PS critique - overcoming adversity

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modestproposal

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PS critique - overcoming adversity

Postby modestproposal » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:23 pm

Going for the overcoming adversity/personal narrative theme - UNC is my reach school - I don't have my LSAT score back yet but it's my second time taking and I felt pretty good about it - undergrad GPA was not great - 2.9 but I have been out of school and working for 5 years in public service/nonprofit area positions - I'm looking to put together an exceptional narrative about my personal/professional experiences. I don't think that my writing style is particularly strong but hoping to overcome that with substance/connecting my experience and showing my commitment to becoming a public servant. Thank you very much in advance for taking a look and offering thoughts/opinions.



We live in a time in which it is easy for individuals to feel disconnected and trivialized by the structures that govern them. The modern landscape of services are a tangled web of anxiety-inducing bureaucracy, ever-changing technology and elongated, frustrating periods of waiting for much of our population. The role of advocacy will be invaluable in purposefully engaging and empowering 21st century citizens, it is a role I am familiar with both personally and professionally. I wish to expand this role and I believe my experiences make me a good fit for X school's mission of creating dedicated servants with a commitment to public service.

Early in the summer of my high school graduation, excited to embark on a path of study in sociology that would shape my worldview, an uncharted moment sprang up and changed everything. While at work, my mother suffered a major seizure and was taken to the hospital, where it was discovered to be caused by a large tumor growing and pressing against her brain. Out of nowhere, my mother’s path as well as my own, were altered irrevocably. The tumor was removed in an operation that saved her life but changed her entirely, short term memory would be hindered and months of therapy required to return her to a semi-normal state. These new, unforeseen circumstances began my role as an advocate in her life. As I commenced my studies in the fall, she began her recovery. I visited often, spending hours helping her learn and navigate this new world, a never-ending maze of services and paperwork to be completed in the midst of a demanding round of radiation and chemotherapy. I helped her apply for disability, find a new, more accommodating housing situation, and organize family members to take her to treatments, it became a stressful time and this was reflected in my first years of undergrad academically. On top of the dry, required courses that fill the first two years of study, the situation of my mother facing her mortality so early in life caused me to have bouts of anxiety and struggle with focus. As my courses began to teach me about social inequality and its effects on the less privileged. I also witnessed the effects firsthand in my mother. Growing up she never had the means or opportunity to go to college, married and divorced very early, and struggled with various addictions well into her adult life. As these imbalances and new challenges arose, it became clear to me my position as her advocate was vital.

As it turns out, we were very fortunate. Following months of chemo her tumors receded and she was deemed to be in remission. Rehabilitation continued through the end of my sophomore year and I became more engaged in my studies, editing the college newspaper, enrolling in graduate-level courses, and taking up a second major. I fleshed out my interests in nonprofits and advocacy work and researched theories of inequality. Following graduation, I took a year to serve as an AmeriCorps member at the local legal aid office - helping three staff attorneys service eight counties of people in rural Iowa, tackling issues such as domestic violence, landlord abuses and foreclosure. I administered a divorce clinic each month at the county courthouse, assigning volunteer attorneys to help those with low literacy/limited income complete forms which had put people’s lives on hold for years, and in some cases, decades.

As my service year ended, I endeavoured to continue my path abroad and join the Peace Corps, however out my mother’s health again became an issue and my partner had just accepted an invitation to graduate school at Duke. I turned down the offer to serve and relocated. I found a second, yearlong AmeriCorps position at the Durham Literacy Center as the computer literacy program administrator, advocating for Durham residents to empower themselves through technology and increase their access to services, information, and communication. On the homefront, I continued helping my mother. I became her power of attorney, helped apply for medicaid and make the difficult transition to the nursing facility where she now resides.

Through these challenges, both personal and professional, I have seen the barriers that stand in the way of the unfortunate, underprivileged, and marginally-educated. I have made it my mission to empower these human beings and tighten the gap of inequality that appears to have become so wide despite our achievements in technology and interconnectivity. I want to progress my path of public service and become a more involved, better informed advocate in both work and at home. I believe these traits and experiences make me a solid candidate for X school’s program and its aims of producing committed, knowledgeable public servants.
Last edited by modestproposal on Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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RamTitan

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Re: PS critique - overcoming adversity

Postby RamTitan » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:12 pm

Less telling, and more explaining; don't list things you did, but explain why you did them, what it meant to you, etc

modestproposal

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Re: PS critique - overcoming adversity

Postby modestproposal » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:52 pm

RamTitan wrote:Less telling, and more explaining; don't list things you did, but explain why you did them, what it meant to you, etc


I received some feedback via PM and have posted an edited version just now, without seeing this post, but thank you for this - I definitely get in the style of listing things without fully connecting them - I will incorporate your feedback in my next draft, thank you very much



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