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Giving back: College Essay- Common App and Direct School Application

mscott 1 / -  
Oct 21, 2008   #1
I would like to use this essay for the Common App (...experience impacts your life) as well as the college essay submission to Rutgers(..RU is a vibrant community of people with awide variety of backgrounds and experiences. How would you benefit from and contibuteto such an environment)?. I not sure if my essay conveys the message as well as it could. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Mike

Giving Back

"You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it's a little thing, do something for others - something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it."

Albert Schweitzer

I never would have imagined that an experience could have had such an impact on my life. When I was 10 years old my great-uncle discovered he had contracted cancer. After he found out that he was diagnosed with cancer, he went from a strong, vital man to a weak and feeble one. Within ten months he passed away. His battle with this disease left a lasting impression on me. As a result, I perceived smoking to be dangerous and futile. I promised myself I would never adopt such a harmful and perilous habit. I always had a strong position against smoking but after his death, it only reinforced my stance.

After my uncle passed away I was motivated in seventh grade to become involved in a group called REBEL. This youth led anti-tobacco movement empowers students to plan and organize activities that teach elementary school children about the hazards of smoking. Schools are in a powerful position to prevent kids from smoking because they spend about one-third of their day attending school. It is also a vulnerable age where peer pressure is fierce.

In addition to REBEL, I was compelled to volunteer my time to help raise money for the fight against cancer. For the past seven years, I have volunteered for the American Cancer Society participating in many activities. A few years ago I recruited my close friends and created an organization called Kids of Hope. With the help of this group we have contributed our time and raised money for the event "Relay for Life". The Relay for Life is held every year and takes place over a span of 24 hours where people come to show their support and raise funds for cancer survivors and its victims. All of the sales made at this event are donated to help find a cure. We organized and administrated fund raising activities which raised $1300 in our first year alone. In addition, we organized a Valentine's dance for kids with cancer and their families as a special gift to them. We had t-shirts made reflecting our message-PAY IT FORWARD. I have also volunteered for the American Cancer Society's Gala of Hope annual fund raiser. In addition, I have participated in the annual American Cancer Society's breast cancer walk, Making Strides, for the past five years.

These experiences taught me to pay it forward I other aspects of my life as well. My friend's mother who is the director of technical services at a local high school asked if I would volunteer during the summer to assist in the installation of new hardware and software in the computer department. The district was not able to provide a salary, however, donating my time and skills would allow the students to benefit from the installation at the onset of their school year. This choice was a personal challenge for me because I was offered a paid position elsewhere. Nevertheless, I decided to accept the job with the school district as a way to pay ii forward. This decision was a benefit to the students as well as to me.

Giving back is a privilege and something that is part of my life. I will carry the gift of giving with me while in college and thereafter. I will continue my campaign against smoking and supporting cancer research in finding a cure. I am committed to participating in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life at Rutgers University or organizing one if it does not already exist. Giving back however, will not be limited to these efforts. My goal is to become an active member of the Rutgers family so that I can pay forward the education this prestigious institution will provide and thus make a difference in society as an engineer.


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