I am allowed 2-3 pages for a special consideration statement of intent:
I was raised in a family of seven on the modest income of my mother. We lived in an old trailer outside of the rural northern village of Burns Lake B.C. When I turned five my father showed the first signs of what would become chronic heart disease in a minor heart attack and our family dynamic was changed forever. As a result he was unable to work for most of my life. This placed my mother into the role of the breadwinner and caretaker. Growing up in the midst of this financial and emotional stress I had to become emotionally mature at a very young age. I quickly learned that it was important to help my family rather than be a burden. I tried never complained to my mother about the things we did not have. I often felt ashamed to allow people into our home because we were afraid to be labelled as white trash. I am now thankful that I faced this negative perception at a young age because it gave me the motivation to develop a work ethic that would allow me to develop a sense of self worth and perseverance. At the age of eleven I got my first Job babysitting so that I could contribute to my family, even if that meant buying my own clothes. I am now thankful that I was blessed to have my father at home with me as a child. He has been my greatest teacher, and I learned the true value of things that matter most in life from this experience. Even though my father’s heart was not strong, I always thought that I had enough heart for both of us.
At the age of 14 tragedy struck my family again when I lost my oldest sister as a result of a car accident. After the initial crash she survived for six weeks in a coma but in the end passed away due to severe trauma to her brain and body. Watching my beautiful sister, whom I had been very close with lying unconscious in a hospital bed distorting in pain was a sorrow that words cannot reflect; her face bruised, her head shaved after multiple brain surgeries; wrists and teeth broken, and her green eye blinded. She slowly disintegrated before my eyes. I wanted to ease my family’s suffering in any way that I could. I wanted to restore their sense of pride and dignity, but I was shaken to the core by this tragedy. Without the support of the community of Burns Lake our family never could have survived this tragedy. Fundraiser’s were held and a bank account was opened in our name to ease our financial burden at this time. Community member’s prepared food for us and gave us second hand clothing. Any money that the community raised that was left over after my sister passed away was put into a scholarship as a way to thank the community. Although we could never afford a gravestone for my sister’s final resting place, my mother placed a porcelain angel in its place as a reminder that my sister’s spirit watches over our family.
In the years to follow all of my family members suffered from depression and post traumatic stress. Overcome with grief I developed an eating disorder. At one point a doctor weighed me and monitored my heart. He told me that I would not live to see the next Christmas if I did not force myself to eat. I have since won the battle with my eating disorder though hard work and will power. It took a very long time for me to see myself as beautiful just the way I am, but with the support of my family, friends, and teachers I have learned to view my own worth in a different way.
As my family and I began to pick up the pieces of our lives in the years after the death of my sister I began focusing my attention on school work and extracurricular activities. From grade 8 to 12 I was the top academic student in my class. I was a member of the B.C. Youth Parliament, and a senior member of the school leadership committee. In my spare time I also tutored, and lead my church’s youth choir. I found great joy in helping the classmates and giving back to the community that had helped my family so much during our time of need. I knew that bringing pride to my family and community and showing them what I was capable of if I worked hard could inspire these people to find the greatness within them. Particularly, I enjoyed helping troubled youth to overcome the challenges in their lives as I did at an early age. I coached a junior girls basketball team and was able to develop a mentoring relationship with the young women on the team. I never forget that I role model for these youth, some of whom came from backgrounds similar to mine, and to empower them. I still readily offer guidance and advice to these girls when I am asked.
When I graduated from high school I received the Governor General’s award for outstanding academic achievement. I was also awarded many scholarships for merit and community service such as the UNBC Leadership award, in addition to the four year full tuition UNBC Scholar award for being the top academic student in my class.
Sadly, the summer before I started university two of my friends and fellow graduates were killed in a car accident resulting from drug induced impairment. I was having trouble processing this trauma when I entered UBC. This car accident brought up the trauma of losing my sister again. At the same time my father’s health had started declining even more, and I decided to accept my scholarship to UNBC so that I could be closer to the family who needed my help. My father was diagnosed with diabetes and is battling cancer. His illness as well as the strain of living off of student loans and working periodically throughout university took a toll on my academic performance.
Throughout university I worked hard to learn how to use my skills to better serve the community and strove for high academic standards. I did my bachelor’s degree in English and Environmental studies; I chose this field of study because I was interested in researching how I could help humanity to preserve our environment for future generations. I was the first person to ever complete this degree at UNBC. Being the first person, and only person in this degree, there was no one to guide me in this program other than the chair, Dr. Annie Booth. For one year I served as the secretary for the Northern Undergraduate Student Union, and operated the University’s food bank. I also had the opportunity to do an internship under the Green University Research Centre’s head of research. In my final year at I transferred to UVIC. I was elected an executive member of the community garden. In 2012, the year I graduated from university, I was privileged enough to be inducted into the Golden Key International Honours Society for receiving academic achievement within the top 15% of my university.
Upon receiving my degree I decided to go the extra mile to pursue my dream to study of the Canadian Justice system and the law. Currently I work as a court clerk and registry operator for the Ministry of Justice in isolated Port Hardy. I have been told that Port Hardy deals with one of the highest volumes of files on court days. We often sit until 6 or 7 pm. I relocated here seven months ago by myself for work, having never visited the town, or knowing anyone within a five hour driving distance or having set foot in a court house. My interest in the justice system gave me enough determination to uproot my life so that I might gain experience in the legal field. Thus I consider myself very fortunate to be able to receive such a hands on experience of the Justice system. I work with one other employee, a Justice of the Peace. Together we locally facilitate court services to the Northern Vancouver Island area. The court conditions are extreme; we work long hours with a high volume of files and a changing judicial rota crown counsel rota. Although this position has been challenging, I have found it to be incredibly rewarding. The courthouse where I spend my days is located at the back of an old strip mall next to a recycling depot and fish packaging plant.
As a result of this experience my respect and faith in the Canadian Justice system has been reinforced. I have been astounded to witness the efforts made by our judicial system by using logic and reason to find order in the sometimes chaotic issues which arise in this community. In my time as a court clerk I have had the privilege of working and learning alongside prestigious Judiciary and Bar members. Having the opportunity to work in both the courtroom and the registry has affirmed my passion for justice and ambition to learn and practice the Law at ____________.
Not very people have heard my life story. I try my best to live in the present moment, and to prepare for the future. The troubles from my early life have given me strength and resourcefulness. I have gained a deeper perspective of life from my experiences, and I hope that one day I can use these life lessons to contribute to greater good of society as a lawyer.
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