In law school, I am particularly interested in clinical programs with a focus on this line of work since it would give me the experience I need to not only help my mother start her home care agency, but also help future burgeoning entrepreneurs create opportunities for themselves in their own businesses.

In addition to commercial law, my experiences have inspired me to specialize in public interest law as it relates to the nonprofit organization in urban neighborhoods. My long-term goal, in this regard, is to help make extracurricular activities more accessible to at-risk youth through community-run recreational centers, and ultimately, put these children in the best possible position for when they are ready to attend college. In short, being given the opportunity to use a law degree from ABC School of Law in such a way would allow me to help transform communities from the inside out while fulfilling my commitment to live a life of service in a way that is both meaningful and personally relevant to me.

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