Pre-First Draft, am I doing it right?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
mach9zero
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:02 pm

Pre-First Draft, am I doing it right?

Postby mach9zero » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:01 pm

Alright I'm on the Personal Statement phase, and want some valuable feedback on my Personal Statement. This is pre-1st draft. I haven't edited it for grammatical errors, structure, wording etc. so you don't have to worry about that either. What I'm mainly focused on is the question "Is this what committees are looking for?" What more could I emphasize, what could I leave out? I know some wording and sentence structure is awkward, but I don't want to revise this if you're thinking start-over. NAMES and SCHOOLS have been changed. Thanks for your help, and I'm more then happy to read yours and give feedback.

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“Stick with it and see what happens.” At the time, January of 2010, neither Dr. Michael nor I could have predicted how profoundly these simple words would impact my future. I was a Social Studies Secondary Education Major, hellbent on using my degree in Political Science to pursue Law and keeping Education in my pocket as a backup. The school I had been assigned to for my semester of student teaching met my only qualification - within the City of Newark, some hundred miles away from my university. However, most schools in Philadelphia are not K-12 with 180 students and a student/teacher ratio of less than five. The mascot, a Lion sitting in a wheelchair, clearly said it all. In my mind Newark School District must have made a mistake in the selection process. ___________ School is a school for students with disabilities, and Special Education and Social Studies are so close in the alphabet. It did not matter. Dr. Michael had made it clear, I would be sticking with it - for life.
As I rode the otherwise empty subway car northbound, opposite from the grind of downtown, I briefly reflected on the past three years of undergraduate. During this time, I have been elected University Senior Student Senator, made the Polish national news for helping host a European Union-mock government, and just completed my final in-class semester, where my Political Science focus culminated into a well-received dissertation on analyzing crime and economics. But nothing I had ever accomplished terrified me like this. From the moment of the first bell, upon introduction to my homeroom of four students battling osteogenesis imperfecta, spina bifida, and congenital muscular dystrophy, advocating for people with special needs has become my passion. Sticking with it has lead me into a M.Ed Special Education program, a teaching position in rural South Dakota, and a return to working with high incidence disabilities.
One out of every thirty-three children born in the United States will be born with a birth defect. Many, like my own, will be correctable at birth, while other disabilities will leave the child with a lifetime of considerations in care, education, and quality of life. Our country has made great strides within the past two decades in enacting legislation that requires greater services for children with disabilities, but our system continues to falter in executing those services. I learned the intricacies of the Individualized Education Program, with the reality being an Increased focus on inclusion environments leaving school districts cutting out the “Individual” portion and instead implementing a cookie-cutter approach. While other teachers combated adapting to the grading curves and modifications of IEPs, I struggled with balancing student academics with understanding aggressive behavior. My first year as a teacher culminated in many successes and shortcomings, but the pinnacle of my first year teaching is a note from a challenging student passed on the last day stating “Thanks for never giving up on me.”
I elected to leave my job security in South Dakota and return to Newark to become a member of a recreation services team within a larger residential organization serving a wide spectrum of intellectual, physical, and behavioral disorders. We continuously research community and in-unit activities to promote socialization and independence, with activities adapted to meet clients' individual needs. My current employment permits me a glimpse into the challenges those with disabilities face, including career attainment, quality of life, and continuous funding battles. However, existing on the other side of the equation are governmental agencies, medical providers, and insurance agencies that contend with a tumultuous legal environment, which also requires experience with how to provide effective care in the most efficient manner.
Practicing law has always been a priority goal of mine, but it took this journey from transitioning into education and special services to fully embrace what a legal education would mean within my career scope. I can be a legal advocate for people with disabilities currently under-served in residential placement, medical considerations, and educational classifications. It is a field that will continue needing competent attorneys to navigate the persistent access barriers families face, especially as more students are classified with special needs and older generations reach the age of retirement.

jac101689
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:10 pm

Re: Pre-First Draft, am I doing it right?

Postby jac101689 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:37 am

Read this aloud; get rid of the run-ons.

I think you make the same "mistake" here that I made in my PS: you have a great story but you've written in too much tangential detail to account specifically enough for its impact on you.

Also, don't emphasize your "shortcomings." I know you're trying to seem humble; temper that even more.

That said, I think it's pretty good overall.

mach9zero
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: Pre-First Draft, am I doing it right?

Postby mach9zero » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:36 pm

jac101689 wrote:Read this aloud; get rid of the run-ons.

I think you make the same "mistake" here that I made in my PS: you have a great story but you've written in too much tangential detail to account specifically enough for its impact on you.

Also, don't emphasize your "shortcomings." I know you're trying to seem humble; temper that even more.

That said, I think it's pretty good overall.


Thanks, definitely agree after going back through it and found that I was giving too many details with not enough information on importance, so I'll go back and rework that. Will go back and rework the wording too. :P




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