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My service - critique my Peace Corps Motivational Statement?


vsfpc2016 1 / 2  
Jun 7, 2016   #1
I was reading some essays on this website to get some tips for my statement, it must be 500 words. If anyone would be so kind to provide feedback on whether the essay meets the prompt to satisfaction, as well as general grammar tips and let me know if I drive the point home, I would appreciate it!

PROMPT:

"Peace Corps service presents major physical, emotional, and intellectual challenges. In the space below, please provide a few paragraphs explaining your reasons for wanting to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer and how you plan to overcome the various challenges associated with Peace Corps service. This essay is the writing sample Peace Corps uses to assess your professionalism and maturity as a candidate. Please spend time editing your essay/writing sample (less than 500 words)."

RESPONSE:

I first considered Peace Corps service in 2011 during my senior year of University, but I did not feel that I was ready for the commitment or mature enough as a young man. However, I knew that my desire to make a difference on a global scale would not fade and that someday I would answer the call. I have always been a service-oriented person; from my early days in the Boy Scouts, to leadership positions in fundraising and service organizations in college, and volunteering with my local parks and recreation department removing invasive plants. Most recently I have been volunteering on organic and permaculture farms in Australia and learning about food security, resource management, and sustainability. I am extremely passionate about this subject as I believe that sustainable agriculture is the key to providing economic prosperity to developing nations as well as reducing malnutrition, climate change, and waste. Additionally, during my travels of Asia and the South Pacific I have witnessed many accounts of anti-Americanism and even been stereotyped due to my nationality. As a representative of the United States of America I will improve our image through friendship, selflessness, and service. I cannot live a life without giving and serving others and I believe my drive to make a meaningful and positive impact in the global community would best be accomplished as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Volunteering with the Peace Corps will certainly pose challenges, but I feel tasked to face difficulty due to my past experiences, maturity, and personality. During my twenty-one months traveling through Asia, Australia, and New Zealand I have had limited access to the internet and communication with friends and family. I've missed weddings, births, and deaths. I've lived extremely primitively for extended time - living in a camper van and tent without running water or electricity. Whenever I feel emotional duress, anxiety, or isolation, I use mindfulness techniques and meditation as a means to return to an equanimous and calm mind. For intellectual challenges, I draw upon my past experiences as an engineer, team leader and problem solver, and break the problem down into smaller, manageable parts. I used to be intimidated of not knowing the answer to every problem faced, but as I have matured I have learned that it is OK not to know everything, to work with a team and to ask for help when you need it. Additionally, I am physically fit and active and have no medical conditions preventing me to serve.

Over the past five years I have grown professionally, matured personally, and gained valuable skills and knowledge. I am ready to be a Peace Corps Volunteer. I sincerely hope that my passion and motivation for service and the global environment is evident in these words, and that I can utilize my permaculture experience and engineering mind to make a difference in Madagascar, Zambia, or Nepal, but I am flexible to meet the needs of the Peace Corps.

Thanks so much!

ichanpants89 [Contributor] 16 / 777 309  
Jun 7, 2016   #2
Vince, welcome to the team! :) I would like to convey my insights towards your essay in the descriptions below. Please take a look.

1st paragraph
- Most recently, (comma is necessary) I have been volunteering on organic...
- ...agriculture is the key to providingprovide economic prosperity...
- Additionally, during my travels ofto Asia and the South Pacific I have witnessed...

2nd paragraph
- During my twenty-one months traveling through Asia, Australia, and New Zealand I have had limited access... (this is a past experience right?)
- I'veI have had missed weddings, births, and deaths. (avoid using contraction(s) if you want to make a formal essay or letter. However, this is also a past situation right?)

- I'vehad lived extremely primitively for... (another contraction problem, and past perfect tense needed)
- I am physically fit and active, and I have no medical conditions preventing me to serve.

3rd paragraph
- ...grown professionally, matured personally, and gained valuable skills and knowledgeknowledgeably.(it might be better if like this since it was a parallel sentence)
- Thus, I am practically ready to be a Peace Corps Volunteer.
- I sincerely hope that my passion and motivation for service and the global environment is evident in these words, and that I can utilize my permaculture experience and engineering mind to make a difference in Madagascar, Zambia, or Nepal, but I am flexible to meet the needs of the Peace Corps. (the last sentence was too long and complex, somehow it leads to ambiguity or unclear. let me try to paraphrase it)

I do sincerely hope that my passion and motivation in servicing the global environment is completely obvious. Therefore, I can utilize my permaculture experience and engineering mind to make a difference in Madagascar, Zambia, or Nepal. However, I am also flexible to meet the needs of Peace Corps for the sake of my professional development.

As you can see that some modifications and suggestions have been delivered by me. I hope it was clear enough and understandable. Good luck in revising this essay later on :)
OP vsfpc2016 1 / 2  
Jun 8, 2016   #3
Thank you ichanpants89! Do you think the essay does a nice job addressing the prompt and is concise? I have made most of your suggested improvements!
akbartaufiq25 7 / 81 54  
Jun 8, 2016   #4
Vince, my lecturer said that a convincing motivational letter consists of three aspects. Firstly, one must show their professional by explaining the employment history, either paid or voluntary works .My lecturer told me that the voluntary work is valued the most as it is closely related to your contribution to societies. Secondly, proof that you are a good leader. It is similar to how you write your work experience, but this focus in one's participation to the organization, for instance attending youth conferences. Third, do not forget to answer the prompt clearly and specifically. Most of the scholarship providers prefer a to-the-point essay. This is due to gaining the providers' interest to read your essay and probably put you on the top priority.

Fortunately, I can see that you have all the above aspects in the essay. The prompt is answered clearly and you put the ideas coherently. My suggestion is to ask your friends (just few of them or that you trust the most) to read the essay. Ask them if your essay in convincing and readable. I am sure that having more people to read your essay will be beneficial, especially to know their opinion regarding your essay. Good luck! Wishing for the best results. Cheers :D
OP vsfpc2016 1 / 2  
Jun 9, 2016   #5
Thank you for your suggestions akbartaufiq25!


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