“Time to get up, gentlemen!” The roar of my father’s voice seemed to shake the walls on Sunday mornings. I would awaken in a startled mood, leading to a bittersweet outcome. The fatigue of waking up early during the weekend proved to be minimal compared to the good service and fellowship we would soon encounter. Church was our desired destination on Sunday mornings. Over time, the church would later become an intricate part of who I am today.
My life has greatly consisted of service in the church. I have a father who is a minister and mother who fully supports the church and his ministry. I have been a member at my current church for over 12 years. I believe this is where I developed most of my public speaking skills, volunteering experiences, and work ethic. I began to serve at a young age, which consisted of leading devotion, reading scriptures aloud, and participating in church programs. My father, who has been my pastor in my entire life, constantly afforded me opportunities to build character and service in the church. I would also embark on countless visits with him to engage in different communities.
As a pastor’s son, I was able to meet people of varying backgrounds. Every person we came across provided a unique perspective on their present condition in life. One instance came about with a gentleman in his mid-to-late 30s. He was recently released from prison after serving 10+ years. I remember the man expressing his satisfaction in seeing me with my father as he reminisced about his late father. After this interaction, I began to interact with people from differing backgrounds in the same manner. I developed a sense of respect for people, better communication, and a desire for service in community engagement.
I carried these traits with me through college during a few internship placements and activity in two public service organizations. As an intern in the TDCJ (Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice) Parole Division and the Texas House of Representatives, the same opportunities would present themselves such as my community visits with my father. In the Parole Division, I gained a new perspective on the life of parolees. These individuals had very diverse experiences and backgrounds. I realized when it comes to public service; you must be committed to providing the service for anyone regardless of background, race, religion, etc. There were people who expressed a great need for help and others who felt they never had a chance at getting their lives on a positive path. I greatly empathized with these individuals and developed a passion for their well-being.
This same passion was expressed in the Texas House of Representatives. Numerous individuals contacted our office for issues ranging from ideas of bills, legal and financial assistance, as well as information on political issues. It was here where I greatly fueled my passion for public service. The countless people I came across and connections I made along the way became invaluable in my experience in the Texas State Capitol.
Also, I participated in a couple public service organizations, known as the Political Science Junior Fellows (PSJF) and the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program. These two organizations provided me with vital tools for success in college and beyond. The PSJF consisted of: volunteering at events sponsored by offices of Sam Houston State University, hosting a 5k event for the City of Huntsville, and attending professional events featuring panels and luncheons with members of local/state/federal government. In the Conrad Leadership Program, I have been able to implement ideas and events such as: free breakfast for the community, school supplies and backpacks for school-aged children, cleaning city highways, and refurbishing historic sites. The Conrad program allowed me to assist undergraduates seek paid internships in their major and/or field of interest.
Years later, the startling feeling of my father’s roaring voice on Sunday mornings continues to resonate with me today. I am currently active in a few ministries at my church and working full-time as a legal assistant for a tax law firm in Fort Worth. The spark of public service ignited by the church has provided me with a diverse journey and experience I will forever remember. .
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This is essentially a rehashing of your resume. Hone in on one topic/event/experience. Make sure it comes full circle and discuss how that (fill in the blank) has inspired you or prepared you to pursue a law degree.
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