Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:57 am

The following is a draft of my personal statement. Would truly appreciate some critique and advice on the subject matter and grammar, Thanks!


The year I was born, my home country, Mexico, was entering into the era of its prime economic and political decadence. I was conceived by two teenagers who were financially and emotionally unprepared for the responsibilities that come from having a child. Instead of accepting the destiny of the slow and agonizing cycle of poverty that most Mexicans face, my future was abruptly changed by my family’s decision to enter the United States without proper documentation. Immediately, upon immigrating to the United States, my identity was forever poisoned by the fears and insecurities that accompany the tag of “illegal immigrant.” My lack of legal status handicapped my early education by creating limitations on my educational goals. To make matters worse, my parents decided to end their marriage during my first year of college, creating an overwhelming sense of instability. My migratory status, socioeconomic background, and my father’s departure from home all became detrimental factors to my early college experience while simultaneously providing a necessary character development. The turmoil during this epoch of my life helped provide the drive which lead to my contribution in forming part of the DREAMERS movement.

On June 2, 2011 around eleven o’clock at night, I stepped into one of two commercial buses departing from Assembly member Gill Cedillos’ office in Los Angeles and headed to the Sacramento State Capital. These two buses were completely filled with over 100 undocumented college students representing over 30 universities. Our mission was to lobby for passage of AB130 and AB131, dubbed the California Dream Act, which would grant undocumented students the ability to apply for state and private financial aid. By deciding to take this midnight trip, I was placing myself at risk of being deported. Images of our bus getting pulled over by immigration officials flashed through my mind as the night passed. When we arrived in Sacramento, hungry and exhausted, we busied ourselves immediately. While visiting the offices of over five legislators and assembly members, I shared my story and argued the merits of why they should support the passage of the California Dream Act. That same day, I stepped in front of the California Assembly and with a proud yet nervous voice, I asked that both the AB130 and AB131 bills be passed. On that day, AB131 was put to a vote and passed the California Assembly. For the first time in my life I experienced the power to directly change ones’ circumstances through law and government. This experience showed me the potential law has as a vehicle for change and sparked my decision to go to law school as a way to empower both myself and the community.

This yearning for education and knowledge of law continues to drive me even more due to the executive order dubbed Deferred Action, which allowed me to establish continual temporary legal status in the United States. Deferred Action allowed me to experience the effects of law in a very personal manner. I am no longer constantly afraid of being deported. The hunting fear of being pulled over for driving without a license is nothing more than a bad memory, given that I now have a valid drivers license. Today, I am able to work legally with a real Social Security Number, a privilege that places me closer to my ambition of being a practicing attorney. Both, Lobbying in Sacramento and experiencing the effect of Deferred Action have taught me the importance of fighting for change, a lesson that I plan on preserving through out my legal career.

Despite the fact that I encountered several obstacles and socioeconomic impediments, I became the first one in my family to graduate college and thrived in a community that is not known for its educational prowess. Despite marrying at the early age of 21, both my wife and I completed our bachelors’ degree. To my community I am a symbol of progress, discipline, and inspiration. Being granted the ability to attend law school would enable me to fully explore my scholarly capacity and potential.

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nickb285
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Re: Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

Postby nickb285 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:52 am

This is a very good start and an interesting story. I almost feel like your first and second paragraphs should switch places, your second paragraph being the more powerful of the two, while the first is more explanatory. Couple minor things:

--"Decadence" isn't really the word you want, especially when paired with "prime." I'd maybe put something like "its economic and political decay."
--"Epoch" is slightly off as well, it has a particular meaning that doesn't really work here. Maybe "era" or "period" or even just "time."
--Change "hunting" to "haunting" in the third paragraph.
--Third paragraph's last sentence needs to be reworked--capitalization, commas, and I'm not sure that "preserving" the lesson is what you want to do, maybe expanding on it or moving it forward or keeping in mind. "Preserving" makes it sound like you're putting it on a shelf in your office.

Other than that I think this is good.

persimmon
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Re: Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

Postby persimmon » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:20 pm

This is a great story, well told, but it doesn't give me confidence that you know what lawyers do. In reading the essay, I wonder why you're going to law school instead of running for office. I don't think this is a fatal problem, necessarily. Your experiences are relevant, but you have to make the case for why they're relevant. Give some thought to why you want to make legal arguments and advocate for clients, instead of making law itself, and then draw the connection to your experience with DREAM and Deferred Action. I bet you can do this with a few well-placed extra sentences or edited sentences, without radically changing the structure of the essay.

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lhn5007
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Re: Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

Postby lhn5007 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:33 am

I agree with the last two posts. The second paragraph is substantially more riveting than the first and should be switched.

You have an amazing story to back up an interest in pursuing work in immigration law. You should use this to your advantage. I would provide examples of ways, as an attorney, that you could help other undocumented workers through the legal system.

I believe the narrative could be smoother and some sentences edited down. Since you have such a compelling story, I would try to be as concise as possible as to not take away from the narrative itself.

Also because I am anal retentive, I would change the second instance of the word "dubbed" to another synonym. Haha

bmore
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Re: Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

Postby bmore » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:41 am

I don't think you get pulled over for driving without a license. They add that charge after you get pulled over. I think I would take out "despite getting married at 21". That is a decision you made, and that sentence makes it sound like you think it was a bad one. Also I think I would leave out the parents divorce in college. JMHO.

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:50 am

bmore wrote:I don't think you get pulled over for driving without a license. They add that charge after you get pulled over. I think I would take out "despite getting married at 21". That is a decision you made, and that sentence makes it sound like you think it was a bad one. Also I think I would leave out the parents divorce in college. JMHO.


The reason for my decision to include my parents divorce is because it significantly influenced my grades, in a rather negative way for my fresh man year. Would this be better to mention in an addendum?

Also, yeah getting pulled over for driving without a license is logically flawed...thanks.

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:22 pm

Here is an updated version with heavy revision and editing. (2nd draft) Please give any thoughts or critiques.
I reached the point where I think my PS sucks...I do not know if it does or it's just me being a perfectionist.


The midnight of June 2, 2012, I stepped into one of two commercial buses departing from Assembly member Gill Cedillos’ office in Los Angeles and headed to the Sacramento State Capital. The buses were completely filled with over 50 undocumented college students representing over 20 universities and colleges. Our mission was to lobby for the passage of AB130 and AB131, dubbed the California Dream Act that grants undocumented students the ability to qualify for state and private student financial aid. Although such a trip involved risk of our bus being stopped by immigration officials, I knew that we had to be brave and be willing to push boundaries in order to accomplish our goals. When we arrived in Sacramento, hungry and exhausted, we busied ourselves immediately. While visiting the offices of over five legislators and assembly members, I shared my story and argued the merits of why they should support the passage of the California Dream Act. That same day, I stepped in front of the California Assembly and with a proud yet trembling voice, I asked that both the AB130 and AB131 bills be passed. On that day AB131 passed the California Assembly.
Not only did this victory demonstrate to me that I could use law as a vehicle for change, but also sparked a persistent desire to attend law school. Despite the fact that I would not be able to benefit from the passage from the California Dream Act—given that I graduated by the time the legislation became effective—It was empowering to fight to help people in my situation and know that I made a difference in a new generation of undocumented students. Now that I have been granted the ability to apply for my residency given that my wife is a US Citizen, I hope to pursue a law degree with a concentration in immigration. It is my goal that I will some day open my own immigration firm and put my business and legal knowledge to use. It is often said that the law field is saturated with lawyers; however, low-income legal assistance is greatly needed, especially I the area of immigration. It is my hope to be able to be part of a new generation of DREAMER attorneys that will empower our communities by providing affordable legal aid.
When I announced my decision to go to law school people did not hesitate to point out difficulties such as: how an undocumented student like myself would be able to afford tuition of a law school, or if I was aware of the difficulty of BAR exam in California. However, what people did not understand was that I was born facing adversity. Mexico, my home country, was entering an era of economic and political decay the year I was born. Instead of being a victim of the slow and agonizing cycle of poverty most Mexicans face, my future was abruptly changed by my families’ decision to enter the United State without proper documentation. Immediately, upon arriving to United States, my identity was poisoned by the fears and insecurities that accompany the tag of “illegal immigrant”. My lack of legal status handicapped my early education by creating limitations on my educational aspirations. To make matters worse, my parents decided to end their marriage during my first year of college, adding to an already overwhelming sense of instability. The trials and tribulations that I had to overcome and as undocumented student ironically helped me develop a tenacious personality that has been a key factor in my educational and personal success which is an important asset to have in law school.
I am the first one in my family to graduate from college. I married at the early age of 21, both my wife and I, who come from poverty, completed our bachelors’ degree. To my community, I am a symbol of progress, discipline and inspiration. Being granted the ability to attend law school would enable me to fully use my academic potential and explore my interest in immigration law. [this space is left with the intention to talk about why I would like to apply to that specific law school]

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nickb285
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Re: Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

Postby nickb285 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:04 pm

I like this PS, but it has quite a few grammar/usage issues. My comments below are in bold.

Anonymous User wrote:The midnight of[use "At midnight on" or "The night of"] June 2, 2012, I stepped into one of two commercial buses departing from California Assembly member Gill Cedillos’ office in Los Angeles and headed to the Sacramento State Capital [State Capitol in Sacramento]. The buses were completely filled with over 50 undocumented college students representing over 20 universities and colleges. Our mission was to lobby for the passage of AB130 and AB131, dubbed the California Dream Act, which granted undocumented students the ability to qualify for state and private student financial aid. Although such a trip involved risk of our bus being stopped by immigration officials, I knew that we had to be brave and be willing to push boundaries in order to accomplish our goals. When we arrived in Sacramento, hungry and exhausted, we busied ourselves immediately. While visiting the offices of over fivelegislators and assembly members, I shared my story and argued the merits of why they should support the passage of the California Dream Act. That same day, I stepped in front of the California Assembly and with a proud yet trembling voice, I asked that both the AB130 and AB131 bills be passed. On that day AB131 passed the California Assembly.
Not only did this victory demonstrate to me that I could use law as a vehicle for change, but[it] also sparked a persistent desire to attend law school. Despite the fact that I would not be able to benefit from the passage from the California Dream Act—given that I graduated by the time the legislation became effective—it was empowering to fight to help people in my situation and know that I made a difference in[for] a new generation of undocumented students. Now that I have been granted the ability to apply for my residencygiven that[, use "since" here, you used "given that" last sentence] my wife is a US citizen, I hope to pursue a law degree with a concentration in[on] immigration. It is my goal that I will[to] someday open my own immigration firm and put my business and legal knowledge to use. It is often said that the law field is saturated with lawyers; however, low-income legal assistance is greatly needed, especially [in] the area of immigration. It is my hope to be able to be part of a new generation of DREAMER [either use "DREAMER" in this context above if it's accurate, or get rid of it and stick with "new generation of attorneys"] attorneys that will empower our communities by providing affordable legal aid.
When I announced my decision to go to law school people did not hesitate to point out difficultiessuch as:. They asked how an undocumented student like myself would be able to afford tuition of a law school, or if I was aware of the difficulty of BAR[the Bar] exam in California. However, what people did not understand was that I was born facing adversity. Mexico, my home country, was entering an era of economic and political decay the year I was born. Instead of being a victim of the slow and agonizing cycle of poverty most Mexicans face, my future was abruptly changed by my families’[family's] decision to enter the United States without proper documentation. Immediately, upon arriving to United States, my identity was poisoned by the fears and insecurities that accompany the tag of “illegal immigrant”. My lack of legal status handicapped my early education by creating limitations on my educational aspirations. To make matters worse, my parents decided to end their marriage during my first year of college, adding to an already overwhelming sense of instability. The trials and tribulations that I had to overcome and as[as an] undocumented student ironically helped me develop a tenacious personalitythat, which has been a key factor in my educational and personal success and which is an important asset to have in law school.
I am the first one in my family to graduate from college. I married at the early age of 21. My wife and I, who both come from poverty, completed our bachelor's degrees. To my community, I am a symbol of progress, discipline and inspiration. Being granted the ability to attend["Being able to attend," or just "Attending"]law school would enable me to fully use my academic potential and explore my interest in immigration law. [this space is left with the intention to talk about why I would like to apply to that specific law school]

Anonymous User
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Re: Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:28 pm

"which granted undocumented students"
That would imply past tense. The bill passed so it currently grants, present tense.

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nickb285
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Re: Personal Statement from minority, Need some help.

Postby nickb285 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:"which granted undocumented students"
That would imply past tense. The bill passed so it currently grants, present tense.


Depends what OP means. Given that he's lobbying for the bill's passage in this story, I would say that "granted," as in the immediate effect of the legislation upon passage, is more relevant. "Granted" and "continues to grant" are not exclusive; the former is simply a matter of this particular point in time.




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