Critique of Personal Statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
gabmarie

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Critique of Personal Statement

Postby gabmarie » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:55 pm

Looking for some constructive criticism on my personal statement. I've already sent this in to one of my communicate major friends who will be reviewing for grammatical/spelling errors, so content related comments are mainly what I'm looking for. TIA for any insight whatsoever

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Revised below
Last edited by gabmarie on Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Law2020hopeful

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Re: Critique of Personal Statement

Postby Law2020hopeful » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:12 pm

Small thing, but I would definitely lose the sentence about the Haitians lacking understanding of personal space in the first paragraph. It doesn't come off well.

Burlington4174

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Re: Critique of Personal Statement

Postby Burlington4174 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:50 pm

Law2020hopeful wrote:Small thing, but I would definitely lose the sentence about the Haitians lacking understanding of personal space in the first paragraph. It doesn't come off well.


100% agree. It comes off really badly and negatively colors the rest of the statement.

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ml2srosie

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Re: Critique of Personal Statement

Postby ml2srosie » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:40 pm

I echo everything already said.

Uhh...if you are a middle class white woman, I would be very wary of submitting this PS. It comes off as a brutal example of the "white savior" complex that pervades a good chunk of well-intentioned do-gooders.

Terms like "natives," (um, Haitians?) "help for the helpless," "hope for the hopeless," and "running barefoot to a miracle worker" (not sure I have ever read a "lawyer as miracle worker" narrative) reek of a naive, deficit-based orientation regarding people of color and people from West Indian nations. You then summarize by saying this all taught you that you are not destined for a mundane life. The work of lawyers is fairly mundane. Also, working with people in under-resourced areas is not exotic or exciting; in fact, it is often draining, difficult, and depressing.

I would have no problem with this essay if you do the following:
- take out some of the charged language that I named and that other posters have named
- discuss what you learned as a result of this experience (what skills did you acquire? what stereotypes were shattered? what specific bonds have you made? how has this made you more culturally competent? what about this work, specifically, inspired you to consider law? why not a MPP, MPH, MIA, MPA?)

Good luck!

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Critique of Personal Statement

Postby Mr. Archer » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:01 pm

You should scrap most of this. The part about being director might be a focus for your PS, if the statement isn't offensive. The story about 17-year-old you is really useless right now. It shows you had a lot of negative stereotypes about Haitians/all poor people really. The part where you compare yourself, albeit in a small way, to a 16-year old mother because you also believe in miracles is just moronic. She had a baby that died because the father killed the baby. You are obviously privileged. Stay as far away from comparing yourself to her as possible. The ending about law school is over-the-top, which makes it awkward and forced. Unless you start a family law practice devoted only to orphans, the impoverished, the downtrodden, and all of those poor unfortunate souls who need help only you can provide, you ain't gonna be a miracle worker. Seriously, start a new statement.

gabmarie

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Re: Critique of Personal Statement

Postby gabmarie » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:29 pm

Mr. Archer wrote:You should scrap most of this. The part about being director might be a focus for your PS, if the statement isn't offensive. The story about 17-year-old you is really useless right now. It shows you had a lot of negative stereotypes about Haitians/all poor people really. The part where you compare yourself, albeit in a small way, to a 16-year old mother because you also believe in miracles is just moronic. She had a baby that died because the father killed the baby. You are obviously privileged. Stay as far away from comparing yourself to her as possible. The ending about law school is over-the-top, which makes it awkward and forced. Unless you start a family law practice devoted only to orphans, the impoverished, the downtrodden, and all of those poor unfortunate souls who need help only you can provide, you ain't gonna be a miracle worker. Seriously, start a new statement.


Thanks for the feedback. This was may first attempt at a PS, and in an effort to illustrate Haiti and it's people as realistically as possible, I do see how it could be viewed as offensive and nearly pompous on my behalf to a fault. I've tried to reaim the focus after my initial story to try and paint a picture of the skills acquired/my reasoning for wanting to pursue law as an outlet for helping the less fortunate. I appreciate any further input!
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The first time I ever saw a dead body I was 17. It was early August in Bon Repo, Haiti, just outside of the country’s capital, and temperatures were up and rising past 100 degrees. I had just landed and was en route to Ruuska Village, the orphanage I was going to serve at for 4 days. After struggling through the airport and fighting past a whirlwind of indistinguishable Creole coming at me from every direction, I breathed a sigh of relief as I saw a translator employed by the orphanage. I hurried to the van that was to transport me to the orphanage; desperately attempting to dodge the bombardment of people unapologetically making attempts to loosen the death grip I had on my luggage and grab at my ponytail swinging behind me as I hurried across the gravel parking lot. I expelled all the energy I could to remain calm in the midst of surrounding chaos. Up until this point, I had been mentally prepared for all that I’d endured. I anticipated cultural differences that manifested themselves in distasteful advances. I knew that in this poverty-ridden country, my belongings were at risk of attempts to be stripped from me. And up until this point, I had been proud of the composure I maintained; and I was naively confident that at hour 3 of my 96-hour venture, I had survived it all. I was sure that this trip, which I reluctantly signed up for with the sole intent to strengthen my soon-to-be-submitted college application, would come to close leaving me undaunted by the events that were to transpire over the course of the following 4 days. I was wrong; and instead, an awakening was to ensue.
As we wound down an unpaved road the orphanage came in to view. I closed my eyes to relinquish a silent prayer for our safe arrival, and was interrupted by a blood-curdling scream that shook me to my core. This was a sound that could not be unheard. A sound that could not be replicated. A sound I wouldn’t wish to send through the ears of my worse enemy. A girl, who could not have been much older than I, sprinted past our van, with no shoes on her feet and a tiny, motionless body in her arms. I later found out that this girl was 16, and had given birth just 3 days prior. Her name was Nellie. People told her that the orphanage director was a “miracle worker”, and she was racing to see if she could revive her baby girl’s body, rendered lifeless after the newborn’s father had tossed her in a canal. It was too late. The orphanage director extended her deepest condolences, but explained that the damage was irreversible. I stepped out of the van and inadvertently intercepted the path of the weeping mother and lifeless baby. In that moment, as we exchanged a heart-wrenching glance, I felt a fire ignite within me that would continue to burn far after my trip came to it’s close.
Three years and 14 trips later, I am now a Fundraising Coordinator for Ruuska Village of Reach Out To Haiti. I’ve since raised thousands of dollars and delivered hundreds of pounds of food and medical supplies to this struggling nation, all while balancing working two jobs and attaining my bachelor’s degree in Family & Child Science and Psychology. Sleepless nights mixed with the persisting avowal that my efforts were genuinely attributing to the betterment of the quality of lives for those unable to seek it for themselves has been the incitement for my venture. I’ve been witness to many more stories as heart wrenching as Nellie’s, but I’ve also bore the immense pleasure of following the journeys of numerous families on the road to welcoming their new children into forever homes. My inclusion in the life-stories of these individuals who have been forced to overcome their own adversities has been a humbling privilege. When taking in to account my fortunate middle-class upbringing, the propensity to be rendered circumscribed to my personal singular perspective was largely conceivable; but I am proud to say the opportunities and experiences I have embarked on have instead forsaken me as a woman capable of empathizing with the juxtaposed reality of an array of different cultures and peoples. Being able to play an integral role in generating the funding that has made the cultivation of these families possible is sincerely my life’s greatest fulfillment, and is something I fully intend to continue at a more connected and pivotal level through the practice of Family Law.
I believe the opportunity to functionally utilize my compassion gained through my involvement in Haiti lies within the doors of [SCHOOL REDACTED] and that the curriculum and faculty will push me to strive for excellence and act as a catalyst to intensify my profound yearning to vigorously advocate for families, children, and the disadvantaged.

BobBoblaw

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Re: Critique of Personal Statement

Postby BobBoblaw » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:54 pm

I didn't go through this with a fine tooth comb, but I have 2 quick comments:

1) you mention about three times that your initial visit was only four days. I would omit this fact. It smacks of "poverty tourism", since there is little a volunteer can really do to substantially contribute in 4 days. Many places have a minimum commitment of 2 weeks or so. The fact that you later got involved deeply is great and commendable, but I'd omit the very short duration of your initial stay.

2)
When taking in to account my fortunate middle-class upbringing, the propensity to be rendered circumscribed to my personal singular perspective was largely conceivable;

sentences like this are just... Kind of.... Insufferable. I could parse this if I wanted to, but I'm sure the adcomms that read many hundreds of these essays won't want to read through it a second or third time to figure it out. Just day it plainly in straightforward English.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Critique of Personal Statement

Postby Mr. Archer » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:31 am

gabmarie wrote:
Mr. Archer wrote:You should scrap most of this. The part about being director might be a focus for your PS, if the statement isn't offensive. The story about 17-year-old you is really useless right now. It shows you had a lot of negative stereotypes about Haitians/all poor people really. The part where you compare yourself, albeit in a small way, to a 16-year old mother because you also believe in miracles is just moronic. She had a baby that died because the father killed the baby. You are obviously privileged. Stay as far away from comparing yourself to her as possible. The ending about law school is over-the-top, which makes it awkward and forced. Unless you start a family law practice devoted only to orphans, the impoverished, the downtrodden, and all of those poor unfortunate souls who need help only you can provide, you ain't gonna be a miracle worker. Seriously, start a new statement.


Thanks for the feedback. This was may first attempt at a PS, and in an effort to illustrate Haiti and it's people as realistically as possible, I do see how it could be viewed as offensive and nearly pompous on my behalf to a fault. I've tried to reaim the focus after my initial story to try and paint a picture of the skills acquired/my reasoning for wanting to pursue law as an outlet for helping the less fortunate. I appreciate any further input!


It's not really better, and it's actually just difficult to read. You have really long sentences that are hard to follow and awkward phrasing. You also cram a lot of adjectives in unnecessarily and use verbs that are technically correct but sound robotic. It's kind of like you created a list of adjectives and verbs that you think sound smart and made sure you used all of them.

Throwing in your major is kind of forced resume' description.

Really just try rewriting this with the focus being on your experiences overall the last three years and see what you come up with. A lot of the description about your first trip makes you sound bad. You then say you've changed, but so little of the personal statement is about your growth that it's hard to believe. You were using one trip to help get into undergrad. Why shouldn't I believe you've used 14 trips to get into law school?

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TakeItToTrial

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Re: Critique of Personal Statement

Postby TakeItToTrial » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:39 am

gabmarie wrote:
Mr. Archer wrote:You should scrap most of this. The part about being director might be a focus for your PS, if the statement isn't offensive. The story about 17-year-old you is really useless right now. It shows you had a lot of negative stereotypes about Haitians/all poor people really. The part where you compare yourself, albeit in a small way, to a 16-year old mother because you also believe in miracles is just moronic. She had a baby that died because the father killed the baby. You are obviously privileged. Stay as far away from comparing yourself to her as possible. The ending about law school is over-the-top, which makes it awkward and forced. Unless you start a family law practice devoted only to orphans, the impoverished, the downtrodden, and all of those poor unfortunate souls who need help only you can provide, you ain't gonna be a miracle worker. Seriously, start a new statement.


Thanks for the feedback. This was may first attempt at a PS, and in an effort to illustrate Haiti and it's people as realistically as possible, I do see how it could be viewed as offensive and nearly pompous on my behalf to a fault. I've tried to reaim the focus after my initial story to try and paint a picture of the skills acquired/my reasoning for wanting to pursue law as an outlet for helping the less fortunate. I appreciate any further input!
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The first time I ever saw a dead body I was 17. It was early August in Bon Repo, Haiti, just outside of the country’s capital, and temperatures were up and rising past 100 degrees. I had just landed and was en route to Ruuska Village, the orphanage I was going to serve at for 4 days. After struggling through the airport and fighting past a whirlwind of indistinguishable Creole coming at me from every direction, I breathed a sigh of relief as I saw a translator employed by the orphanage. I hurried to the van that was to transport me to the orphanage; desperately attempting to dodge the bombardment of people unapologetically making attempts to loosen the death grip I had on my luggage and grab at my ponytail swinging behind me as I hurried across the gravel parking lot. I expelled all the energy I could to remain calm in the midst of surrounding chaos. Up until this point, I had been mentally prepared for all that I’d endured. I anticipated cultural differences that manifested themselves in distasteful advances. I knew that in this poverty-ridden country, my belongings were at risk of attempts to be stripped from me. And up until this point, I had been proud of the composure I maintained; and I was naively confident that at hour 3 of my 96-hour venture, I had survived it all. I was sure that this trip, which I reluctantly signed up for with the sole intent to strengthen my soon-to-be-submitted college application, would come to close leaving me undaunted by the events that were to transpire over the course of the following 4 days. I was wrong; and instead, an awakening was to ensue.
As we wound down an unpaved road the orphanage came in to view. I closed my eyes to relinquish a silent prayer for our safe arrival, and was interrupted by a blood-curdling scream that shook me to my core. This was a sound that could not be unheard. A sound that could not be replicated. A sound I wouldn’t wish to send through the ears of my worse enemy. A girl, who could not have been much older than I, sprinted past our van, with no shoes on her feet and a tiny, motionless body in her arms. I later found out that this girl was 16, and had given birth just 3 days prior. Her name was Nellie. People told her that the orphanage director was a “miracle worker”, and she was racing to see if she could revive her baby girl’s body, rendered lifeless after the newborn’s father had tossed her in a canal. It was too late. The orphanage director extended her deepest condolences, but explained that the damage was irreversible. I stepped out of the van and inadvertently intercepted the path of the weeping mother and lifeless baby. In that moment, as we exchanged a heart-wrenching glance, I felt a fire ignite within me that would continue to burn far after my trip came to it’s close.
Three years and 14 trips later, I am now a Fundraising Coordinator for Ruuska Village of Reach Out To Haiti. I’ve since raised thousands of dollars and delivered hundreds of pounds of food and medical supplies to this struggling nation, all while balancing working two jobs and attaining my bachelor’s degree in Family & Child Science and Psychology. Sleepless nights mixed with the persisting avowal that my efforts were genuinely attributing to the betterment of the quality of lives for those unable to seek it for themselves has been the incitement for my venture. I’ve been witness to many more stories as heart wrenching as Nellie’s, but I’ve also bore the immense pleasure of following the journeys of numerous families on the road to welcoming their new children into forever homes. My inclusion in the life-stories of these individuals who have been forced to overcome their own adversities has been a humbling privilege. When taking in to account my fortunate middle-class upbringing, the propensity to be rendered circumscribed to my personal singular perspective was largely conceivable; but I am proud to say the opportunities and experiences I have embarked on have instead forsaken me as a woman capable of empathizing with the juxtaposed reality of an array of different cultures and peoples. Being able to play an integral role in generating the funding that has made the cultivation of these families possible is sincerely my life’s greatest fulfillment, and is something I fully intend to continue at a more connected and pivotal level through the practice of Family Law.
I believe the opportunity to functionally utilize my compassion gained through my involvement in Haiti lies within the doors of [SCHOOL REDACTED] and that the curriculum and faculty will push me to strive for excellence and act as a catalyst to intensify my profound yearning to vigorously advocate for families, children, and the disadvantaged.


These could have been taxi drivers aggressively trying to earn your fare. That's how I interpreted this interaction based on my experience in a third world country. Describing this interaction as an attempted robbery/sexual advance, then saying how you "survived it all," seems like a reach.

gabmarie

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Re: Critique of Personal Statement

Postby gabmarie » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:57 pm

Mr. Archer wrote:You should scrap most of this. The part about being director might be a focus for your PS, if the statement isn't offensive. The story about 17-year-old you is really useless right now. It shows you had a lot of negative stereotypes about Haitians/all poor people really. The part where you compare yourself, albeit in a small way, to a 16-year old mother because you also believe in miracles is just moronic. She had a baby that died because the father killed the baby. You are obviously privileged. Stay as far away from comparing yourself to her as possible. The ending about law school is over-the-top, which makes it awkward and forced. Unless you start a family law practice devoted only to orphans, the impoverished, the downtrodden, and all of those poor unfortunate souls who need help only you can provide, you ain't gonna be a miracle worker. Seriously, start a new statement.



_____________________________________________________________________________

New (hopefully more effective) approach. Thanks again for the feedback


For a large part of my life, I lived everyday in my suburban cul-de-sac where I was sheltered from many of the harsh realities that people around me were subject to endure. My parents were active proponents for every endeavor I chose to embark on throughout my life; whether it was critiquing my applications when I eagerly applied for my first job the day after my 16th birthday or following me during every mile of first marathon at 17 to pass along energy gel packets, their support has always been unwavering. While it was their hard work and dedication I witnessed them exhibit day in and day out that developed own my desire to strive for the most for myself, I’ve always been notorious for seeking more out of life; and I knew upon every victory, a greater challenge was ahead. So when I had the opportunity to sign up for a service trip at an orphanage in Haiti during my senior year of high school, I fervently pleaded with them for the chance to go. Skeptical at first, I immersed them with the research I had uncovered about the struggling country, and adamantly expressed to them how deeply I felt called to embark on my next challenge. Converted through my persistence, they agreed to allow me to go; and I excitedly began fundraising in my local community so that I could purchase my ticket.
I vividly recall the pressing memories of my first trip; the smell of petroleum that overwhelmed me when I first deplaned in Port-au-Prince, the exhausting 100 degree heat index that kept me from sleeping through the night, and the images of malnourished children at every corner all still burn brightly in my mind. Though many of my high school peers concluded their trip unfazed by the experience and resumed their daily routines, I was quite the opposite. The disparity and turmoil I viewed could not just be tucked away in a memory box or photo album, I again, felt called to strive for more.
Six months after my initial trip, I returned to Haiti again. For a month leading up to my trip, I insistently pursued local organizations and businesses to donate food and medical supplies for me to take on my upcoming venture. I remember exuding pride and smiling through tired eyes once I boarded my 5 a.m. flight on a brisk December morning with over 100 pounds of supplies for the orphanage in tow.
Since my senior year of high school, I’ve returned to Haiti 14 times and now proudly don the title of Fundraising Coordinator for Reach Out To Haiti, the umbrella organization of Ruuska Village; the orphanage I first served at three years ago. I contribute much of the grit and tenacity I relinquish on every day tasks academically and professionally to the experiences I’ve gained during my time serving at Ruuska Village. I’ve withstood a myriad of tireless nights filled with the composition of letters requesting donations, and subsequently poured out unrelenting perseverance in order to turn many firm “No thank you’s”, into eventual “When can you pick up our contribution?”. In addition to my work with businesses and individual contributors, I’ve also gained valuable perceptiveness and transferable skills through learning new computer programs and point of sale platforms in order to produce and sell merchandise to benefit Ruuska. There have been many times I’ve found myself wondering if I was being spread too thin, particularly when being pulled in different directions from my Fundraising Coordinator position and by the two jobs I work in order to fund my undergraduate career. However, being able to see my work making an impact on those unable to help themselves has consistently driven me to maintain my momentum through my role within Reach Out To Haiti. The privilege of being a spectator to the difference my fundraising movements have made in the lives of so many people has been a pivotal force inspiring me to continue. Seeing the countless meals and lifesaving supplies that have been distributed to those who’d otherwise be forced to survive without has been particularly moving. However, one of the most significant affirmations I’ve received is watching the journeys of so many families adopting and welcoming an orphaned child from Ruuska in to a forever home, made possible in part through the funds I’ve generated.
I believe the opportunity to functionally utilize my compassion gained through my involvement in Haiti lies within the doors of [SCHOOL REDACTED]. I steadfastly trust that the curriculum and faculty here will push me to strive for excellence and act as a catalyst to intensify my profound yearning to vigorously advocate for families, children, and the disadvantaged.
“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.” - John Keith Falconer

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Law2020hopeful

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Re: Critique of Personal Statement

Postby Law2020hopeful » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:28 pm

gabmarie wrote:

_____________________________________________________________________________

New (hopefully more effective) approach. Thanks again for the feedback


For a large part of my life, I lived everyday in my suburban cul-de-sac where I was sheltered from many of the harsh realities that people around me were subject to endure. My parents were active proponents for every endeavor I chose to embark on throughout my life; whether it was critiquing my applications when I eagerly applied for my first job the day after my 16th birthday or following me during every mile of first marathon at 17 to pass along energy gel packets, their support has always been unwavering. While it was their hard work and dedication I witnessed them exhibit day in and day out that developed own my desire to strive for the most for myself, I’ve always been notorious for seeking more out of life; and I knew upon every victory, a greater challenge was ahead. So when I had the opportunity to sign up for a service trip at an orphanage in Haiti during my senior year of high school, I fervently pleaded with them for the chance to go. Skeptical at first, I immersed them with the research I had uncovered about the struggling country, and adamantly expressed to them how deeply I felt called to embark on my next challenge. Converted through my persistence, they agreed to allow me to go; and I excitedly began fundraising in my local community so that I could purchase my ticket.
I vividly recall the pressing memories of my first trip; the smell of petroleum that overwhelmed me when I first deplaned in Port-au-Prince, the exhausting 100 degree heat index that kept me from sleeping through the night, and the images of malnourished children at every corner all still burn brightly in my mind. Though many of my high school peers concluded their trip unfazed by the experience and resumed their daily routines, I was quite the opposite. The disparity and turmoil I viewed could not just be tucked away in a memory box or photo album, I again, felt called to strive for more.
Six months after my initial trip, I returned to Haiti again. For a month leading up to my trip, I insistently pursued local organizations and businesses to donate food and medical supplies for me to take on my upcoming venture. I remember exuding pride and smiling through tired eyes once I boarded my 5 a.m. flight on a brisk December morning with over 100 pounds of supplies for the orphanage in tow.
Since my senior year of high school, I’ve returned to Haiti 14 times and now proudly don the title of Fundraising Coordinator for Reach Out To Haiti, the umbrella organization of Ruuska Village; the orphanage I first served at three years ago. I contribute much of the grit and tenacity I relinquish on every day tasks academically and professionally to the experiences I’ve gained during my time serving at Ruuska Village. I’ve withstood a myriad of tireless nights filled with the composition of letters requesting donations, and subsequently poured out unrelenting perseverance in order to turn many firm “No thank you’s”, into eventual “When can you pick up our contribution?”. In addition to my work with businesses and individual contributors, I’ve also gained valuable perceptiveness and transferable skills through learning new computer programs and point of sale platforms in order to produce and sell merchandise to benefit Ruuska. There have been many times I’ve found myself wondering if I was being spread too thin, particularly when being pulled in different directions from my Fundraising Coordinator position and by the two jobs I work in order to fund my undergraduate career. However, being able to see my work making an impact on those unable to help themselves has consistently driven me to maintain my momentum through my role within Reach Out To Haiti. The privilege of being a spectator to the difference my fundraising movements have made in the lives of so many people has been a pivotal force inspiring me to continue. Seeing the countless meals and lifesaving supplies that have been distributed to those who’d otherwise be forced to survive without has been particularly moving. However, one of the most significant affirmations I’ve received is watching the journeys of so many families adopting and welcoming an orphaned child from Ruuska in to a forever home, made possible in part through the funds I’ve generated.
I believe the opportunity to functionally utilize my compassion gained through my involvement in Haiti lies within the doors of [SCHOOL REDACTED]. I steadfastly trust that the curriculum and faculty here will push me to strive for excellence and act as a catalyst to intensify my profound yearning to vigorously advocate for families, children, and the disadvantaged.
“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.” - John Keith Falconer


Each of the following points corresponds to one of the bolded sections (first point to first bolded section etc.)

1.Really? The people around you in your sheltered cul de sac had life circumstances that drastically differed from your own? Pretty sure that's not true. Re-work this.

2. This is a very clunky sentence.

3. Oy with the adjectives already!

4. The struggling country- we know Haiti isn't as fortunate as the U.S. Continuing to make that point indicates that you really are not as aware and enlightened as you want the adcomms to believe.

5. Why weren't you paying for the ticket with the money from the job you got after "eagerly applying the day after you turned 16". Did the trip have to be paid for with fundraising or did you not want to use your own money?

6. This doesn't sound real. It sounds forced and the use of two adjectives in a five word phrase is unnecessary.

7. You already said you vividly recall the pressing memories at the beginning of the sentence, it doesn't make sense and it isn't grammatically sound to include another phrase at the end of the same sentence that essentially says the same thing.

8. How do you know the other high schoolers were unfazed? It's an assumption that reads as if you think you're somehow better/more aware than your peers, which adcomms won't warm to.

9. Spell out the number (goes for 17 too and probably 16th-though I'm okay with that one).

10. A ; is grammatically incorrect here.

11.You don't need this. It rehashes your resume. Also, it isn't particularly impressive so I'd advise using that space to say something else.

12. "Unable to help themselves" again, this won't make you any friends on adcomms, it comes off as superior.

13. Literally have only heard "forever home" in relation to pet adoptions. It's a poor phrase to use about children (unless someone else knows this phrase is used in human adoptions as well, in which case ignore this). It gives off the sense of equating Haitian children to animals and I don't think I need to spell out why that's in poor taste.

14. Please don't end with a quote. It's cliche and pretty meaningless.

Ok, so overall, there are some improvements here from your last two drafts. I think you need to 1) stop writing like you're a thesaurus. Adjectives are best used sparingly. There's no need for three or four in one sentence that all describe the same/similar things. Watch out for cliche phrases/tropes (e.g. ending with a quote, "burn brightly" etc).

I still think your not coming off as well as you would like to/could. There are still references in here that may lead one to believe that you think you're superior to the people of Haiti, like you are God's gift to them and they would be lost/unable to survive without you.

In general, I don't think this is that interesting of a topic and I think it's one a lot of other people will be writing about. Experiment with writing about something different and see where it gets you. If you're married to using this topic, find a hook in it. This tells me stuff about you, but I wouldn't say it tells me a lot of things about you that will impress/endear adcomms to you.

Sorry if I overstepped my bounds with any of these comments, I am currently a professional editor, and it is second nature to me.



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