Worth it as a DS??

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

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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:27 pm

Worth it as a DS??

Postby sfamor » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:39 am

I wrote the following DS statement, but I'm really debating about whether it's strong enough to submit. I'm planning to start sending in apps tomorrow so please, please help me out by taking the time to read and offer edits and/or advice about whether it's strong enough to use. Thank you! :wink:

The fact that I have a long-term female partner is rarely an issue in the progressive San Francisco Bay Area. Growing up in a small Vermont town and being the only visible gay student in high school was a different story. My parents raised me to be proud of who I was and stand my ground in the face of adversity. Still, I was woefully unprepared for the hostile environment I faced at school when I came out at the young age of 13. After two years of enduring frequent taunting from peers, and even one teacher, I had had enough. I enrolled in a home-based independent study program my junior year through the school district in order to finish high school in a safer environment.

At first, this experience left me paralyzed by feelings of anger and sadness about the ways that I had been treated because of my sexuality and what I had lost because of it. I ultimately chose to funnel those feelings towards fighting for positive change and acceptance for the LGBT community. Throughout both my undergraduate and graduate programs, I was an active participant in the queer student groups and initiated projects that were close to my heart. After witnessing the attempted suicide of a friend who was a young transgender man, I co-organized a school-wide ‘Transgender Day of Remembrance’ at my undergraduate institution to provide education, promote dialogue and tolerance, and create awareness of the transgender individuals who have been killed out of hate. As a graduate student, I took a leadership role in organizing a panel discussion for social work professionals in honor of National Coming Out Day two years in a row. Since graduating from my Masters program, I have continued to participate in advocacy efforts that promote the rights and civil liberties of the LGBT community.

Although the experience of being targeted in high school for my sexuality is sadly not unique among gay American teenagers, the experience, nonetheless, has uniquely shaped me. In my job as a public child welfare worker I find that I am able to draw upon this experience to better understand and support families who are facing adversity and oppression related to a marginalized status. As my partner and I contemplate beginning our own family, I am excited by the legal challenges that are arising as the concept of the American family changes and evolve. As LGBT and other non-traditional families take on new shapes and meaning, lawyers will play a substantial role in the decisions dictating their legal futures. I plan to use the skills and training from my legal education and draw upon my own background and experience as a queer woman to play a pivotal role in this work.

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Re: Worth it as a DS??

Postby theadvancededit » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:23 pm

This is most definitely worth a DS. This experience has made your background a diverse one and, more importantly, you will bring a diverse perspective to your prospective school. Your DS is particularly well-written, and addressed not only your own experience ut those of countless others, and how this has both positively and negatively affected you. The former is most important because you don't want to throw yourself a pity party but you do want to raise the obvious concern of this current issue. And, by including how this has lead to your own advocacy work, you show how you have used your experience for the better. This also serves as an excellent highlight to your volunteering and leadership experience, which is always a huge plus.

tl;dr, it's awesome and a totally appropriate DS.

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