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Scholarship Essay - Contribution to Diversity; I did not let any of obstacles I met to get me down

lemarP 1 / -  
Jul 28, 2016   #1
Hi Essay Forum Team!

The following is an essay for a diversity scholarship that evaluates academic excellence, leadership qualities, and contribution to diversity. The word limit is 500 and I'm running 200 over now. I'm completely new to this forum and any feedback would be much appreciated!


At a very young age, I dealt with many issues from ethnicity, gender discrimination to separation from my family during immigration. All these challenges, however, only served to make me stronger and I was able to rise above all the challenges and emerge as a stronger young woman. Dealing with discrimination is not easy for anyone disregarding the age. Using my inherent inner strength, I was able to overcome the challenge and instead focused my energy to hard work and passion to achieve my dreams. My passion has always been to give the voiceless people in society a voice, especially the minority. I, therefore, decided to travel the least travelled especially by women in minority groups. I pursued a dual degree in Pure Physics and Honors Business Administration. I am currently pursuing a career in investment banking which is dominated by males. I had many leadership roles during my school days and was involved in many extracurricular activities. Even with all these roles, I was still able to emerge on top of my Physics class, a program that the stereotype considered challenging especially for females. My overall GPA average is always above par and I hope to maintain the same until graduation. My strong beliefs in equality and diversity coupled with my willpower made a very strong foundation for the strong young woman I am today.

I believe in feminism and equality. I always strive to work in positions that will promote the agenda of equality. I was one of the few selected female leaders in XX Network during my first year. XX Network is one of the largest non-profit run by students dealing with technology and business in the country. It was quite a challenge working in an environment dominated by males. However, the challenge motivated me to be a better and stronger person by embracing the hardships and proving my competency. When a female is able to work in a male dominated field successfully, she gains respect from her peers. In my situation apart from the respect, I was promoted to be the vice president of the organization. I was the only female vice president from the inception of the organization which made me proud of my achievement.

Being a minority comes with its challenges. Fortunately, I underwent many hardships as a young minority woman and made it through them. This is not a distinction I hope to retain and I believe in taking advantages of any hardship to bring out a positive outcome. I utilize my lessons from the hardships that I went through to help others overcome theirs. Hardships are always made easier when there is somebody to help you through them. With regards to this, I joined Global Career Connection in second year. In the organization I was able to have a leadership position and with that I initiated a project that would help students who had a background like mine. I interviewed the students and later compiled a biography with questions and answer about issues affecting the minority. In the booklet, I included different ways and advice that would help the students get through discrimination and other vices. With all these information, the students would be motivated and inspired at the same time especially because they know they are not alone in the struggle.

I have encountered many obstacles but I did not let any of them get me down. Hard work and determination are some of the key ingredients of success that I have used over and over and came on top every time. If I had let discrimination and my 'status' subdue my dream, then I would not be where I am today. Not many young people have the strength to go through discrimination and come out successful and I am therefore determined to reach as many young people as possible and give them hope for a better tomorrow. My next immediate goal after graduation, however, is to break into the banking industry which is majorly male-dominated but I believe I will make it through. Similar to my pursuit of excellence in academics and co-curricular activities, I never allowed my ethnic or gender subdue my goals. I consider the banking industry another challenge that I am ready to take head on.


ichanpants89 [Contributor] 16 / 777 309  
Jul 29, 2016   #2
Hi Anne, it is nice to have you as a new member in this forum. So, welcome aboard! :)

With regards to your essay, I reckon that there are three major points that you should focus on. Those are academic excellence, leadership qualities, and contribution to diversity. Also, it is better for you to make it well-arranged. So, the first thing that you need to describe is your academic excellence, the second is leadership qualities, and the last is contribution to diversity.

As I read your essay, I do understand why did you exceed the minimum words limit. You didn't group your ideas based on the prompt given. This makes your explanation was surpassed the limit. I would like to give you a brief descriptions on how to develop this type of essay below. I hope you can follow through.

Introduction paragraph (approx. 85 words):
1st sentence - introduce yourself in brief where do you come from, including your past experience about diversity
2nd sentence - create a thesis statement related to your points
3rd sentence - outline your thesis statement (three major points related to academic excellence, leadership qualities, and contribution to diversity)

Body paragraph 1 (academic excellence) (approx. 110 words)
1st sentence - create a topic sentence related to your view about academic
2nd sentence - explain why this is related to diversity
3rd sentence - write your academic achievement in details (GPA, and any other academic achievements related to diversity)

Body paragraph 2 (leadership qualities) (approx. 110 words)
1st sentence - create a topic sentence related to your view about leadership
2nd sentence - explain why this is related to diversity
3rd sentence - write any experience about leadership that is related to diversity

Body paragraph 3 (contribution to diversity) (approx. 120 words)
1st sentence - create a topic sentence related to your view about contribution
2nd sentence - explain why this is important to contribute in diversity
3rd sentence - tell the reader your past experience related to diversity

Concluding paragraph (approx. 75 words)
1st sentence - summarize or paraphrase your thesis statement
2nd sentence - tell the reader that you want to be accepted in this remarkable program or you are hoping to be accepted

I hope this helps in order to fulfill the maximum words limit without exceeding them since it is really essential to follow the prompt given. Good luck in revising this essay based on the above-mentioned structures. You don't need to rewrite all over again, I think you just need to put them in the suggested places above :)

Three sentences are the minimum requirement to fulfill the words limit for each paragraph. You can add 1 or 2 sentences more for each paragraph if you think you need more sentences.
justivy03 - / 2,367 607  
Jul 29, 2016   #3
Hi Anne, indeed it is quiet a pressure when you have time as well as word restriction when writing. What I do to effectively conquer this is to answer the prompt first, pretty much drafting and then once you have the answers, you can go ahead and elaborate them in the following paragraphs. Further to this technique, it will show you the basic answers to the question and from here, you can formulate the thorough explanation of each answer.

For this essay, below are additional guidelines, not only to shorten your essay but also to streamline the ideas.

- academic excellence, here you can provide information on your academic background and achievements as well as any pertinent information towards academic excellence, also, yo can include academic pursuit and plans in order achieve greater heights of education

-leadership qualities,here, any leadership and creative participation in an organization that can highlight your contribution can definitely help in this part of the essay

- contribution to diversity, here, your overall contribution, not only to your community but more importantly to your personal growth should be highlighted, I understand that you might think its selfish to put yourself first in this particular part, however, you have to nourish and sustain yourself first before you can effectively provide service to others.

There you have it Anne, I hope the above remarks are helpful, now I understand that the above remarks are included in your essay, however, it is best to streamline them, this way you are able to create a level of importance as well as minimize the number of words in your essay.
Hiddengrace 6 / 119 68  
Jul 29, 2016   #4
Hi Anne! You've gotten some good feedback so far with ideas on how to make your essay less wordy. I definitely am verbose myself and fall into the trap of always wanting to write more. I see you have gotten some very formulaic answers on how to format your essay, but if this comes from the heart you should use the structure you have here. You don't necessarily have to answer each part of the prompt separately; some experiences definitely overlap and you could even have one experience that demonstrates all 3 of those things.

I will agree, however, that your focus on each of these three things could be stronger. Even if you have a situation or two which overlap, you need to be more clear about how what you are saying relates to the prompt. It should be a balance where you can easily and concretely figure out how the story relates to the prompt.

I think you have done a lot of telling rather than showing. Saying you had struggles and experienced discrimination a hundred times still isn't as powerful as showing it with an experience or anecdote from your life. You mention multiple times the hardships, challenges, stereotypes, etc... you've overcome but it's not striking me as very powerful. the reader should read this and think "wow, that's awful, but look at her determination and strength to move on and improve things" or something like that anyway- that's kind of what I get from your essay but it needs to be kicked up a notch.

And now I'm going to say something that seems completely counter-intuitive and maybe even crazy, given what I just said in the above paragraph. Ready? Eliminate a good amount of the areas where you talk about experiencing hardship as a minority. You mention it in every paragraph. Why do I say this when I just told you the opposite above? So, if you have one good story about what inspired you to be a leader and contribute to diversity because of your hardships, you don't need to keep mentioning it. It'll be powerful enough on its own. This should hopefully give you some extra wiggle room when it comes to writing and word count. Actually, I think a story or anecdote might be a good introduction for your essay. It may give a nice background to why you have done everything else you mention and why this is important to you, eliminating the need to say it later.

I'd like to comment more but I can't at the moment. Also, there are definitely have errors that need to be edited, but I think it might be best to rework your content before launching into grammar, word choice, punctuation, and the rest.

Take care.

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