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A talk with an ex-homeless person - UBC personal profile


Dluusional 1 / 2  
Jan 14, 2017   #1
Hi Everyone, With the UBC deadline just around the corner, I would really like some feedback on how I could improve my essay for this essay question. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!

Tell us about an experience, in school or out, that taught you something about yourself and/or the world around you. (maximum 200 words)

people suffer in Vancouver due to discrimination



While volunteering at the Chinatown Youth Leadership Program in the summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to meet a previously-homeless person that lives in the Downtown eastside of Vancouver. He had a touching story that changed my perspective on life.

He told me about his time on the streets where he would constantly be assaulted by law enforcement due to his aboriginal background and homelessness. After listening to him talk about his life and showing me his scars from the countless assaults, it was evident that he was a victim of discrimination. From listening to him talk he seemed as kind and genuine as any other person I have met. He made me realize that life was not full of sunshine and rainbows. This was a huge wakeup call for me.

Ever since this meeting, I have gotten much more involved with my community. I realized that there are many Aboriginal peoples, Chinese seniors, and homeless people suffering in the city of Vancouver due to discrimination. This leadership program really widened my understanding of these problems and has helped me find the motivation to help my community via my school's LEO club program.

anxjso 2 / 3 1  
Jan 14, 2017   #2
You mentioned about your LEO club program but you did not explain what it is. Talk more about it and how it will help.
Holt - / 7,529 2001  
Jan 15, 2017   #3
Daniel, there is a problem with the essay that you have written. It focuses too much on the experience of the formerly homeless person. Notice that more than half of what you have written talks about his experience and his life and how he was treated. The way I see it, you can still use the same essay but reverse the discussion so that the focus will move to you instead. Write this as a reflective essay based upon your experience of interacting with this person. That means you will only summarize his experience in lieu of you coming to an understanding of the world around you. This essay will not focus on something that this experience taught you about yourself because, as a non homeless person, you cannot truly relate to what he has experienced. However, you can discuss how his experience has changed the way that you view the world around you. The world that both of you live in.
OP Dluusional 1 / 2  
Jan 15, 2017   #4
Thank you for the response! I would have never realized this error by myself!

This is what I have now.

//

While volunteering at the Chinatown Youth Leadership Program in the summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to meet a formerly homeless person that lives in the Downtown eastside of Vancouver. He had a touching story that changed my perspective on life.

He told me about his time on the streets where he would constantly be assaulted by law enforcement due to his aboriginal background and homelessness. It was evident that he was a victim of discrimination.

Before I met him, my world view was much simpler. Since I had a very peaceful upbringing, I was not aware that such a significant amount of people could have been suffering in a large and prosperous city such as Vancouver. I had not even begun to think of the homeless as real people with emotions and feelings.

Ever since this meeting, I have gotten much more involved with my community. I have realized that there are many Aboriginal peoples, Chinese seniors, and homeless people suffering in the city of Vancouver due to discrimination. This leadership program really widened my understanding of these problems and has helped me find the motivation to help my community via my school's LEO club program.

//

Do you think the edits I have made have fixed the problems? How else can I further improve this?
Again thank you for the feedback, as the deadline is in just under 14 hours the panic is slowing settling in haha.

@Holt

Whoops, I forgot to use the reply button for my reply.
Holt - / 7,529 2001  
Jan 16, 2017   #5
Daniel, if you still have the word space, you should try to delve on a deeper reflection of how that meeting affected you personally. That is not clearly shown in the essay. The current response is good, but shallow in content. So you need to create a more compelling reason for your desire to help these people beyond the story you were told. Put yourself in his shoes. If you were the homeless man, do you think you would have survived your time in the streets? Why or why not? Create an emotional connection that shows how your point of view about the homeless now stems from your realization that your life is privileged and as such, you will do what you can to help the less fortunate. That is how you show the development of a personal and world point of view.
sweetsenior 4 / 7 2  
Jan 16, 2017   #6
I think your essay could get much stronger if you emphasized how you felt when you heard that man's story. Rather than "I realized life is not all rainbows and unicorns" you could really get deeper into how you felt, how you used empathy and what your feelings were.

Other than that, I think overall this is a really strong essay.
Good luck on your applications. :)


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