So here I have a draft of Questbridge Bio essay. Any thoughts and criticisms are very welcome! Thank you in advance!We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most shaped your personal life and aspirations. How have these factors caused you to grow? (800 word limit)
Struggle and perseverance, two words I observed in my small bubble growing up. My parents mainly composed my bubble, providing me with a safe zone in a cramped apartment in the heart of Los Angeles. To me, the white walls of my apartment served as a barrier from the cruel outside world. Being on foreign soil, my parents struggled here in the land of opportunity. Arriving from Mexico, they quickly went to work, sacrificing their bodies all for a chance at the American Dream. They also did it for me, a son who they wished would one day be somebody. Of course living in Los Angeles, this was not an easy task. When I was 12 years old, my 14 year old neighbor was brutally shot a few meters away from my home. At the time, I could only ask, "Why?" I did not know him, but like me, he had dreams and aspirations; all cut short by cold unforgiving bullets. Going home after school, I pass the site of the murder. Sorrow quickly engulfs me, but I march on home, to my bubble and my white walls. I could not bear seeing the make shift memorial, it would anger me. This hostile environment challenged me, but I was ready for the fight; school was my secret weapon. Gathering at the dinner table, my parents ask my how my day was at school. This occurred recurrently, my parents curious of my learning. My answer always involved the lesson of the day and its meaning. Stressing education, my parents have been there to push and motivate me. Reaching the high school level, their motivation is imprinted on my mind; wanting a more rigorous environment, in tenth grade, I transferred to Fairfax High School. The first few months were difficult, but I soon found my rhythm and improved. Speaking beyond academics, Fairfax is where I discovered my voice. Walking down the main hallway, a poster for Debate Club stands out. With curiosity controlling my actions, I attend the first meeting in Ms. Robinson's Government class. Hearing the president speak about debate ignited my desire to participate; I soon became a regular attendee. Working with the club, I was able to formulate my own arguments and opinions. Debate Club was a catalyst in finding my voice. Eager for more, I join Wise Up!, an immigrant rights club. Thinking of my parents, Wise Up! obtained my attention on first glance. At the core, Wise Up! aims to assist the many student immigrants In Los Angeles with information regarding their futures; I marched to the first meeting, enthusiastic to participate. In hindsight, my participation was prevalent at Fairfax. Facing monetary issues, the Los Angeles Unified School District cannot fully provide schools with resources. Anxious to help, I begin volunteering at the Melrose Trading Post, a flea market that assists Fairfax High School academically and athletically. Demonstrating genuine interest in helping, I earn a paid position at the Flea Market. Some see the job as a drag; however, I see it as an opportunity to help my school community. Sweeping the grimy pavements of Fairfax, the thought of providing my school with some support keeps me motivated. Challenges are standard at Fairfax, the ability to overcome them is important. Upon reflection, I can see that challenges have been and will continue to be part of me. From the dangers of my community, to the problems my school faces, challenges will be present. My parents always told me, "Cuando creezcas, queremos que seas alguien." This means, "When you grow older, we want you to be somebody." They didn't tell me I would face challenges that might derail their wish, but I grew accustomed to these challenges. Perseverance is defined as, "continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition." Struggle is defined as, "proceeding with difficulty or with great effort." Both perseverance and struggle go hand in hand. Like a slugger in a slump, or a quarterback in crunch time, continued effort to achieve is important. Pondering my situation, I see myself as neither a slugger in a slump nor a quarterback in crunch time; I see myself as a goalkeeper, valiantly defending my experiences and goals. When somebody shoots the ball, I dive and keep it from going in my goal. When a challenge impedes me from achieving something, I take Michael Jordan's quote to heart, "If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." When life throws me a curveball, I keep swinging. When life intercepts and interferes with my goal, I keep pushing forward. When I lose an argument, I provide more reinforcement. When a challenge arises, I face it, and persevere.