Benjamin Franklin established the Union Fire Company, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania Hospital, and, of course, the charity school that evolved into the University of Pennsylvania. As they served the larger community of Philadelphia, each institution in turn formed its own community.
Which of the academic communities and social communities that now comprise the University of Pennsylvania are most interesting to you and how will you contribute to them and to the larger Penn community?
My memory of rattling rickshaws, hollers of street vendors, and the aroma of tandoor-baked chicken pull me back onto the streets of my neighborhood in Pakistan. I walk down the street greeting men, women, and children with a warm "A-Salaam-Alaykum." The greeting of "peace be upon you" draws an intimate connection with every individual I meet and makes me realize that the people of Pakistan are unlike their negatively media-portrayed counterparts. "It's almost time for Friday prayers," I remind myself as I walk back home to the Gulastaneh Jahore apartment compound. I reach out to open the door to my home and watch as my world suddenly changes colors and swirls all around me. The next thing I know, I am lying in my bed and listening to my radio alarm as it plays Michael Jackson's "Just Beat It."
Knowledge and application of that knowledge are critical to the learning process. The University of Pennsylvania offers a course of study in the College of Arts and Sciences called South Asia Studies. Through this course of study, I can apply my life in Pakistan and relate to the material I will be taught through lectures and discussions to better understand South Asian culture. Given the opportunity to attend UPenn, I will add the brushstroke of my heritage to the abstract painting of the university's diverse student body.
Towards the end of my junior year at John F. Kennedy High School, my AP Calculus BC teacher recommended me to the school's AVID program as a prospective tutor. AVID is a college-readiness system designed to increase the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges. In order to effectively connect to the students, AVID program coordinators seek out students who can tutor groups of students who are underperforming in their respective classes. As a selected AVID Tutor at JFK High School, I have befriended teens of varying academic skills. I spent a semester of twelfth grade tutoring pre-calculus students who were struggling to pass their class. I hope to make further use of my tutoring experience by volunteering to take part in UPenn's Community Algebra Initiative which is offered through the Academically Based Community Service program.
Benjamin Franklin once said, "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." Upholding Franklin's wisdom, the University of Pennsylvania invests its resources in students who, in the future, go out into the world and spread the wealth of knowledge gained from their time at UPenn. I ask that UPenn invest in my being so that my knowledge may grow and that I may participate in The Community Algebra Initiative thus reflecting Ben Franklin's devotion to education and his commitment to public good.
I feel that I need a transition after the second paragraph but I don't know what I should use. Please help!
Thank you. =]
P.S. feel free to ask me to review your essay!