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Personal Statement - Essay Example

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Leadership/group contributions: I belong to a minority race and in my school, I had a wide friend circle in which students from different nationalities and races were present. Once, a black friend of mine happened to bump into the father of a white student in the school. The…
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Personal Statement
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1. Leadership/group contributions: I belong to a minority race and in my school, I had a wide friend circle in which from different nationalities and races were present. Once, a black friend of mine happened to bump into the father of a white student in the school. The boy was in a hurry as he had spotted an old acquaintance of his on the street outside the school compound and was trying to reach near him before he moved away without seeing him. But the white man got furious at the accident and shouted loud a racist abuse. When we friends knew of this I wanted the boy to file a complaint with the school authorities but he and all my other friends, most of them black, were afraid to do so. They feared that if they antagonized the majority white community in which the school was located, there would be a backlash. But I convinced them that such a racist comment, if went unquestioned, would lead to inner hostilities and would in the long run affect the very communal harmony that they were trying to preserve. And once the complaint was filed, I could suggest to the school authorities that the daughter (student of this school) of the accused parent had to be taken into confidence, as I knew that she was a very good-hearted girl. She in turn persuaded her father to apologize to my friend personally and in this manner, the issue was resolved peacefully, without any ill feelings and disturbing the communal peace.
2. Knowledge or creativity in a field: I have a very special interest in anthropology. I used to read, from a very early age, travel books that described different civilizations and geographical communities like mountain people, sea farers etc. It was Gulliver’s Travels (Swift) that inspired me into this taste for diversity in human life and behavior. When I grew up I started to acquire knowledge in the field of anthropology by reading books and later I started using internet. Though I am not academically following this area of study, lives of other people continue to fascinate me and I have a few friends among the scholars in this field who patiently answer my queries and doubts sent to them via email. I will describe my creativity as my ability to look at old things in a new way. It is my constant attempt to experience every moment of life as if it is the first moment in my life. For example, when I decided to make a video documentary on Native Indian community, I decided to tell their history and story through their cuisine. I could in this manner, show how the changing environment forced them to change their food habits thus affecting their close links with nature. This was an all new approach where I even attempted to associated their choice of colors with the change that they experienced in their surrounding nature and food materials.
3. Dealing with adversity: The most significant challenge that I have faced was when my parents had a serious quarrel and reached on the verge of a divorce. I was the eldest son in the family and my younger siblings were desperate at this turn of events. I knew that the basis of my parents’ quarrel was regarding the faulty financial decisions that my father took without consulting my mother. I knew that the only person my father respected was his childhood friend, Uncle Mathew, living in a far away town. He was a well known dramatist. So I collected his email id from internet and sent him a mail requesting him to intervene to reconcile my parents. He came over the next day itself and we decided that my parents would never be told that it was I who summoned him. He talked my father into admitting his fault by letting go of his false ego. Once my father genuinely apologized and promised my mother that he would consult my mother in financial matters in the future, my mother also was satisfied. We, the children, were immensely happy and we presented Uncle Mathew with a beautiful Kashmiri cap when he went back. This was the incident that also made me confident that I was resourceful enough to take the crucial step when it was most needed.
4. Community service: My community was home to three old widows who lived on their own and seldom kept contact with other members of the community. One of them had no children and her husband had died. The second one had two sons but both had some quarrel with her and never visited her. The third widow in our community had lost her son the previous year in an accident. I used to see them doing all their domestic tasks alone and I felt great sorrow seeing old people like them having to endure loneliness and physical hardships of household scores. So I set up a students’ community organization which would assign each day one boy or girl to each of the three women and help them in their daily tasks. This project became a great success and all the three women became quite friendly with us. We were greatly appreciated by the community as a whole. I was also invited to schools in neighboring towns to give brief presentations on how my community service model worked and how it could be replicated in other communities. I also undertook a documentation of this project that I carried out in my community with the special scholarship that I got from my school for inventing this unique model.
5. Handling systemic challenges: There are 12 minority families in my community. Many of the children from those families are my good friends. When a community theatre group for young people was formed in my community, under the aegis of town administration, I found that no boy from any minority groups was selected. I asked my parents about this but they said that there were no qualified youngster from those minorities who fulfilled the health parameters. But many of my friends from minority groups were disheartened by not being selected. I decided to write a letter to the Mayor of the town regarding this. The Mayor took notice of my letter, he convened a meeting, and as per the decision that emerged out of that meeting, the stringent parameters for selection were slightly relaxed. As a result, 3 young people from the minority communities got selected. What I learned from this incident was that it only takes a small step to initiate a big change. This gave me confidence and motivated me to interfere in the affairs of the community more actively for the social good.
6. Goals/task commitment: I have established three goals for myself- winning a Harry S. Truman scholarship, visiting Asian countries as a travelling photographer and learning a foreign language in the next two years. For winning the scholarship, I have so far maintained a very good academic record and have been involving wholeheartedly in community work. But I have never limited my community work to the award parameters but instead have enjoyed it in the real sense and also have given my time and energy to whatever community cause that I felt convincing. As far as my plans for the Asian trip are concerned, I have took a short term course of photography and have also been reading a lot about Asian societies and culture. I have even befriended three Asian people in my community and have been regularly interacting with them to bridge my cultural gap. Regarding my third goal, I have decided to learn Russian language. After starting my primary lessons to learn Russian, I have simultaneously started the habit of listening to Russian radio stations.
Works Cited
Swift, Jonathan, “Gulliver’s Travels”, London: Jones & Company, 1826. Print. Read More
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