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having hard time picking between two college app essays...

pcvrz34g 22 / 117  
Sep 6, 2012   #1
i wrote two essays for college app (no prompt) but i don't know which one is better..
please pick the better one and let me know how i can fix it...
i really want this to be as perfect as possible..


'South Korean students disciplined following after-school fight," read the headline on the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper. The bitterness of rivalries between ABCs (American Born Corean) and FOBs (Fresh Off the Boat, implying Korean-born Korean Americans) had been apparent ever since the first wave of FOB influx in 2006. With each clique extremely critical of the other, fists fights with police involvements became a routine; the article was just another of many. How ridiculous is it, I thought, that racism within the Korean ethnic group somehow was more widespread than those from outside the Korean ethnicity? If Koreans can't respect people of same heritage and culture, how then could we expect non-Koreans to respect us?

Pushing back the chair, I stood, summoning twelve pairs of eyes of the most prominent Korean men within the Atlanta Korean community, all dressed in suits and in stern frowns. "I would like to present a proposal to the board of Atlanta Korean American Youth Center as the president of the student executive committee." Ears perked; eyes widened. "It is vital that we address the racial issue between ABCs and FOBs. It is a matter beyond the violence that humiliates and imperils the Korean community as a whole. It questions the value of heritage, unity under culture, and pride in ethnicity." A few heads nodded. "And the proposal?" the President requested, his eyebrows raised. "The proposal is a response to the hopes I see of unification. What lacks is a catalyst, an opportunity for both parties to mingle in one location under a shared interest, a party." The silence broke; the frowners now chuckled. "A party?" One jeered. "Yes, a party. The entertaining ambience will attract Korean-American high school students of both groups. It will be an imitation of Prom: the grand hall, the DJ, the disco balls and party lights, the dresses and tuxes," I stood my ground. "And your estimated number of participants, Ms. Lee?" the President asked genuinely. My stomach dropped. I feared a low turnout; students might even deem the entire event itself stupid; it may have only a minor affect on the racial issue, if any. Concealing the doubt I shared with the audience, I persuaded firmly "A hundred students. We miss 100% of the shots we don't take."

Instead, we took the shot and made a hit far better than anticipated. There was a turnout of over 350 students; it won its place in the project agenda as a permanent biannual event due to high popularity and demand; violence within Korean community significantly swindled. With this, even greater results followed: the articles became a rarity, and the Korean minority race gained stronger voice within the international community. Altogether, it resurrected the meaning of a community, mending our weakness and rebuilding our strength, cohered by the same native heritage towards a defined identification of Korean Americans. But beyond the direct repercussions, it was proof that when self-confidence is met with perseverance to stand against the unconventional, impossible is made possible.


My mother has always told me "벌새가 되야한다 (Be a hummingbird)." When a wildfire once broke out, all creatures fled away from the fire, all but one - the hummingbird. All animals stopped to laugh at the absurdity of her efforts as they watched her fetch few drops of water in her tiny peak, pour the water out of her beak onto the flames, and repeat the process, despite her fears. The hummingbird replied: "My beak may be small. I may not be able to put out this fire alone. But I'm doing the best that I am capable of."

Across the Mississippi River and into the Ninth Ward, we passed the street covered with rotting paint, shattered glass, and weeds. A desperate view. The twelve of us rode past the outskirts that we knew held a story of an enduring past. As a Hurricane Katrina high school rescue team, we had been selected from across the nation by the Habitat for Humanity organization and were granted full scholarship for a mission to build three houses in New Orleans, Louisiana. But something more disturbing than the damage itself rendered me into the state of shock - the slashed "X's", or perhaps the numbers scribbled on abandoned houses. On one apartment complex, I saw a large "X" and a circled "15" which respectively meant Death and the number of corpses found.

As our van drove away, I looked back at the evidence of the fragility of life fading in the distance, laying there by the displacement of black spray paint - life determined by sprayed markings and real people tallied up to become dry numbers - numbers that could have been me, my parents, or anyone. The black streaks, clouded like the future may be, revealed the brevity and vulnerability of my existence. The car was dead silent, but the extremities of my existence screamed the realness of my life, the final breath, that could potentially be stripped away. The perspective of my life for seventeen years changed within that moment. The paint marked my heart forever as a constant reminder for the people who I continue to serve, past or present.

Seven days it might have been, but immeasurably did we grow together and eternal our friendships had become. The tangibility of our kinship was unbelievable, but even more was our job to be done that week. We built a house to resurrect the meaning of a home. We hammered the nails of support and raised the roofs of stability. What might have just seemed like an altruistic duty became a willing obligation when we were one with a community.

While my beak may be small to make a significant difference, my example may influence others to follow through ripple and broadening effect to ultimately make a world's difference. Along with my now faded Habitat for Humanity t-shirt, this experience amplifies the call of need. As long as the call echoes, I - a hummingbird - will persistently respond.

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