prompt: The iSchool recognizes leadership, innovation, and diversity as especially significant and critical for graduates entering the field. Describe a single project you have worked on or would like to work on that exemplifies one of these values. The project might be a class assignment, a job responsibility, a hobby, or other extracurricular activities. (500 words or a 90 sec video)
My essay: Immediately after picking up my friend, Henry, from a weeklong term in jail in the South Seattle area, he had tears in his eyes when he first sat in my car.
"Freedom." He said calmly, as tears ran down his face along with the tiniest and most awkward smirk I've ever seen him give. A moment of silence followed.
He then broke the silence by choking up more words: "All that hood shit, like stealing, robbing, mugging, fighting... it don't get you anywhere but closer to becoming an animal trapped in a cage. I don't want to live like this anymore, why do I got to live like this?" I have never seen him cry harder in my life than this moment of his emotional redemption. I didn't know what to do or how to respond but kept thinking of a soothing way to relieve his damaged ego. Long silence followed again; no more words were spoken but the uncomfortable sounds of his sobbing and sniffing for the rest of the drive to his house.
His thrilling words resonated in my mind, making me contemplate about his life in my point of view as a long time friend. While growing up on Beacon Hill in South Seattle, police and ambulance sirens were the music of melancholy for us; there was always trouble in the concrete jungle during day and night. In a community full of poor and hard working families, I would always hear about many of my teenage friends going in and out of jail for stealing cars, major drug dealing, mugging innocent people, fighting, and possession of lethal weapons. Unfortunately, partially influenced by the peer pressure of gang members that surrounded him, Henry was seduced into his own greed and selfishness. He would rob and steal from stores because he couldn't afford to pay for such items and wanted to gain high reputation for the gang members that surrounded him.
After his arrest, I contemplated about the art of street life in my community: An appetite for true happiness within a realm of poverty can really change a person's perception on reality, that people will do anything, to win the fight for survival. After observing many of my troubled friends, I learn that with every great mission comes with great risks. My observations in my community brought me vast motivation to accomplish a mental project for my future that many people say that's impossible: to end and satisfy the hunger for money and food in all communities of the world, where everyone is happy and secure with themselves and each other. Moreover, I plan on learning what and how technology can make society and the world a better place. As a warrior for social justice, equality, and world happiness, I will face the risk in sacrificing everything I have in order to make everyone happy with the sword of my knowledge and voice, because I believe that I will never know true happiness unless I give to the world.