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'Mom was born in a small village in China' Common Application Personal Statement


HanaEJ 1 / -  
Jan 11, 2014   #1
I have only showed this essay to one person. The 1.15 deadline is coming up and I want to know is this essay needs some changing.

My mom is an ordinary person; nevertheless, she's my hero.

Mom was born in a small village in China, where she spent her first 17 years. Unlike her three brothers, she was denied full access to education. Mom did not bend her head. Passionate for knowledge, she made through college and eventually became a teacher, relying solely on her own hands. Since I was three, my mom has been tutoring for two hours every weekend, and she would always offer her students big meals. When I grew up, I learnt that she was doing volunteer service for the local orphanage.

Following mom's example, I started doing volunteer services myself without much thoughts, until one day, I travelled back to mom's hometown. A strong sentimental feeling evoked when I saw the shady condition of the village's elementary school, a long neglected and disrepaired bungalow with obsolete desk sets. Tears came into my eyes.

I remembered that I once lived in this village for three weeks with grandma when my parents were struggling over their chaotic divorce. I was eventually brought back to the city for better education under mom's insisting. Yet, the shabby school was still under the neglected condition. I did not know what I could do to change the situation, but I knew that I could not sit back and let it continue.

From then on, I would go back to the village on weekends to visit the students' houses, trying to understand and identify their needs. I was laughed at, made fun of, and called naďve and overconfident, but my journey was worth it, especially for Suji.

Suji was trying to build a snowman when I met her. I asked her to pick out a book from my bag as present. Suji smiled, carefully taking off her gloves so as not to stain the books. After earnestly browsing through all the books, she picked Les Enfants du Capitaine Grant. She told me that her parents sent her to school two years later than other kids because they believed educating a girl is useless and wasteful. They would rather have her stay home and help around. I cannot shake out of my mind the way she looked at me with her big black eyes when saying, "but I really want to go to school!"

The next week, I went back to see Suji again. She had already finished reading the book and kept telling me how much she wanted to see the sea and the world. So I promised her that the next time I came back I would bring her Vingt Mille Lieues sous les Mers.

(Today, Suji is still in school and aces every Chinese exam. We see each other regularly.)

After three trips, I sat by my computer, and started to put down the steps of a remedy project. I kept thinking about possible solutions - new teaching methods, new education perspective, and new technology. Eventually, I prepared two advocacy lectures and convinced a company to donate their used computers. But all of a sudden, I was told by the government officials to shut down the program, "You did a very nice thing trying to change the situation, but we have to take our publicity into consideration."

Despite my protests and implores, the program stopped halfway. There were certain things beyond my capabilities. For a while, I felt angry with those heartless bureaucrats, and sad because I could not help. But I learnt my lesson. I have to gain strength and ability to correct wrongs. I determined to become a lawyer, to help those helpless children reclaim justice and basic rights they deserve. I have to be stronger to push the blocking stones.

I want to be like mom.


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