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"Coming to America" (How has your family influenced who you are)


Jfils 3 / 8  
Nov 19, 2009   #1
How has your family history, culture, or environment influenced who you are?

No matter where you go, you must never forget where you came from, and the obstacles you have crossed. The struggles my family have gone through has taught me to appreciate everything I have and the vast amount of opportunities presented to me.

My family roots trace back to the 3rd world country of Haiti, where I was born. I was born into a poor family in the city of Port-au-Prince. Even though we were never wealthy, my grandmother always wanted better for us. My mother was a single mother trying to raise three children in a state of overwhelming poverty. Despite the staggering obstacle which wouldn't fail to stop most in their tracks, my grandmother was determined to give us a better life. Through hard work my grandmother was able to obtain a ticket to the 'promise land', America, which seemed like a different world to the people of Haiti. My grandmother promised my mother that she would stop at nothing to ensure us a better life; that being said she embarked on her mission. While in America she was able to hold down a job and saved her money wisely. After many years she was able to buy tickets for my mother, brother, sister, and I to begin our new life in America. I feel there is nothing I can do to repay her but to show that I understand what she had to go through, and making the best of what has been given to me.

I would hate to think of where I would be if it wasn't for the resilience and bravery of my grandmother. At a young age I was brought to America, escaping a future that would otherwise be filled with hardship. I appreciate this every day of my life. This has contributed to everything I am today. Thinking of the sacrifices made to ensure me a good life motivates me beyond anything else. It fuels me to try hard in everything I do, and appreciate the opportunities given to me in this country, while remaining humble. I know my family wants me to succeed, though my mother or grandmother have never gotten a college degree they continue to support me.

I want to make my family proud, and achieve the success my family worked so hard to give me the possibility of having. I will never forget where I came from; my past is what motivates me towards a great future.

Would appreciate any feedback and any revisions. Thank you for reading my essay.
Vulpix - / 71  
Nov 20, 2009   #2
First of all, your first paragraph is redundant. Get rid of the first sentence entirely ("My family's history [...] today"), since it is implied in the prompt, and try to consolidate the remainder: for example, I notice that you mention the word "poor" or variations thereof with unnecessary frequency. If you could shorten the first paragraph to two or three sentences and combine it with the second paragraph, I think that would give the reader all the background he or she needs. After all, the prompt asks for the influence of your culture on who you are, and you don't fully address that until the third paragraph. Try to expand your third paragraph, as well. Mention some specific examples- what are some things you have been able to do that your parents were not able to? How have you maintained aspects of your Haitian culture while living in the United States? If you try to think along those lines, I believe you can make your essay a lot stronger.
OP Jfils 3 / 8  
Nov 24, 2009   #3
Thank you, here is a new version.

READ ABOVE

Any more help?
sportybluei 7 / 40  
Dec 22, 2009   #4
Great story! :)

I think you could focus your introduction and your conclusion about your grandmother, more than your family's hard work, because the body paragraphs are wholly focused on your grandmother. And if you would give real-life detail for the third paragraph, the essay would be great. Give some of your examples of what kind of struggle you went through, and how you overcame those obstacles.
seivert9 4 / 8  
Dec 22, 2009   #5
"No matter where you go, you must never forget where you came from, and the obstacles you have crossed. The struggles my family have gone through has taught me to appreciate everything I have and the vast amount of opportunities presented to me."

"I will never forget where I came from; my past is what motivates me towards a great future."

-These are very generic statements. You could possibly make them more personal to exactly who you are.


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