Archive for July, 2011

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My College Essay

July 17, 2011

Back in high school


This past week I started to help my mentee with the college essay. His response to my own college essay inspired me to make it public. The essay caused a huge uproar in my family. Some were supportive. Others felt that I was airing out the dirty laundry. I was puzzled by all of the drama. I wrote this essay without thinking about the impact it would have. This was the essay that won me many scholarships and got me into mostly every school I applied to.

If there’s one thing I learned, it is that no one should be silent. One’s story can inspire and empower a person for the better. I’ve came a long way since I’ve written this essay about six years ago. I’m proud of that. I’m even more proud of how far my family has come. I ask you to keep them in your prayers in this very important week for them. So in the spirit of my much more revealing testimony, I present to you my college essay (in it’s original form, sightly revised for a little more clarity):

The beginning of my life is kind of a blur to me. I can remember as far as five years old. I have been through a lot in my life. It all started in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. My mother and father dropped out of high school in their junior year.

My father was a stock boy at a Key Food Supermarket and my mother is on welfare. I was born when my mother was 18. Living in East Flatbush was the happier part of my life but there were bad experiences. My maternal grandmother and uncle lived right down the street. Sometimes I would go to their house to eat or play video games with my uncle.

My father used to work at a corner store that is right next to where we once lived. He used to bring candy home for me. Two years after my brother was born, we were forced out of our apartment.

After two weeks at my maternal grandfather’s house we moved to Linden Projects in East New York, Brooklyn. I was in the third grade at P.S. 306. My parents were always on my back all throughout elementary school. This made me happy because it made me feel like I was being loved and cared for.

When I went to junior high my parents just left me in the dark. In the seventh grade my grandmother died the day after I was with her and she never got to see my little sister become one. I did not go to school for about two weeks.

Before I went to Westinghouse High School, I had a crush on a girl named Candice. At one point I got jumped by a group of sixth graders. It was over me looking into one kid’s class. He did not like that. We were going to fight one on one but then all of his people came and they beat me up in front of Candice. She did not do anything. After that I did not have a crush on her and I left junior high without a word to anyone.

I came into the ninth grade with the same mindset as junior high. As a result I got a 65 in Intro to Computers. Before I entered Pace University Upward Bound in the summer of 2002, I was riding my bike across a street. I was trying to beat the light. I got hit by a car.

I was really scared and I am so lucky that I came out of that okay. In the tenth grade I realized a lot of things. I realized that high school was the real deal, and the my mother and father drank and smoked and my grandmother was the glue in my family. This is when everything in my household went downhill. My father is a violent man.

My father would hit my brother, sister and me very hard and he would hit my mother too. Sometimes I would step in to protect her and those times my father would fight me. After I helped my mother out once I was about to go to sleep when my father came and choked me while I was in bed. He told me the next time I put my hands on him he would beat me with a bat. I woke up in the morning with three scratches on my neck.

I started to win awards for my excellent grades in the tenth grade and my parents never came to the award ceremonies. I got inducted into the National Honors Society at the end of the tenth grade and my parents did not come to the induction ceremony. When I would show my parents my record card, they would not say anything at all. In my life I trust my best friends with everything. My best friends and my uncle are the only ones I talk to.

I care about my best friends and I thank God for bring them into my life. I do well in school because I do not want to end up like my parents. I want to live my own life. I want to have a new beginning and I believe that your college can give me that.

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