Second draft but still needs lots of work

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moonman157
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Second draft but still needs lots of work

Postby moonman157 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:07 am

PERSONAL STATEMENT

“President Crease, I have something to say.”

The words themselves sounded much more confident than I felt. Up until this moment I had barely spoken a word at a Franklin Park Borough council meeting. I was roughly one third of the way through my term as the Junior Councilperson, an appointed position given to a local high school student as an introduction to the functions of government at its most local level. As a junior with interest in politics, I was eager and excited about the opportunity to get real, hands-on experience serving the people of my community. What I didn’t expect, however, was a fractured council whose meetings frequently devolved into shouting matches and whose members often displayed questionable motives and tactics. Though it was disconcerting to see even the slightest bit of power corrupting my neighbors, it was also exciting and made each day on the council colorful.

At this particular meeting, the council was voting to censure Ash Marwah. Mr. Marwah had sent out an email to various employees that disparaged the women on the council and included sexist comments. He refused to apologize for his behavior and was being verbally berated by other members of the council and citizens in the audience. Fearing that this would quickly turn into the usual unproductive shouting match, and realizing the importance of this moment, I decided to step up and finally let my voice be heard.
“President Crease, I have something to say.” All the eyes turned to me, shocked and confused. I continued, “The citizens of this community deserve better. They deserve a council that treats them with respect. They deserve a council that uses their time and taxpayer dollars to their fullest advantage. They deserve better than Mr. Marwah and his emails. They deserve an apology. So if Mr. Marwah isn’t going to apologize for this email, I will. It is sad that a grown man and elected member of this council lacks the maturity that the high school appointee has, but I’m willing to do what is necessary to get this council back on track on focused again on improving this community.”

I had officially put myself on the line, voiced my opinion, and entered the battle. I was no longer the silent teenager simply taking in what was going on around him; I had become another member of council who saw his responsibility to the community and chose not to shy away from it. My words were validated with a round of applause from the audience.

Reflecting on my experiences in college, I come back to this moment as a personal turning point that set me up for the success that I have enjoyed. The confidence I gained from this experience inspired me not only to come out to my family and college friends, it inspired me to take an active role in the LGBT community with my involvement as the LGBT Caucus intern and LGBT Coordinator for College Democrats at Ohio State. I had no way of knowing how the people in my life would react, and their rejection was a real and frightening possibility. However, I knew that I had to live my life openly and honestly, and that I was strong enough to stand up to those who would challenge me.
I also took this confidence to my fraternity. I recognized the potential difficulties of being openly gay in Greek life, but through living my life with confidence and my participation in Lambda, our LGBT Greek organization, I was met with welcome acceptance and support. This confidence, though, went beyond my sexual orientation. When a number of my brothers committed violations of our chapter codes and failed to live up to the standards of our fraternity, I served on the executive board that oversaw their removal. It was an enormous undertaking that threatened the chapter’s standing on campus and my own personal reputation, but I recognized that it was the right thing to do. These efforts earned me the New Member of the Year award. Like speaking up to Mr. Marwah, these difficult but necessary courses of action that I took could not have been done without conviction and faith in myself and my values.

I am approaching law school with the same passion and tenacity that I have applied to all challenges I have faced since that borough council meeting. I look around at the world and see so much that needs to be changed, and I want to be part of that change. Participation in our legal system provides an amazing and unique opportunity to realize a vision of a more just society. I am not naïve to the challenges facing me or the people who will try to prevent this from happening; I have extensive experiences with these types of people. These experiences, though, have taught me how to stand up to them and the proper courses of action to take. The right thing and the easy thing are not always the same; in my experiences, they’re often the opposite. But I have learned to never hide who you are from the world; never condone the actions of those who disregard the well being of others; and never sit back quietly in a meeting when you know something needs to be said.

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moonman157
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Re: Second draft but still needs lots of work

Postby moonman157 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:49 pm

Anyone? Hoping to submit my apps this week and am looking for any feedback.

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moonman157
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:26 pm

Re: Second draft but still needs lots of work

Postby moonman157 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:14 pm

Anyone? I'm hoping to submit this week and would love some feedback

canarykb
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Re: Second draft but still needs lots of work

Postby canarykb » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:16 pm

I think the opening anecdote is really strong, and well written, but... it's from high school. It seems like you've done a lot of interesting things & taken leadership roles in college, so why are you bragging about something you did when you were 17? I also think it is kind of an unnecessary leap that it was that ONE MOMENT that gave you the courage to do all those things in college. I mean, you clearly had some bravery before then. I personally am more interested in what you mention about being openly gay in a fraternity and the challenges there, as well as standing up about ethics violations. Maybe you have some of this in a DS, but that was the part of this essay that stuck out to me the most. There is clearly a longer story to be told there, and one that is probably more relevant and indicative of your character than a moment from high school.

I think you're a strong writer, I'm just trying to bring up the questions I would have as someone reviewing your file.

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moonman157
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Re: Second draft but still needs lots of work

Postby moonman157 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:20 pm

Thanks for the feedback! I do talk about that in a diversity statement as well as in one of my LoR, but I definitely see your point. I just saws this moment as something different, and something that could be used as a good springboard for talking about what I included in the second half. I definitely see your concerns about this being from high school though.




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