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"Only If He Had A Vision" - critique my Questbridge essay.


richardaddo 1 / 12  
Sep 27, 2010   #1
I was applying through commonapp until I was told about questbridge just last week. I had to quickly write the essays and as of now I have been able to come up with this. The deadline is September 30.

I would appreciate every comment and suggestions.

Prompt: If you could change one thing about your community, what would it be and why?

ONLY IF HE HAD A VISION

Hellen Keller once said, "The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision." This, I remember each time I find my peer dissipating his energy unprofitably.

While on my way to church for the Youth Meeting, I met Francis, my classmate back then in Grade 3. Having exchanged pleasantries, I asked, "Where do you school?" "Do you think you can succeed?", he retorted. "Look at where we live. It's a deprived community, no good roads, poor water and electricity supply and inadequate social amenities. This is where we belong and we are destined to be like this," he added.

If I could, I would change the mindset of the people in my low-income community. The inhabitants of Alajo, the small suburb of Accra where I live, have yielded and are in the depths of despair. They believe it would take a miracle to improve upon their current condition. The parents do menial jobs and the children, who do not attend school, spend the day playing and performing house chores. Most families live from hand to mouth and life to them is all about finding something to eat to stay alive.

Despite the fact that I am just nineteen years old, I have come to realize that with vision, determination and perseverance, everything is attainable. I had my elementary education in an underprivileged school with rooms which leaked whenever it rained. Nobody thought I could make it into one of the best public senior high schools in Ghana. Some said my achievement was a miracle. But my younger brother, whom I inculcated vision into, is also currently in the same senior high school I attended and is outshining those from the wealthy families.

"Why the outlook of the people when there are several things that need to be changed?" Yes!, we are poor. Yes!, we live in an underprivileged community. Yes!, we do not enjoy the amenities of life currently. Yes!, we are downtrodden. But it is my firm conviction that if we could set our sights on visions and focus on them, then with determination and perseverance we will attain everything we want in life, and out plight will end. This change, to me, will have a higher impact than any other change that can be effected in the community. Not everyone has to go through school to effect this change. But if the people could let go of the current mindset, set targets, and work towards them, then everybody's current situation will change for the better.

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind," goes Williams James' saying. I am fortunate to have realized this early in life and I believe that if the people in my community could do the same, then our community would be an utterly different one in the not-too-distant future.

Thanks in advance.
lanes 5 / 33  
Sep 28, 2010   #2
I think its a great theme and opening paragraph. I love the helen keller quote, but does it work with the theme of your essay? You are not accurately explaining your vision i liked how you described your neighborhood, but maybe you should focus more on what YOU would change about it. And less about what your family and schools entail. Focus more on a specific thing, like the education- you had a great lead with that. describe specific details about what you would change. because they want to hear about you.
OP richardaddo 1 / 12  
Sep 29, 2010   #3
Thanks lanes for the comment. What you said is right. I have drafted another essay and I would be very grateful if you could proofread it and tell me if it answers the question now. I have to submit this essay tomorrow before 11.59 PTC

ONLY IF HE HAD A BETTER VIEW

Having exchanged pleasantries, I asked, "Where do you school?" "Do you think you can succeed?" he retorted. "Look at where we live. It's a deprived community, no good roads, poor water and electricity supply and inadequate social amenities. This is where we belong and we are destined to be like this. Even education cannot change your status," he added.

If I could, I would change the people's perception of education. The inhabitants of Abelemkpe, the low-income suburb of Accra where I live, have yielded to poverty and are in the depths of despair. They believe it would take a miracle to improve upon their current condition. Belonging to a world where every child has the right to education, most people in the community view education as merely a right, and not a necessity. Some parents do not enroll their children in school at all while most of the children who are fortunate to enter school drop out, without completing their basic education. Their reason is that even if they graduate from basic school, paying for their secondary education will become a problem and they will eventually have to quit.

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind," Williams James, the proverbial psychologist, once said. I am fortunate to have realized this early in life. At a point in time, while I went through the difficult times in basic school, I was overwhelmed with frustration and thought of quitting too. But I had a vision. I wanted to be a doctor. I realized that education is not for the rich alone and that with determination, I could achieve this dream despite my financial background. Fortunately, I was offered a scholarship to facilitate my stay at senior high school and not only did I attend school virtually for free, but also I outshined my counterparts who came from wealthy homes.

From the perspective of the inhabitants of my community, education is a privilege for those who are well-to-do. This fallacy has hindered most people from achieving their full potential. Having an education, I believe, would better the lives of people here significantly. It is my firm conviction that changing the people's view of education, though it will not have an immediate impact, will have a far-reaching benefit than any other change that could be effected in the community. With an education, one could set up a little business venture and with the management skills acquired, become one of the nation's top businessmen someday.

I have a goal to achieve and I know that I am not limited just because I come from a low-income family. I wish I could get my people to understand this too, ensure every child gets an education, and witness the change it would bring.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Sep 30, 2010   #4
This, I remember each time I find my peer dissipating his energy unprofitably.---- wow, I did not expect this sentence. It's interesting. But I think you should add 1 or 2 more sentence to the intro paragraph to help the reader understand what you mean.

paragraph 2:
While on my way to church for the Youth Meeting, I met Francis, my classmate back then in Grade 3. Having exchanged

You write very well. I'm happy about your great potential and the strength you show while achieving the goals you set.

This is a powerful sentence, but I cannot explain why: Nobody thought I could make it into one of the best public senior high schools in Ghana.

Yes!, we
Yes! We live in an underprivileged community. Yes! we do not enjoy the amenities of life currently. Yes! We are downtrodden. But it is my firm conviction: if we could set our sights on visions and focus on them, then with determination and perseverance we will attain everything we want in life, and out plight will end.---- excellent! This is very good. If you run for office where I live, I will vote for you. If you run for office somewhere else, maybe I'll get a chance to contribute to your campaign. Plan on doing historic things!
vannyman 2 / 4  
Sep 30, 2010   #5
This is a good essay, but I feel it's kind of vague. Focus on a specific event to why everything is attainable if you try hard enough. The best part of the essay is when you mention the high school in Ghana because it is a direct example.


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