Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
fileclerk88
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:43 pm

Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby fileclerk88 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:59 pm

First time posting here, hopefully I do it correctly. I am submitting a PS and Diversity statement combined. This is my first draft, so I am not sure whether or not I am heading in the right direction, or placing enough emphasis on my qualities. I do feel that my conclusion is weak. I tailored it towards ASU which is my number one choice, but will alter it for other schools. Anyways, here it is....

...Drenched in sweat, legs weak and feet past the numbing sensation are the earliest memories I have with my mom. I see her just keep bustling on and wonder why she would not get tired as we solicited houses, apartment complexes and laundry mats located in south Phoenix, Arizona. We journeyed through these places to collect payments from customers that we sold gold or silver bracelets, rings and necklaces to weeks ago. This was not an everyday occurrence, but rather my weekend activities since the Head Start Program, which provides comprehensive education for low-income children, was not available on the weekends. In her eyes, it was the best way a Mexican mother of three who speaks no English could earn money while my father worked all day as a mechanic. As you can imagine, I had to grow up fast. Helping out the family was not seen as a chore nor ever questioned, but simply just an expectation. My parents engrained in me the value of education through lecture and personal example which came into full effect at the peak of my family’s success.

My mother came from Durango, Mexico from a family of 13, while my father originated from Chihuahua, Mexico from a family of 11. While she was only able to receive a sixth grade education in order to work to help the family, he was fortunate enough to graduate high school and be accepted into college to pursue a legal career. However, he had to post pone his plan indefinitely to work and be a provider. A moral dilemma faced my father: cross into the United States to provide a better opportunity for his family or face the harsh conditions of Mexico’s poverty? Choosing the former, they crossed and eventually granted citizenship through the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

The light at the end of the tunnel grew brighter as my father was able to purchase his own auto repair shop and open the XXX, a Mexican restaurant next door that my mom would help manage. From the success of the both business’s we expanded and acquired more locations, but transformed them into banquet halls and concert venues to accommodate the fast growing Latino population. I recall having various roles that included security guard, ticket clerk and conduct inventory after the concerts on weekends. This not so usual upbringing and being established into the industry as much as possible exposed me to business aspect of the Hispanic community. I witnessed the Hispanic culture of Phoenix, AZ burst from a small bubble to a substantial population. As a result, our living situation bettered and our lives reflected the iconic American dream. My family mirrored that hard work truly pays off. Still, hard work can only get you so far before mistakes start occurring from lack of knowledge and education.

Valentine’s Day Monday, February, 14th XXXX was an unforgettable moment in my family’s lives’ for the wrong reason. Finishing our third and most successful concert of the year on Saturday, we went out to dinner Sunday night to celebrate the holiday and the company’s triumph. Monday morning I woke up and drove off with my ten year old brother to school yet, I knew something was different the second I veered out my neighborhood and a police car starting following me, subsequently pulling me. After asking for my license and registration, he fired off interrogating questions concerning my family, house and relatives, followed by broadcasting into his dispatcher “It’s clear, move in”. Demanding I step out of the vehicle he finally explained that my house was seized by the SWAT team and my parents were under arrest for several felony charges. Overwhelmed with confusion, revelation, and anxiety I stood petrified as he continued to ask specific question about my family. All I could think was, do I answer the questions? Do I tell my little brother? Do I head back to help our parents?

We went from living a flourishing life blossoming with certainty to a life languished with moving into my sister’s apartment, followed by five different homes in four years. My parent’s lack of education mixed with not being able to speak or write English finally caught up with them.

Hindered by my family’s ignorance of the law, I made sure it would not affect my college learning and experiences. Forced to become financially independent, I found harmony through my courses and involvement in my fraternity. I used my precocious upbringing and shaped it into leadership qualities to aid in my fraternity’s governing structure and networking goals by being elected an executive member. My acclimatization into the Hispanic community compelled me to succeed in both justice classes and Spanish classes.

As an undergraduate as Arizona State University, I distinguished myself as a capable leader and an excellent student. My goal is to take advantage of the opportunities that XYX College of Law offers with these talents. I am especially interested in the areas that focus on my interests and background like the Immigration Law and Policy clinic and the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association. Further, as a student, the Legal Method and Writing Program will hone my writing skills and build a solid foundation for successful communication in the legal field. Both of these programs along with my determination and passion to achieve what my family has never had will shape me to succeed as the lawyer I will be tomorrow...

sparty99
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby sparty99 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:44 pm

fileclerk88 wrote:First time posting here, hopefully I do it correctly. I am submitting a PS and Diversity statement combined. This is my first draft, so I am not sure whether or not I am heading in the right direction, or placing enough emphasis on my qualities. I do feel that my conclusion is weak. I tailored it towards ASU which is my number one choice, but will alter it for other schools. Anyways, here it is....

...Drenched in sweat, legs weak and feet past the numbing sensation are the earliest memories I have with my mom. I see her just keep bustling on and wonder why she would not get tired as we solicited houses, apartment complexes and laundry mats located in south Phoenix, Arizona. We journeyed through these places to collect payments from customers that we sold gold or silver bracelets, rings and necklaces to weeks ago. This was not an everyday occurrence, but rather my weekend activities since the Head Start Program, which provides comprehensive education for low-income children, was not available on the weekends. In her eyes, it was the best way a Mexican mother of three who speaks no English could earn money while my father worked all day as a mechanic. As you can imagine, I had to grow up fast. Helping out the family was not seen as a chore nor ever questioned, but simply just an expectation. My parents engrained in me the value of education through lecture and personal example which came into full effect at the peak of my family’s success.

My mother came from Durango, Mexico from a family of 13, while my father originated from Chihuahua, Mexico from a family of 11. While she was only able to receive a sixth grade education in order to work to help the family, he was fortunate enough to graduate high school and be accepted into college to pursue a legal career. However, he had to post pone his plan indefinitely to work and be a provider. A moral dilemma faced my father: cross into the United States to provide a better opportunity for his family or face the harsh conditions of Mexico’s poverty? Choosing the former, they crossed and eventually granted citizenship through the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

The light at the end of the tunnel grew brighter as my father was able to purchase his own auto repair shop and open the XXX, a Mexican restaurant next door that my mom would help manage. From the success of the both business’s we expanded and acquired more locations, but transformed them into banquet halls and concert venues to accommodate the fast growing Latino population. I recall having various roles that included security guard, ticket clerk and conduct inventory after the concerts on weekends. This not so usual upbringing and being established into the industry as much as possible exposed me to business aspect of the Hispanic community. I witnessed the Hispanic culture of Phoenix, AZ burst from a small bubble to a substantial population. As a result, our living situation bettered and our lives reflected the iconic American dream. My family mirrored that hard work truly pays off. Still, hard work can only get you so far before mistakes start occurring from lack of knowledge and education.

Valentine’s Day Monday, February, 14th XXXX was an unforgettable moment in my family’s lives’ for the wrong reason. Finishing our third and most successful concert of the year on Saturday, we went out to dinner Sunday night to celebrate the holiday and the company’s triumph. Monday morning I woke up and drove off with my ten year old brother to school yet, I knew something was different the second I veered out my neighborhood and a police car starting following me, subsequently pulling me. After asking for my license and registration, he fired off interrogating questions concerning my family, house and relatives, followed by broadcasting into his dispatcher “It’s clear, move in”. Demanding I step out of the vehicle he finally explained that my house was seized by the SWAT team and my parents were under arrest for several felony charges. Overwhelmed with confusion, revelation, and anxiety I stood petrified as he continued to ask specific question about my family. All I could think was, do I answer the questions? Do I tell my little brother? Do I head back to help our parents?

We went from living a flourishing life blossoming with certainty to a life languished with moving into my sister’s apartment, followed by five different homes in four years. My parent’s lack of education mixed with not being able to speak or write English finally caught up with them.

Hindered by my family’s ignorance of the law, I made sure it would not affect my college learning and experiences. Forced to become financially independent, I found harmony through my courses and involvement in my fraternity. I used my precocious upbringing and shaped it into leadership qualities to aid in my fraternity’s governing structure and networking goals by being elected an executive member. My acclimatization into the Hispanic community compelled me to succeed in both justice classes and Spanish classes.

As an undergraduate as Arizona State University, I distinguished myself as a capable leader and an excellent student. My goal is to take advantage of the opportunities that XYX College of Law offers with these talents. I am especially interested in the areas that focus on my interests and background like the Immigration Law and Policy clinic and the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association. Further, as a student, the Legal Method and Writing Program will hone my writing skills and build a solid foundation for successful communication in the legal field. Both of these programs along with my determination and passion to achieve what my family has never had will shape me to succeed as the lawyer I will be tomorrow...


Too much rambling. The last paragraph does not flow with the essay. The Valentine's paragraph comes out of no where. It also does not make sense. What happened to your parents? You spend too much time talking about your parents and not about yourself and contributions. Lastly, some of the sentences are poorly written.

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glucose101
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby glucose101 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:42 am

Agreed. It's all over the place.

(I skimmed it, but numbers under a hundred are usually spelled out.)

freestallion
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby freestallion » Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:03 pm

Agreed. Law schools want to learn more about how you overcame obstacles. You spend too much time on your parents life and your childhood, but not enough time explaining how you overcame this background to become successful.

I think starting out with your childhood is a good idea, but then go into how you persevered, how you were motivated to succeed, your accomplishments in college, etc, to create a theme..

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rinkrat19
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:48 pm

It's also very long. Times New Roman 12pt puts it over three pages. Not many schools want a PS that long.

darcie
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby darcie » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:54 am

This reads more like a story of your family history; it needs to be much more focused to you. Whilst your past is relevant, it shouldn’t necessarily be the main focus of your statement. I used this site when I was doing mine SPAMSPAMSPAM and i found they were quite helpful.

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Emma.
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby Emma. » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:59 am

When you do a rewrite, back off on the language. "We went from living a flourishing life blossoming with certainty to a life languished with ..." is just a bit much.

Don't use a $5 word when a $0.05 one will do. Especially when quite a few of these fancy words are getting misused in your draft.

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curiouscat
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby curiouscat » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:17 pm

You have an interesting life story but listing off events isn't a convincing way to go about conveying it. There's nothing holding the PS together, no unifying theme, so by the time I finished reading it I wasn't sure what the point you're trying to get across is. Figure out the main message you want people to get out of your PS (e.g. your experience in an immigrant family has taught you the importance of determination, education & initiative?). Then make sure that every bit of life story information you share works towards persuading your reader of that message.

Instead of going through a series of events, pick one or two events that really illustrate your message and focus on those. That'll give your PS less of a incoherent, aimless feel. For example, the Valentine's Day incident might make for an interesting PS if you focus on it and reflect on what it taught you. Right now you have it buried in a lot of back story about your parents that you can probably condense to a paragraph or so - just what we need to know for your message to be compelling. Then you can launch in the Valentine's Day incident (or whatever you choose, as long as you're actively involved in the event) and discuss how it's shaped you as a person.

With a more focused approach, you can also deal with some of the confusing loose ends you leave behind when you bounce around from one event to another. Your description of the Valentine's Day incident, for example, is hard to follow, because there are lots of things you bring up but don't really explain. Why you parents got arrested, what their lack of education/fluency had to do with it, how you reacted at the time - you give only halfway, indirect accounts of these things, leaving your reader to fill in the blanks and make the connections. If you bring up an incident, make it clear what happened and why that's important, so that you reader doesn't get stuck thinking, "Wait... what just happened?"

Best of luck!

kublaikahn
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:03 pm

I am a second generation Mexican-American. My parents walked here and worked hard but still struggled because they lacked the education and life skills to convert their successes into sustainable gains. To honor them and make the most of the work ethic they instilled in me, I want to make sure I not only break the cycle of poverty, but also that I break the cycle of ignorance. To that end, I want to become a well-educated attorney.

Write the story that says this. And, for the love of God, get into a writing lab.

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Emma.
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby Emma. » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:32 pm

kublaikahn wrote:I am a second generation Mexican-American. My parents walked here and worked hard but still struggled because they lacked the education and life skills to convert their successes into sustainable gains. To honor them and make the most of the work ethic they instilled in me, I want to make sure I not only break the cycle of poverty, but also that I break the cycle of ignorance. To that end, I want to become a well-educated attorney.

Write the story that says this. And, for the love of God, get into a writing lab.


This!!

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TIKITEMBO
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby TIKITEMBO » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:42 pm

.
Last edited by TIKITEMBO on Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kublaikahn
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby kublaikahn » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:25 pm

TIKITEMBO wrote:Let me start off by saying I've had jobs helping people with their writing and this is not bad. It's early stage and whether or not people on TLS will admit they've never banged out a paper that wasn't the final edition on the first draft is up to them. At the moment, your biggest challenge will be harnessing this ideas all into one tent, but it can totally be done. Here's the outline I wrote of what I'm seeing so far:

Paragraph I: Memories of accompanying your mom as she worked because there was no free day care on the weekend.
- Not a bad thing to talk about, but I would shorten this section a bit. You could convey this paragraph in a couple sentences. I like the imagery here though.

Paragraph II: Your parents history of immigration/low access to education/decision to come to U.S.
- Also not bad to talk about, but you might be able to combine this paragraph and the first. The main theme you could use to unite both would be: My parents faced a difficult decision about whether to break the law or to provide a better life for their family. Even in the U.S., my parents struggled, but were eventually able to achieve this.

Paragraph III: Things started to improve and I was affected by seeing the hard work of my parents rewarded. However, a language barrier and no access legal knowledge/education caught up with them.
-Good segway that demonstrates an upward swing, but just shorten it up a bit. I wouldn't say that the jobs you had were really that unusual.

Paragraph IV: My parents encountered a legal problem that affected the entire family. This was exacerbated by lack of a knowledge of English and the ability to defend themselves properly.
- Okay, this could be a really strong part, but it will depend on how you handle it. If you are going to put this in here, I would say that you will need to at least address why the police were at your parent's house. To build up this scene of swat teams and things like that sounds really intense and the reader never knows why this even happened. Right now, this paragraph leaves the reader wondering: What was the reason the police where there, where there any resources available to them that did not help, and what came from the situation. Also, though it may sound harsh, the reader will wonder if your parents were innocent or guilty in this situation and right now, not addressing that looks bad. Clarity in this instance will not only help to solidify your stance on what happened, but also will close this big wondering black hole that leaves the reader wondering whether they should feel sorry at about the situation at hand for both you or your parents.

Paragraph V: Leadership and reasons for law school.
I would combine these. I think a good way to connect these two parts would be to talk about communication, the lack there of, and how that shapes access to legal rights. Maybe mention the 14th ammendment as well and the right to due process. You could make this whole thing is indicative of a person's inability to access legal rights because of their lack of language skills as a breach of the of the 14th Amendment and how you would like to do your part to see this issue addressed. You're not too far from that, and I think it would be a good unifying idea. Sprinkle bits of this sentiment more throughout what you've written and use it as your focus point. Then, ask yourself if every sentence you've written addresses that or not. You'll be able to start cutting quite a few out then.

Good luck!


You should correct spelling errors and blatant grammatical errors prior to asking someone else to edit your paper, regardless of the draft. Secondly, read the paragraph outline that the above poster outlines and tell me which paragraph has you as the subject (just number 5). This is what makes it a PS fail, IMHO. You spend four paragraphs describing the rise and fall of your parents.

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TIKITEMBO
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Re: Please Critique PS and diversity statement for URM Hispanic

Postby TIKITEMBO » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:32 pm

.




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