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Short Activity Essay for Common App - Volunteering in Ecuador


melaaanieee 1 / 1  
Nov 18, 2009   #1
Over the summer of 2008, I had the privilege to travel to Ecuador with a group of American students and volunteer at Nińos de la Calle, a center that houses homeless children. Our work took place in their small park where we picked up garbage, swept pathways, and built a 20 foot fence surrounding the area. Although the days were long and work was strenuous, it was all worth it in the end. Conversing with the children in broken English made me realize how happy they were to be out of the streets and I understood how important and necessary service work is, not only in my community, but also in foreign lands. I ventured out into South America expecting adventure and fun, but found out that helping others was more fun and fulfilling than I could have asked for.

I am unsure about the wording of the last 2 sentences, but I would really like to keep the same kind of structure. Thank you for helping! Any feedback is appreciated! : )
ateitelb 2 / 2  
Nov 18, 2009   #2
I liked the last two sentences. I think the only issue might be you use "fun" twice in the last sentence. Maybe you could make it:

"...but found that helping others was a more valuable and rewarding experience than I ever could have asked for."

It doesn't really matter what the words are for that second part, I just don't think "fun" should be used twice.
Arwen 1 / 10  
Nov 18, 2009   #3
It is actually a very well written paragraph that clearly defines what you did in Ecuador, however if you could please provide some sort of prompt in order to truly understand what you are actually writing about and why, then I can give you a more detailed feedback. Right now the only part that I find confusing is "conversing with the children in broken english"....I guess I just do not understand you wording there...but it could just very well be me. But really it is a very good written paragraph!
OP melaaanieee 1 / 1  
Nov 18, 2009   #4
Ateitelb: I didn't notice I used fun twice.. oops! and thank you for your feedback.

Arwen: The prompt is to write about an activity which had a significant effect on your life and why. My advisor said to avoid repeating the prompt and delve right into the story. Thanks :)
amaryrose 2 / 16  
Nov 18, 2009   #5
The only sentence I think could use some work is the second to last.

"Conversing with the children in broken English made me realize how happy they were to be out of the streets and I understood how important and necessary service work is, not only in my community, but also in foreign lands."

Compared to the rest of your sentences, it is a lot longer and has a lot of ideas vying for attention. I think it might work out well if you pull out how happy the kids were and put it in its own sentence. Something like:

"Conversing with the children in broken English made me realize how important and necessary service work is, not only in my community, but also in foreign lands. Sentence about kids happy to just be off the streets, taken for granted at home."

Hope that's helpful!


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