Princeton essay topic: Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.
Hi guys! This is my essay and it's 607 words so I have plenty of space to revise/add to it. I just want help and advice with editing it. It would also be nice if someone told me if this was up to par with princeton's quality.
It's the child that I remember with perfect clarity. She is impossible to forget. Her tiny hands, naked feet, her tattered clothing, or rather lack of clothing. I remember lounging in my uncle's air-conditioned car while travelling through the clogged roads of our large town in India. I closed my eyes, tired from our day of shopping when this little girl interrupted my slumber. She looked no older than five years, yet she was standing in the middle of the road in stopped traffic, tapping on my glass window with her bony little hands. Sympathy arose and I opened the window as I addressed her; she cupped one hand and lifted it to my face. I assumed that she was begging for money, but before I could move, she scrunched her fingers together and put them to her mouth. She was hungry. Yet again, before I acted she moved her fingers over to a tiny body she was carrying that I had not previously noticed. Nestled against her was a baby, even smaller than her, wailing uncontrollably. The girl's clamped hand moved over to the infant's mouth, signaling that she wasn't the one who needed food- her sister was.
I hastily turned to my uncle, "Mavaya, can I give her the snacks we bought? She needs to feed her sister!" My uncle gave me an incredulous glance and with a quick shake of his head he said, "The money will only be stolen from them by a man who organizes all the poor people to beg for him." I pursued my request since the traffic was still, but he only turned further and further away from my window. He refused to respond and staring out ahead of him he closed the window letting the cool air dissipate through the car again, blocking out his rising guilt.
That's when I felt the separation. The cold air was no longer soothing; it only served as a reminder of the heartless way we had denied someone in need. How could we so blatantly ignore the flagrant and depressing condition that the girl was in? I was appalled by the lack of concern. Opening the window was not an option; I had been warned against it. I had no power. I could not influence others to care or show compassion.
When my American friends think of poverty, they imagine panhandlers who occupy the streets, the local supermarkets, or wait around the soup kitchen that my they volunteered at, once a long time ago. I imagine the streets of India. I see the little girl with the tortured, haunted eyes, forever preserved in my memory. She is my motivation. I saw her in a time and in an environment where I had no clout or aim. Unconsciously, the summer after encountering her with hostility in India, I became an avid volunteer. I changed my career path from one beneficial to me, to one where I could help make changes in the world through advocating and speaking for the poverty-ridden people. She stimulated my sense of humanity.
The Hindu Seva Association and the Greater Washington Telugu Society, (GWTCS), have provided me with many opportunities to lead the youth of Virginia to make a difference. The youth council of the Association has fundraised for donating money to kids across India, affecting the quality of their life and education.
Sometimes the ones who influence us the most influence us in ways that are not easily quantified. The little girl to whom I did not ever utter a word has impacted my life drastically. She taught me that true heroism is associated with compassion and dedication.