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'A normal person can make a difference' - HARVARD - Diversity & Uniqueness


Nov 20, 2006   #1
I am a colombian student and I am about to do what will decide the possibilities of my dreams coming true: I am applying to Harvard. Since my knowledge of english is limited (i have only 3 years in the US) i am afraid my admissions essay needs a lot of work. I am so passionate with helping others but I dont know If my essay conveys my diversity and uniqueness...could you guys help me revising it?

Although all my life I have felt that my vocation is to help others, two years ago I doubted of being capable of making a difference in this world. When I went to do community service in "Toberin", one of the poorest neighborhoods in Bogotï (Colombia), I realized poverty was not only what I saw in the News that I watched every night after dinner and before going to bed, but it also meant that there were people in this world with no dinner, no bed and no love.

I studied in a private school in Colombia that offered a volunteering program to go to a poor neighborhood, specially conformed of "Campesinos" (farmers) displaced from violence in the rural areas of the country, and our mission was to play with the kids in the neighborhood and bring a smile back to their faces in the middle of their conflict.

The first day, when we got to the neighborhood, our group had to walk a steep mountain for almost an hour, because there are no roads in that area of the city. After we got to the place, all you could see were little shelters made of cardboard and plastic, which made you wonder if a person could live in those conditions. Seeing such a sad reality made me doubt if helping one person or maybe two in this world will really make a difference, and I started questioning myself if I really wanted to dedicate my life in helping others.

Each person in our group had three kids in charge and mine were three little sisters called Daniela, Maria, and Ana. For a month, every Saturday I visited my girls, and after time they became part of my heart. Our days were spent playing, telling stories and dreaming of a world were no weapons or "bad people" existed. Inside my heart I felt powerless, because although I withdrew these girls from their reality, life wouldn't change for them.

But I decided to make a difference. Ana who was thirteen years old, worked on the streets selling candy and asking for money to support her family. I started teaching her math and reading and, although she did not learned that much with me; she got interested for her studies. After the program ended, I stopped talking to the girls, but one day after having my dinner and before going to bed, I turned the news on and what I saw completely amazed me: It was Ana. The news made a documentary about her life and how she now became the "teacher" of the neighborhood. She used her own room to bring the kids and teach them how to read.

I realized that, although I am not the biggest superheroe in the world, it is possible to make a difference and still being a normal person. After this experience, I learned that one can really shape the life of others and that step by step, one goes far.

think your essay does a good job of conveying the type of person you are, and how you have a talent for shaping the lives of others! The only real problems I see with it have to do mostly with the mechanics of English. I have put in bold the words that I think need changing and put my suggested changes following in brackets. (In other words, take out the words in bold and substitute the words in brackets.) If there is no bold word before the word in brackets, then I am saying you should add the word.

I hope this helps, and that you are successful in fulfilling your dream!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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