I need help with my personal statement

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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:30 pm

I need help with my personal statement

Postby MARO75943 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:47 pm

My name is ******. I am a twenty-nine year old African American man who is grateful. Grateful to be free. Grateful to be alive. Most of all I am grateful to have found within myself a drive which propels me to make amends with with myself and rectify any ills that I have brought upon my community. I am determined and must give back positively to the community that nearly destroyed me.
Multiple gun shots rang out through the night air. The police sirens were deafening as the patrol cars raced down my street. I had left my unit in the housing project that night with a few ounces of crack cocaine and a loaded forty-five caliber handgun tucked into my jeans. I walked down the dark hallway and stepped over a lifeless junkie heroin addict with a needle in his arm and a residue bag of herion left in plain sight by his side.
I could not help but to consider the tightly wrapped bundles of the controlled substance in my pocket. I introspectively asked myself: “How can you sell this poison to members of your own community?” Just like the gun I carried, my emotions were loaded, but ‘held in’ and never ‘discharged.’ I dropped off three ounces of crack to the local dealers in one of San Francisco’s infamous housing projects.
I then received a call from my mother asking me to pick her up from work. As I made my way to my mother’s office, sirens blared loudly and flashing lights atop police vehicles blinded me. Police officers jumped out of their squad cars and pointed their guns at me. Over a loud speaker an officer demanded that I turn off the car, throw the keys out the window, and step out of the vehicle with my hands up.
As I proceeded to exit the vehicle, I heard the sound of semi-automatic weapons being loaded and a cop commanding me to hit the ground. I knelt down on the cold pavement, and three officers tackled me. My face was forced into the pavement, as one officer slammed his into my back. I gasped to ‘find’ air to breathe. One officer pressed a gun against the back of my head and shouted: “If you move an inch, I’ll blow your f***ing head off!” I lied there as lifeless as the junkie in my hallway. The steel handcuffs were slammed tightly around my wrists as the officers searched my vehicle looking for guns and drugs.
Tragically, being arrested was nothing new to me, but this time was different. As I stood before Judge, I was overcome by fear and shame. The judge stared at me in disgust. In a brutally unforgiving voice, Judge Name scolded me and advised me of my right legal representation. As sweat began to pour down my back, Judge Name asked me to approach the bench and then stated: “Mr. Roberts, people like you disgust me and should be locked up.” In that instant of time, I made a commitment. I promised to somehow rid myself of the demons that plagued me throughout my childhood and become a better man – a good man. A man who I could be proud of. A man my parents and community could be proud of.
As I reflect upon my life up to this point I am extremely thankful that I have my liberty and my life. I grew up watching my family sell drugs and abuse drugs. This was the only life I knew. My role models were not surgeons or corporate executives. Nearly all of the people in my community did not even enjoy lawful employment. Higher education, or any meaninful education for that matter, was not even a topic for discussion.
I managed to graduate from high school in June 2001, and then literally begged my way into community college. Unfortunately, other than gaining admission to [community college] and attending classes, I had no barrings on what direction my life would go. The lack of support and limited sense of belonging served to further convulute my situation. Ultimately, my mathematics professor, Rachel Mudge, ostensibly and perhaps, unknowingly, initiated an academic intervention. Professor Mudge, directed me to find a real job because, apparently, “college was outside of my skillset.”
Ironically, I was inspired by Professor Mudge’s damning comment. I found a small supportive academic community on campus which included my English Professor, Natalia Menendez. With the help of this community, campus counselors and Professor Menendez, I applied myself, spent countless hours studying course materials and began to realize legitimate acadmic success. As the associates degree I worked so hard to acquire came into fruition, I revamped my goals and I applied to the Univeristy of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and gained admission in the fall of 2010.
UCLA proved to be an uphill battle. Upon transferring, my goal became to attain the highest mark of excellence in my academic studies. Entering a research one university was a challenge. I was faced with rigorous classes and demanding professors. I spent countless nights in the library and worked thirty-five hours a week to pay for living and educational expenses. As a result, I my hard work pay off in the form of improved grades.
However, in the spring of 2011, my mother suffered a near fatal heart attack, which resulted in a quadruple bypass surgery. As my mother lied on her sick bed, her only wish was for me to finish college and to become successful. I used my mother’s heart attack as added inspiration to fulfill her wishes for me to be the first in my family to graduate from college. Soon after, I was faced with another challenge. Upon returning in the fall of 2012, I was homeless for the first six weeks of the new quarter. I slept in the library and showered in the men’s locker room at the gym. I managed to make it to class every day, perform the nessessary assigments, and pass all my midterms with high marks without proper housing nor adequate nutrition.

During the course of my studies, and based on my unfortunate past, my interest in a legal career was born. I graduated from UCLA in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies and made my mother’s dream a reality. Undaunted, I worked hard and overcame the daily obstacles presented by rigors of UCLA’s bachlor degree curriculum.
I know from experience that given an opportunity one can create infinite possibilities and show at-risk youth that we can rise above any adversities that one may face. I feel the need to pay forward the help and encouragement I received along the way. Working with underserved and at-risk students at Visitation Valley Middle School has enlightened me and has shown me that children coming from different broken family structures and impoverished neighborhoods need positive roles models that can empathize with their plight. My personal struggles lead me to focus on what ailed young African American men and hindered their educational development. I created and implemented after school programs that SFUSD cut from their budget such as Brother-to-Brother and study skills workshops. I am aware of how the educational system continues to fail minority students and the hopes of these students achieving a higher education remains bleak to most, but I remain optimistic. The investment I have made in the community will yield a transcendent return in the future.
With compassion and experience comes even greater responsibility. I was given a choice the day of my arraignment. I could choose the path of my peers or create a legacy of my own. I had to decide whether to be more then just another young black face lost in a crowd of inmates or be a man of value and character. I choose the latter! My education has given me opportunities, one of which is to pursue my dreams as an attorney. As a man, I made a life changing turnaround that most of the people coming from my neighborhood could not fathom doing. James 1:12 tell us “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised.” The same resiliency that has helped me to attain my past goals will certainly assist me in my determination to pratice law. My past has shaped me into the resilient individual I am today. I realize that law school will present many obstacles, but I am well prepared for this journey and I welcome the challenge.
Last edited by MARO75943 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I need help with my personal statement

Postby papercut » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:37 am

This is gonna be a tough sell, as far theme goes.

I didn't read the whole thing, but the writing seems not too bad. You should go through it and cut out any jargon like, "controlled substance." Cut down on sentence length, and try to do without adjectives.

Your writing sounds a bit too formal. It should read in a conversational tone. Not like you're trying to do some fancy writing.

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Re: I need help with my personal statement

Postby nothingtosee » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:03 am

I would edit out your name. Once something's on the Internet, it's there for ever (keep name in real version).

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