For the Common App for college- this one goes to Xavier and Notre Dame!
Description: Write an personal essay based on one of the options given. This will help your college to get to know you as a person, and not just by your GPA, your test scores, and other impersonal information. It will also show your ability to communicate and express yourself.
Option chosen: Describe a significant experience you have come across, and its impact on you.
This past summer, I was blessed to be involved in a Vocations Pilgrimage through the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. A group of 9 teenagers and myself walked a distance of about 150 miles, from Maria Stein, Ohio, to Cincinnati, Ohio. It was a very prayerful and changing experience, especially in regards to the places we saw and the people we met. We stopped at many of the Catholic Churches along the way and experienced first-hand the influence the local churches have had on many of the early Irish and German settlers in my area.
One of the deeply moving experiences I encountered was a 15-minute walk from Mt. Adams, an extremely wealthy Cincinnati neighborhood, to Over-the-Rhine, an impoverished ghetto that is nationally infamous for being violent and gang-associated. They were two completely different worlds, existing right next to each other, almost mocking each other's existence. We had an abundance of food and t-shirts, and it was the final day of the pilgrimage, so we passed out almost all that we had to the people we encountered, and talked with them about their lives. It was a completely new experience for me, and filled me with joy and grief.
We finished the final stretch of our Pilgrimage on Saturday night, going through another impoverished section of the city- we passed a police car with a woman being put in the back seat, and a rather large family looking upon her two blocks down at a rusted, ramshackle playground. I heard them speaking of some fight that their daughter/sister/mother was engaged in as I walked on. We came to the final destination- a parish that was having an annual festival. The festival was fenced in- or rather, the community was fenced out- and we were greeted by many cheerful celebrators. We were given good food, but my mind was not with me- it was outside of the fence, seeing and experiencing a small amount of the pains that the locals experienced day by day. How could I sit, eat, and enjoy these luxuries while those outside did not share in my abundance? I wanted to fast more than eat. Then came the wise words of a priest whom had walked with us, quoting Christ-"the poor will always be with us."
This experience has been one of the inspirations I have had in a new Christian group at my school- I am currently working with a nun, Sr. Cathy Bauer, to set up a student group to go to Cincinnati and work at a refuge for inner-city kids. I deeply hope that it opens the eyes of the students to the real and present poverty of others- physically, emotionally, spiritually- and that it will open up a window of hope for these children, whom are not told enough that they are loved, that they are worth care, that they can reach any height they desire to reach, that they are made in the image of God. If the poor shall always be with us, then I desire to be always with them. How could I desire it any other way?
Note: The essay has a max. word count of 500, and my essay has 517 words. Could you guys possibly help me to delete anything that is unnecessary? Thank you SO much... I really appreciate it.