but this essay needs a lot of work to be persuasive.
The introduction falters. It doesn't act as that strong "hook" that you need.
Wow, I don't know, man... I was pretty hooked!
Use hyphens for "year-old":
As an innocent eight year-old, I was making the best
of the opportunity to come
All I want to do is make my parents proud. ---- What a powerful sentence, here...
This essay really is persuasive. I don't know what Noto is talking about! ;-) Obviously, that is some great writing advice that Noto offered, though...
If you need to shorten the essay, you'll have to cut some of the details and story in the middle of the essay. Taking a chunk of story out of the middle will be regrettable, because you write so well, but it will focus the essay more on the main idea that Noto was discussing.
It turns that one of the couples had passed away after an inebriated, off-
duty cop collided with them on route 1-9.