Diversity Statement?

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

Postby Rawlberto » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:48 pm

First off i'm concerned this is more of a Personal Statement than a Diversity Statement. If this is fine for a DS please critique, if not I will get back to the drawing board. Thank You!

Though I was born in the United States I didn’t live in my country of origin until about the age of five when I started Kindergarten. The first years of my life were spent in a XXX border town living with my grandparents. With Spanish being first languageI entered the US public education system largely unprepared. Though I was in ESL classes throughout Elementary School I just never seemed to fully grasp the English language. Even after completing the fifth grade my speech had a heavy northern mexican accent and I frequently relied on the crutch of using Spanish words when I did not know the English equivalent. This lead to teachers in my Middle School classes angrily correcting me mid-sentence if I had used a Spanish word.

The point where I came to take a fully apathetic attitude towards my studies occurred towards the end of my eighth grade Algebra class. Our teacher gave us a math aptitude test that she explained would determine which students entering High School would continue on to more difficult math classes while the others “got a better handle on the basics.” After class I spoke to our teacher to ask her if she had a rough idea which path I would be taking. She never directly answered my quest but she did inform me that I “shouldn’t really expect to go to college.” At that point I had never even considered college. Still, in my mind it was the next logical step after completing High School. I had thus set in my mind that if I was not going to attend college my performance in classes was really of no consequence.

My high school years can be described as a series of close calls with F grades. My attitude towards high school came to reflect my teacher’s attitude towards me: the bare minimum of attention so that no trouble would arise. I graduated my senior year of high school with a GPA in the 1.1 range and a completely disinterested outlook towards educational institutions. After graduation I worked various dead end jobs that forced me to make a serious evaluation of my life. I slowly realized that the life I had was not the one I wanted. That the trajectory I was following was one that lead to my potential being squandered. It wasn’t until I began spending time at the local library and educating myself on topics of my interest that I began believing that I may be smart enough to attend college. I set out to attend a local community college and eventually to transfer to a university.

While my first semester back in an educational institution was difficult I eventually started having confidence in my own abilities. I came to understand my teachers had been wrong about me, I was in fact able to attend and succeed at the college level. The most important thing I learned was that I had for many years been wrong about myself: I was actually the smart young man I often day dreamed of becoming.

My path to higher education has had many challenges that stemmed from an educational system that had marginalized me but also a lack of responsibility on my part that I accept. In retrospect I never considered the larger picture of my life, I had an immature belief that things would somehow just simply work out. I believe I add the diversity of a student who has found himself marginalized by the public school system but still overcame that adversity in the pursuit of his educational goals.

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Re: Diversity Statement?

Postby horrorbusiness » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:28 pm

I don't like it, to be honest, because I think you can write something MUCH better.

You're a URM, and you don't mention your being a Mexican-American once in your DS. (yes i know being a urm doesn't really make one super diverse on its own).

With your present focus on being the marginalized foreigner, this DS has a depressing, pity-me ADversity statement feel. I think you could make a much more positive, AND more effective diversity statement if you talk about being Mexican-American and some the experiences you talked about in your PS (which was very good).

I don't think it's good to inform law schools that you basically failed high school for four years straight, then suddenly developed the motivation on your own after visiting the public library. It just makes you sound a little... erratic/strange. The vibe just isn't right, and it doesn't endear you to the reader of your PS. It doesn't make me want to cheer for you.. it's more like "woah what the fuck happened".

I say keep the parts about having language troubles, living in a border town, and having cross-cultural experiences, add something about your MA heritage, and drop all of the vilification of the school system (even if its deserved, it just makes you sound angry and vengeful IMO).

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Re: Diversity Statement?

Postby NiccoloA » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:42 pm

horrorbusiness wrote:I say keep the parts about having language troubles, living in a border town, and having cross-cultural experiences, add something about your MA heritage, and drop all of the vilification of the school system (even if its deserved, it just makes you sound angry and vengeful IMO).

I primarily agree with this and it does come off a bit angry.

But I'm sure this is just a draft and in answering your question, it's more of a PS (but not one you should submit), and to make it more of a DS you should focus on your diversity. What in your background makes you unique? You touch on that, but the problem is that you don't focus on it.

Focus on your Spanish and the issues that you overcame while integrating into the US. Leave out anything about failing in high school (this isn't the place for that).



Roberto Duran. NICE :mrgreen:

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Re: Diversity Statement?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:49 pm

Your personal statement does not present you in a positive light. You're angry at teachers & at the public school system, yet have been given a second chance at higher education. You blame others for your own failures, but are quick to take credit for any success. If a bad attitude qualifies as diverse, then this is a diversity statement of an angry person who happens to be Mexican-American.

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Re: Diversity Statement?

Postby Rawlberto » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:51 pm

Thanks for the honest commentary guys, I knew it was bad but at least now I know it needs to be completely rebuilt. Thank You!

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