Sample Essays:

Before and After Working with US

Here we have examples of college essays produced by four EAS students (A, B, C, and D). The before examples are essays written by the student either on their own or through another educational consulting company. Sample Student A graduated from a large public high school with a 3.8 GPA and 1900 SAT score.  Despite applying to several schools, she was disappointed with her outcomes, particularly with her denial from the University of California at Berkeley.  With no satisfactory school to attend, she took a gap year.  During her gap year, she spoke with a former EAS student attending UC Berkeley (who made the referral to EAS).  We reviewed her essay, made an assessment and devised a strategy to produce better results.  After working with EAS, she produced stellar essays highlighting her leadership and she was admitted to UC Berkeley. Sample Student B was accepted into the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), with a 3.8 GPA and 1700 SAT score. The student in Sample C was accepted into three UC Schools with a 3.08 GPA after submitting their EAS assisted essay. Student D  (both UC Prompt #1 and UC Prompt #2) was admitted to Berkeley with a 3.8 GPA and 1680 SAT score.

Sample Student A: UC Prompt #1


Applied to Berkeley in 2012: Denied Admission (Without EAS assistance)
Describe the world you come from—for example, your family, community or school—and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. I stand up as the bus approaches. The flat faced, round-featured vehicle has become so familiar that its presence comforts me. We were first acquainted four years ago when, in a yellow uniform with bold black lettering, it greeted me on my first day of high school. Every school day since, we’ve traveled three hours together, getting to know every patch of gridlock and punishing pothole between home and Hamilton. I was even introduced to its friends and family—metros of every color and number. Commute has become an essential feature of my life, and transit has physically fastened by world.

It is never crowded at the first stop, so I have the privilege of randomly selecting which confetti-upholstered seat I will occupy for the hour. I take a window seat and put in my ear buds. I behold the setting as it rapidly changes beyond the scratched, plexi-glass window. Observation is one of the most important skills I have acquired in commute. Through observation, one can detect the ambience and therefore adaptations necessary for a setting. For example, the temperament of Chatsworth—the tired cowboy town located in a super-suburb of LA that I call my home—is very different than the atmosphere of mid-city Los Angeles—the multicultural metropolis that houses Hamilton High School. These vastly different focal points of my life have guaranteed me an ability to adapt and adjust to my surroundings. They have also suggested to me the importance of multiculturalism.

I watch people get on and off of the bus, paying specific attention to the racial variety. This mix of people is absent from Chatsworth. Throughout middle school, I struggled to feel sound in such a homogeneous hometown. The cultural composition of my high school, however, satisfied my desire for not only diversity in people, but diversity in experience. I have flourished in this environment, for it has enriched my understanding of people and fostered my sense of compassion. This sentiment is not met without action, for in transit I have also learned that importance of forward motion. In a bus, everyone is progressing together through one vehicle, and I have applied that concept to my own aspirations.

The first hour of travel is concluded in an auditory fashion, my steps mimicking the walking bass line in my ears. Music has always been an important part of my world—a soft accompaniment there for every ride, however bumpy.

With accustomed awareness, I cross the street and enter the metro-rail station, making my way to the train car. It is suited in silver, slick and serious compared to my old, yellow friend. Rather than choosing an unappealingly upholstered seat, I stand. The jolting start of the train reminds me that there is always tumult in transit, but I can endure it because of the balance learned on other buses. It does not matter, my destination—it matters how I choose to get there, and all I learn along the way.


Applied to Berkeley in 2013: ADMITTED (EAS assisted) 

Describe the world you come from—for example, your family, community or school—and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. 

My childhood was saturated with soul music. I grew up beside a piano, passionately singing over my father’s accompaniment. I chose the Academy of Music at Hamilton High School to pursue my love for singing. My family supported my aspirations, but was skeptical of the three hour commute. However, I convinced them to let me attend.

Hamilton, the most diverse school in LAUSD, was unlike my homogenous home town. The choir was full of students from all ethnicities. Our shared passion for singing created racial harmony, and we thrived. But, outside of choir, we self-segregated. Like measures in a bar, we were sectioned off on the quad at lunch by an invisible social standard. I recognized this prelude to prejudice from a previous experience. In junior high, some students with my skin color called themselves white supremacists. They refused to associate with anyone outside of their race, and bullied me because I wouldn’t do the same. I was raised in a family where color was irrelevant, and racism was unacceptable.

In high school, I wouldn’t allow social barriers to inspire hate. I joined a local anti-racist organization called AWARE-LA to develop skills to approach the subject. I learned about political correctness, cultural awareness, and white privilege. When I was well versed in this vocabulary, I began practicing it at Hamilton. I received sanction from my school and the sponsorship from my AP US History teacher to start the first Cultural Integration Club (CIC). My history class cultivated my interest in social justice. I enjoyed learning the origins of these lingering issues.

In CIC, I facilitated conversation about issues of race in our school, encouraged culture exchange and created a safe space for discussion. We sat in the center of the quad championing our unification and unwillingness to conform to social norms. I received a Princeton Prize in Race Relations. I want to attend a UC because diversity is similarly valued.

I attended Hamilton in the pursuit of one passion and discovered another. My avidity toward social justice led me to introduce another cause to campus-- feminism. Wednesdays I fought against racial iniquity, and Thursdays I combatted gender inequality in Girls Learn International (GLI). As a member of GLI's Junior Advisory Board and president of my schools’ club, I led fund raisers and advocated for girls' rights. I even got the opportunity to attend the United Nations 57th Commission on the Status of Women as GLI Student Delegate. The UN CSW57 collectively represented both culture and gender. I was intrigued by the overlap in agendas, and intend on taking culture and gender studies courses at a UC. The experience shaped and cemented my goal to one day be the US Ambassador to the United Nations.

Last summer, I exercised my interest in the culture and global community by traveling through Europe on my own. I intend on spending time abroad while in college. In my gap year, I expect to travel and work abroad. I currently intern for GLI and Feminist Majority Foundation, as to build the foundations for my future at the UN.

Sample Student B:
UC Prompt #1


Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. With only 10 dollars in my wallet, I was ready to get started on my day.  I was not exactly sure of what I would do, but I picked up the phone and started to dial my friend’s number.  It was time for me to step out of my house and take in rays of the sun and the fresh air that got together with everyone else, the plan was to just go to the beach.  The beach was not where usually went to, this one seemed to be more isolated from any city.  The rocks, wet from the waves that kept splashing on them, were glittering under the sun.  As we set our stuff near the rocks, we could hear the sound of the ocean, with each wave luring us.  I placed one foot into the warm water creating chills of excitement all through my body.  I spent the whole day just around my friends enjoying the time filled with laugher and creating memories that will help shape who we are.

I value the time with my friends and family because every moment I spend with them becomes a part of who I am.  Learning from their mistakes and their accomplishments gives me the idea of what I should or should not be doing.  My friends accept me for who I am as I accept them for all of their unique personalities.  Being with them gives me a chance to just forget all of my worries going on at that time and simply live in the moment.  With my family it is the same and without them in my life I am not sure where I would be or who I would be.

I come from a family that values education.  Although my parents did not have the opportunity to finish school as far as they wanted to, I see the struggles that they face because they did not have an education.  This has motivated me to take advantage of the chance I have to get a free education, even though it is not always easy for me.  My dream is to be able to get a full education and to get a degree in something that I could be able to use for the future.  Not many of my family members have been able to get that far.  I think that in the end it will benefit me and my family when I do have a degree because I will be able to help them out with anything and I won’t have to depend on others but myself.  Just to be in college for a degree, I will be able to gain a new experience outside of home and environment.  I want to be able to travel to many different places as I get older and experience being in a new world and culture and get to meet people with whom I would not normally hang out with.  I believe that life is just being able to step out of your comfort zone and experience something new every day.


Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. “Take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you and use them to make a better future for yourself.” These are the words that my mother always says to me in Spanish, from the time I was really young.

Although I never took these words seriously at first, I now realize the importance of this small but significant quote.  While most mothers say this to their children, these words coming from my mother, who faced the challenge of being a single mother and raising my brother and I, will always resonate with me. My father left when I was 9, but even before then he was rarely present. Not only was this an emotional stress on our family, but we also faced economic hardships that led to the loss of our home. At the brink of bankruptcy, we were forced to move to shelter home for a year, and even then it did not seem like a tragedy. Instead, it offered my brother and me a playground, field trips, Christmas and birthday presents; it became our home. We were not aware that our mother made all this and more, possible. Our innocence was truly bliss.

Though we moved several times for the better, after living in the shelter home, there was never a moment where I lost my drive in school. Fortunately, I never had to change schools, but it was challenging getting adjusted to my new home and environment. Nevertheless, it was a challenge I was willing to take. My family always stressed the importance of education to become successful not just financially but also to grow as a person. Although my parents were not able to finish school as far as they wanted to back in their home country Mexico, I see the obstacles that they face as a result. Most of my family have limited choices and are usually stuck in one or more jobs working endless hours for very little. Unlike them, I will have the independence to make my own choices, and avoid situations they withstood. In the end, my education will be my liberation from the endless cycle of poverty that has passed down from each generation.

It was during this year in the shelter home that really influenced what I wanted to do after going to college. Seeing how people in the shelter home made a difference in my life by providing me with academic resources, food and shelter, I knew that I wanted to do the same with other people. Beyond home, at school, an interest of human physiology developed through videos and illustrations. From that time on, it was clear to me that I would work in health care.

My life experiences have shaped my dreams of pursuing a higher education, and eventually provide my community with better health care. Even become part of the Doctors without Borders that goes along my desire to travel to different places to experience new worlds and cultures other than my own and meet new people. Furthermore, I want to be part of UC PRIME, that trains future health care workers to help disadvantaged people receive the medical care they need. In thirty years I want to look back and see that everything was worth working for, that I took advantage of every opportunity that I was faced with. Although, I faced many struggles, I was fortunate to have a family that supported me. Now it is my time to return the favor- now that graduation is right around the corner, and that the future I always dreamed about, is finally at my doorstep.

Sample Student C:
UC Prompt #1


Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are? “Let’s go!” “Hurry up!” I heard my friend and his brother calling outside. It was 10 after 7 and we were running late. I picked up my stuff and ran out the door into my friend’s car. We were on our way to our church for bass practice since neither of us owned a bass due to how expensive they are. We eagerly arrived to find our teacher waiting patiently and we picked up the borrowed basses and began to strum the thick, metal strings. Hearing that deep tone of the instrument made putting off my homework that night at practice worthwhile. Song after song we did not stop practicing no matter how much we got tired or how much our fingers ached. Especially my friend, he could not put that base down and he always said he could never put it down because he didn’t have one of his own. Wrists tired, legs wobbling because of all that practice like any normal teenagers we got hungry and felt like we needed to reward ourselves with some food and we all decided to go somewhere to eat. In my mind I knew that I should have went home and hit the books but our music teacher said it was on him and we all agreed and went out.

We chose one of our favorite places to eat, 50 wings for four heads and we feasted. We talked about everything that night from the past, to the present, to the future, our goals and aspirations, friends, relationships, and even school, which was one of my least favorite subjects to talk about. I didn’t mind though because never had I felt so close to my friends even though I have known them for 6 years and it was just a few hour conversation. Finger licking, wing dipping, and bone picking we were content with our snack. But we couldn’t call it a night just yet we still all wanted to talk and spend more time with each other so we all decided to go to my friend’s house and invite other friends to hang out for a bit.

We watched movies, played video games, and enjoyed each others company at my friend’s apartment. We had all been there for a while already and another one of our friends that hadn’t gone to eat with us got hungry, but he was too hesitant to ask for food. I personally, found it odd that they didn’t bother to offer in the first place. He finally couldn’t take it any more and asked his younger sister if she could give him a snack. She told him to help himself to anything that was in the kitchen; but when he opened the fridge it was completely empty. We were both in shock and even looked through the cabinets but there was nothing to be found. I wasn’t sure what to think. I wondered if they hadn’t went to the store earlier that week or if they had already ate everything but something about this situation was just a bit too skeptical.

A bunch of thoughts kept racing through my mind. My biggest concern was that if they didn’t have food to begin with why wouldn’t they say anything to anyone. Just earlier that night we talked about everything but, was their situation so personal that they couldn’t even speak of it to anyone? After 6 years of friendship and going to their house numerous times I had never noticed how much this family needed. It made me look at a lot of things differently. It made me realize that my friend started working at the age of 16 for a reason – they needed the money, it also made me realize that his brother was dedicated to school so much because he wanted to become something in the future so he could help out his family. All these realizations helped me realize that I need to work hard and do good in school so that some day I could have a good future. However, seeing my friends in a situation like this not only made me want to work hard for myself but for others as well.

I couldn’t wait 10 years to help others; I knew I had to start somewhere even if it wasn’t always those that were needy. People need help everywhere whether it’s with school, church, the environment, anywhere in the community. I am glad to say that I have participated in a lot of activities with helping others even before making the decision of becoming a social worker.

I enjoyed all the activities I partook in; starting with making food deliveries for a non-profit organization that helps families and their students get to college. Not only did I intern for this program but I am also a student with a dream of going to college and reaching my goals. This involvement led me to be a part of another organization where groups of teenagers try to make the community aware of the environmental issues around us and actually try and do something about it. During the time that I was involved with them I had the pleasure of planting oak trees in the city, be a part of building ideas for a new super adobe home, and even the chance to be interviewed on public television to talk about the environmental issues. Even though all these experiences were great they do not match the fulfillment I get when I help children.

Tutoring younger children one-on-one, babysitting for parents that had no money to pay someone to watch their children are my favorite things to do, but the one that tops them all is helping my mother out at her job working with special education kids. I have been volunteering at there since the age of 9. 7 years of volunteering, the most memorable year was the summer of 2010 when I worked with the 3 and 4 year olds. Teaching children the alphabet, their colors, and shapes made giving up my break off school worth it.

However, the children weren’t the only ones that were getting educated; that summer I learned that even though these children are helpless and innocent they are often mistreated by abusive parents. Most of the children that are disabled have a hard home life or are adopted and there are very few people that take notice in that. I hope that my actions right now in high school pay off so that I can continue to be educated and go to grad school to do what I love most with the type of kids that I love the most.


Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are? A group of us were at a friend’s house relaxing after bass practice. I was supposed to be home studying. One friend got hungry and asked for a snack. He was told to help himself but only found an empty fridge. I wasn’t sure what to think, but this situation was alarming. I had been to their house numerous times and never noticed that this family couldn’t afford the basic necessities. I realized that my friend started working at an early age because his family needed the money and his brother’s dedication to school was his way of helping. Shortly after that incident I realized that I needed to take my education more seriously. At the beginning of my junior year, my grades improved and through hard work I realized that I wanted to go to college; not only better myself but to also help others in need like my friends.

I wanted to help immediately; I could not wait until college. I began volunteering for a non-profit organization by making food deliveries and helping out as an intern. I also got involved in another program in which students get the opportunity to raise awareness of environmental issues in the community. I also got the chance to tutor children and assist at my church’s children’s ministry. Even though all these experiences have impacted my life greatly, my career choice has been influenced while volunteering at my mother’s job working with the special needs children in elementary school. She’s worked there since 2004 and I began volunteering in 2008. However, the summer of 2010, working with three and four year olds was the most memorable. These children are often looked down upon for being different, but I believe that they have potential. That summer I learned that many of them are mistreated or ignored because of careless parents. Although it takes more patience and understanding to help these children; working with them reassures me that I want to help children with more things than just school one day.

Going to college is the first step in pursuing my dreams to help others. By receiving an education in social work, I hope to continue studying until I receive my PhD and help my community. I hope that my actions in high school pay off so that I can continue to fulfill my passion of working with youth and impacting my community.

Sample Student D:
UC Prompt #1


Describe the world you come from—for example, your family, community or school—and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. My mother has always taught us that simple satisfaction comes from the accomplishments we seize to overcome.  My family, although dysfunctional, has been the talisman in my life: honest, proud, and full of discipline.  It is imponderable to delegate the real purpose of my dream to make the world a place where fear is not the reason for disillusions but where fear is held captive as a motivation to pursue the impossible.

The neglect from my father, emotionally and physically, left my brothers and sisters to raise me while my mother provided for five children on her own.  There were days where we did not have much to eat or supply us with since each of us had different necessities; nonetheless, we all have been able to pull through to achieve a backbone of our own.  As all of my siblings are older, I realized my maturity came sooner than the usual age. By fourteen, I had seen enough to leave me amazed and aware of the horrid scenes that can either ruin or make a child’s life.  The low temperance of my siblings discussing money issues to my brother giving my older brother a black eye; my uncle physically beating my aunt with a blender; my cousin’s circuitous visitation at juvenile hall; my mother breaking her ankle when I was a freshman in high school have shaped me as an individual to consider a different life path which many consider a stereotype.

The downfall of my mother about three years ago made me realize that everything I ever witnessed was never as significant as this.  She has not been able to work since then and the doctor has advised her to get knee surgery in a couple of months.  My brothers have made a home of their own and my sister is planning to move out to make hers.  My preceding sister is attending graduate school and it makes me wonder where my mother will be while I attend college.  Who will care for her and who will be there to comfort her as she has to us?  The home we have built is not the home I see my mother resting in.  Giving her a home of her own, one where her siblings enjoy flaunting will bring her at ease with her dream to have what she came to build thirty years ago.  With maturity comes responsibility and it is my responsibility to care for my mother as the last child, according to my sister.  The stress they have emphasized on me to do bigger things than they have rides heavily on my shoulders to attain to their needs since they have provided for mine.  I have been disciplined many times to be excellent at everything I do and in an astonishing way it has motivated to seek knowledge as a powerful tool in life.

My cheerful attitude and zestful personality often comes off as irresponsible teen who leads fellow colleagues to believe I am not capable of achieving great things or amazing grades.  Yet, the knowledge I seek to possess has made the utterance of unnecessary comments regress in apologies.  It has happened throughout my life, accustomed, as it may seem, it still builds the confidence to continue my grand life on the road to an intellectual path.  Obtaining knowledge from eclectic origins and cultures makes me appreciative of the motivation and dedication I have towards my family and my self-perception.

I am not ashamed on my culture or my origins, for they have shaped me into who I am today.  My Mexican-American heritage has made me feel blessed because I preserve what my ancestors left behind to take under my own life expectancy.  Knowing that many look down on Hispanics because some cannot seem to find the right direction as my family and I have, makes me aware that there needs to be change in the Hispanic community as well as others that do not have the advantage to overcome what others already have.  “Don’t give the Hernandez family a bad name.  Make your grandfather proud” runs through my mind as I overcome things I never thought possible.  The pride that runs within the depths of my veins throughout my childhood and my teenage years to be the best I could be for myself has begun to taken its toll.

Living on the verge of vandalism and gang related violence from my cousins has set my goal to become affiliated with Homeland Security and a field study where crime is not the motif why many children are not attending school.  Volunteering in my community and at my local park for about a year has opened my eyes to the change many Hispanic families wish to obtain.  To rid of the crime and violence that steals mothers from their sons and daughters.  To rid of the stereotypes which cease to destroy their entire culture, my culture, and the cultures surrounding it.  Creating social unison within those who do not feel safe of confident nor assisted in their homes has driven me as a student to hunger for something many families have not been able to grasp as a whole just yet.


Describe the world you come from—for example, your family, community or school—and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. My family’s unison, without the presence of my father, has always been the source for my inspiration.  Honest, proud, dysfunctional, and full of encouraging discipline, my family has stuck together. Although our Hispanic community has been weakened due to gang affiliations and drug trafficking, my family has motivated me to create a positive stereotype for my Mexican-American community.

During my freshman year, my mother broke her ankle and lost her job, leaving her to rely on unemployment checks for the past three years. My mother plans to continue working when she is able to, but the doctor has advised her that prior to the ankle surgery, she now needs knee surgery. Her struggle to support me has made me recognize the sacrifices I have to make to achieve my independence as an upcoming college student. My eldest sister, Erika, enrolled me in schools distant from my home community so I wouldn’t follow the wrong footsteps. Commuting to Hollywood during my first semester was difficult, since I had to wake up at 5:30 A.M. and come home until 6:30 PM due to basketball practice. I had to shower and feed my mother while making sure that I finished all my homework on time. My grandfather’s sudden fall that pronounced him brain dead further depressed my mother. I had to make sure she would not get sick while my other siblings were working. The quality time I have spent with my mother has made me proud of whom and what I am today. I have driven myself to make sure that my surroundings don’t influence me into a different direction.

The cultural stereotypes that have been given to the Hispanic community because of gang affiliations have led me to seek a law enforcement career. Not every Hispanic out in Los Angeles wants to be a rebel when students like me are trying to go to school and be successful. The lack of encouragement within my community and the negligent police power towards young children has motivated me to dedicate my life to children under pressure. The ignorance of children who use marijuana, alcohol, and ecstasy inspires me to make sure generations do not possess illegal drugs.

Receiving a Bachelor’s in Pre-Law and Sociology and then attending graduate school for a Juris Doctorate would be an example that there is an alternative choice and that is attending school. Being a future mentor in my university’s Government and Community Relations internship program to younger generations would build towards a career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Police Force, and the Peace Corps that creates an aura of security and stability.

Sample Student D:
UC Prompt #2


Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you.  What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are? My strongest asset as an individual is not my drive nor my commitment, but the irony that sustains my mind to feed off things that make no concrete connection.  Over time, I have come to realize that things do not make sense, or so they don’t in my life.  The detachment I feel of things that are so close makes me wonder why such things ponder.  The fact that my mind intertwines with negative responses instead of positive ones gives me the self-satisfaction that my dreams are achievable when someone puts them down in a dubious way.  The commitment I have to perceive my goals and the confidence I have in myself for creating illusions into realities joyfully depicts my personal motivation.  I seek things that do not make sense in order for me to find its purpose and its symbolic meaning of why it exists and what remarkable memoir it wishes to achieve.

When I was in elementary, my father’s presence was lucid and present.  His convenience was the materialistic providing he would give almost every Sunday afternoon.  All the things I wished for were unessential and unnecessary but I never noticed how naïve I was being in requesting so much and calling it fatherly love.  It was not until I was in the middle of my middle school years that I realized all my father wanted me to be was like my sister Betty.  She is intelligent, responsible, and mature; everything a father wishes in his daughter.  I discovered an impalpable feeling of disappointment and neglect from my father.  Until this day, my father has not been able to keep comparisons out of the subject since my sister has made her own independent studies impressive.  Until this day, my father does not even remember my birthday.  However, I do not hold it against him because he has not truly developed a bond where his understanding mattered.

It is my drive to make my own name which my father has never been fully aware I obtain.  A name not consistent with my sister’s but with the same value he seems to always tout her with.  I do not wish to make my father tout me but I wish to make myself stand out of the shadow of others.  The shadow in which many live but one I no longer wish to stand after so many years.  The exuberance I feel out of something that has caused me to doubt myself amazes me.

It is my drive to make my own name which my father has never been fully aware I obtain.  A name not consistent with my sister’s but with the same value he seems to always tout her with.  I do not wish to make my father tout me but I wish to make myself stand out of the shadow of others.  The shadow in which many live but one I no longer wish to stand after so many years.  The exuberance I feel out of something that has caused me to doubt myself amazes me.

I tried so hard to follow the footsteps of my siblings but during my freshman year I began to become rebellious and I began to lose myself.  I no longer waned to feel as if everything I did was for someone else’s approval or acknowledgement.  I had to make a path.  A path that would lead me where I wanted to go and would gain me the internal satisfaction I sought.  As I began involving myself in school clubs and activities.  I felt as if nothing was in my way but my own connection.  The connection I made with my father and his words that so easily flustered me.  I had matured since I was fourteen, but had reached the climax to my independent maturity when I was sixteen.

By trying to find my own motivation, I found my pride to be self-evident in the choices I began making as an individual.  I began to feel proud of my own commitments and achievements rather than my families or colleagues.  I grew from my father’s into my own independent backbone.  I no longer ask for anything due to the acquisition that I have to figure it out on my own through obstacles I set myself to overcome.  The one’s others have pulled through do not summarily juxtapose to the one’s I will have to bear in the long-run.  I am proud to be able to say to myself “you did it” even when I felt like I could not.  Being able to commit myself to my extra-curricular activities without anyone trying to force me to make me see how I could become responsible in my own way.

My own emotion has made me into a strong, well-rounded student.  I have been able to take to negative and turn it into positive without noticing the sudden change.  The commitment I have sensed towards my studies and basketball has allowed me to manage so much I thought I would never be able to.  The stress is a challenge I am always willing to overcome because it brings me one step closer to my dreams.


Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experiences that is important to you.  What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are? My experience with peers turning towards gangs, drugs, and alcohol wasn’t the encouragement I sought. Meeting my supervisors, especially Manny, who confronted gang members himself at Normandie Park, allowed me to make the change I desired within younger generations during my junior year.

A staff member, Dave, called and asked if I was interested in coaching a minor’s basketball team during the summer. Rather skeptical, I answered, “Can I call you back?” I asked myself whether I was capable of managing my time, school, and children all at the same time! After contemplating for a week, I called him back and said I was up for job. Coaching nine and ten year old children had never been an expertise of mine but with the assistance of parents I was able to connect with the children’s likes and dislikes. As the head coach, seeing your team lose four games in a row with eight saddened faces was very devastating.

Patience is golden, according to Manny, who was my advisor during the season. I needed a game plan and it was frustrating that I could not get my team a win. Three times a week, we would practice in the afternoon but it wasn’t enough. I needed them to work as a team, but three of them were fixed on themselves that they forgot about their teammates. During Key Club events, I remembered we played games to break the ice between new and acquainted members. I had the players make a circle and hold each other’s hands in order for them to get out of a twist. They did not like my game at all, but I assured them that with my guidance and their patience, they would be able to get out of it. They had finally worked as a team and they enjoyed the few games we would have against each other that would bring us together. We began winning games, but my oldest player, Wilbert, would isolate himself because he was mature. One day, Wilbert came to practice and said he didn’t want to play anymore. I felt like I had failed him as his coach because I didn’t know what he needed. I took him aside and told him he was the leader of this group, but his gaze was not focused on his team. The following afternoon, I did not expect him at our game, however; he arrived with smiles and apologized for stating that he did not want to play for his team anymore. He was glad he was the leader of team and I was content that he did not leave. With teamwork and dedication, I led my first minor’s team to win their first league championship.

I call these children my own because throughout my experience I was able to connect with them as they conversed with me about school and how they loved playing basketball. As I think about who they look up to, I think of the downfalls society will impose upon them in a few years. Focusing younger generations in extracurricular activities and exercise has made me realize how important children are to our future.