It’s April 30th 1992. While I assume most children my age were at school learning, I
was sitting next to my bedroom window watching the L.A. riots taking place outside my home. While I imagine most Americans were watching this occur from their TV’s, I had front row seats from my little wooden chair. I will not pretend to remember everything perfectly, but I can still see the multitude of people breaking into shops and coming out with carts full of stolen stuff. This wasn’t the first time I had seen a crime take place, yet this day forever changed my outlook on life.
I grew up in South Central Los Angeles, a neighborhood notorious for it's high crime rate where drugs, gangs, and violence run rampant. By the age of 6 I had already witnessed my home being broken into and my dog beaten half to death by home invaders and had grown accustomed to hearing gun shots at night. Yet I was too young during these events to question their realities. However on the day of the Rodney King riots, I remember a conversation I had with my mom. I naively yet curiously asked her why we weren’t out there getting free groceries or free TV’s, the latter would’ve been a huge help in alleviating our hungry stomachs. I had no idea my inquisitive question would have such an effect on my mother. As tears were pouring from her eyes, she told me about her long trip several years ago crossing through the Mexican border in search of a better life juxtaposing it next to the story of the many times my dad was caught and deported trying to achieve the same goal. She recited to me the famous proverb “El que no trabaja, no come” which translates to “If you don’t work hard, you don’t eat”. She explained to me that having a work ethic was the key to succeeding in life and not having to resort to committing crimes. Although my parents tried to teach me that education was the key to success, the environment I grew up in made it difficult to value education the way my parents had held in mind.
Nothing of that conversation stuck in my head until several years later, when on a late
night I was caught trying to steal a purse at a carnival. The end result was me being driven home by a cop, and having to see my mom’s eyes shocked and in disgust to see her son like that. That night she reminded me of the conversation we had years back, but this time I remembered every single word. This night I made me a vow to go to work hard and be one of the first in my family to go to college and make my parents proud with my educational achievements. Throughout the years I’ve worked hard to succeed in school and have received several achievement awards including multiple “Dean’s List” and “Honors” awards. I’ve carried this dedication and work ethic to other avenues including sports such as soccer and wrestling. I have a hunger to give back to the community, which I have filled by volunteering at public schools for the past 3 years, but Law School will be an avenue by which I can aspire to help a much bigger audience.
Throughout my life my parents have been an example that it's not too audacious to hope for better when you have nothing. Although I know my intellectual and analytic abilities
will get me into law school, I believe the hard work ethic I learned through my parents, will successfully get me out of law school and into a career where I can give back to my family. My ambitions for law school have been cultivated by this vision of making my dreams and hopes happen, not only for myself but also for the sake of my family, to give them something to cheer for. Through my struggles in life, I have learned how to endure and work towards an end goal As with my previous challenges, I am ready to accept the challenge of law school and workhard to achieve that dream.
please be aware this is a very rough draft, so my grammar and sentence structure is obviously still bad. let me know what are some strengths and weaknesses please....thanks