I've been going at this PS for a while now, and I'm hoping it's not too bad... If anyone could give some criticism, it would be much appreciated!
My first breath on this planet was doubted by most. My mother was just a sixteen year-old girl, a high school dropout, and no fit to be a parent. Despite her relatives’ pleas, my mother chose to bring her son into her unflattering world. At one point I felt ashamed and disadvantaged over my dismal upbringing. Today, I beg to differ.
I experienced a childhood much different than my peers. By the age of nine I spent hot summer afternoons on my grandpa’s farm, stacking hay bales and milking cows to support the family. By age twelve I became caretaker of my infant brother and sister, while my mother rummaged the town for suitable employment. By sixteen I was able to get my first paying job, although most of my meager wages were allocated to the family for bills, groceries, and even Christmas presents.
It was no surprise that once I obtained my driver’s license I spent most of my time away from home, running from the dysfunctions of my family. During one of the nights carousing town, some friends and I hatched an immature plan to throw eggs at a teacher’s home. Sure enough, this childish prank was foiled and we were caught. In lieu of pressing charges they would give me the opportunity to redeem myself by doing volunteer work. Looking back, it turned out to be the best lesson that any teacher had ever taught me.
This foolish situation led me to G Learning Center, a small, run-down remnant of a building on the outskirts of the ghetto part of town. Young, unkempt schoolchildren in grubby clothes would file in as I was told to help them with their homework. After a week of my presence being ignored, my curiosity got the better of me. I began to take a more invested approach with the children. By proactively seeking out their struggles, both in school and in their home life, I began to grow amazed at the adversity these grade school children had come from.
Other than the difference in skin color, I was astonished at how much they were a mirror image of myself as an impoverished child. Their eyes carried the same look that I once had, of shame and guilt from living in an abusive family. Their stomachs were sunk with hunger, and yearned for a purpose or meaning in life. Despite this, their skin remained tough, and fake smiles covered their faces as false signs of happiness. These feelings were all too familiar. I then understood, these children didn’t need help with school; they needed a friend.
While everybody else in their lives had given up on them, I became the figure to give them hope. Without realizing it, I quickly became the role model that I myself had always wanted. My original two week “punishment” at the learning center turned into a month, and a month turned into a year, until I almost felt as if I were part of the children’s family; the “big brother” that gave them advice and support in both their school and home life.
Not until these children believed in me did I grow confidence in myself. How could I ever be so accepting of mediocrity in life? I felt ashamed and foolish that so many young children with worse backgrounds than I were tirelessly striving to reach the position I was in. Sure, my childhood may have been bleak, but that is no reason to fall sluggish, make excuses, and embrace a somber life.
I realized that you could only run away from your problems for so long; then you either surrender, or turn back and fight. I was faced with two options: Become a stagnant artifact of this dingy blue-collar town, or work my butt off and avoid falling prey to the sinkhole that sucked in so many around me. I chose the latter. After being inspired by the young fighting children, I realized that I could truly make a difference in this world and help others that are less fortunate.
After making my way through the remainder of high school, I wound up at XXXX University, becoming the first person in my family to ever go to college. I excelled in school while maintaining a strenuous job, alleviating my family’s doubts and their financial stress. I also became involved in various voluntary organizations, after I remembered how significant they made me feel in the past. Finally, as my biggest accomplishment, I was able to convince my younger brother and sister, along with many other young admirers to emulate my footsteps and strive to attend college. By the time I graduated college, I felt fully satisfied.
Once the time came to jump into a career, I was driven to choose an occupation that I wholeheartedly believed in. I thought back to the times where I felt most successful and happiest in life. This in turn directed me to those moments where I was relied on to be the intermediary between the less fortunate and a better life; such as my time spent at the learning center. I truthfully believe that choosing an occupation in law will rekindle those feelings.
As I begin this next journey of my life towards law school, I feel fully prepared to accomplish any task set before me. I no longer see the disadvantages I had growing up as burdensome, but rather as learning experiences and obstacles that I was forced to hurdle in order to succeed. Likewise, I believe that the drive and motivation from helping others in the past will cultivate, and make me a focused and successful student at XXX Law School
Occasionally I will try to catch up with the children I used to mentor, but for the most part, we have lost touch. I’m a bit uncertain of their whereabouts, but I remain hopeful that they are in fact doing better with their lives. I know I don’t deserve all of the credit, yet I’m hoping that somehow, I was a factor in helping them reach their dreams. As a lawyer, I realize I will never change the world, and that’s okay. I was never expected to. All I’m looking for is the opportunity to better somebody’s life, albeit ever so slightly, to give confidence, and most of all, to inspire hope.
I realize it's a little long, I'm trying to cut out a few paragraphs... Thanks in advance for any help!