Total Pages: 4 Words: 1357 Bibliography: 0 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay
Essay Instructions: Personal Essay for a scholarship grant: Please state why you are applying, why you are pursuing post-baccalaureate or professional studies, how the Society's commitment to academic excellence will be furthered by your studies, and your commitment to campus and community service.
I plan to further my career by pursuing a masters in nursing.
An extract that I wrote from a paper on volunteering that might help in writing the paper are:
Giving back to my community is something I do not take for granted and I hold it as a duty that must be accomplished. Volunteering runs in my veins and it was cultivated in me from a very young age. As a teenager, I would volunteer three weeks out of my summer holiday and work with physicians at a local clinic in Lagos, Nigeria. I would diligently carry supplies for the doctor as he did his rounds. I also observed the doctors as they performed surgical procedures and patient care. As a little girl with a sheltered upbringing, it was an eye opening experience, which ended up being my first hands on experience working in a hospital setting. I later decided at the age of fifteen that I wanted to dedicate my time at various orphanages mainly in Lagos. I serve as a mentor and an elder sister to young children especially girls. I give them a sense of hope that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. I am devoted to this orphanage and I spend at least one month every year inNigeria to help this great cause. My most recent project, which I am passionate for, is what I do with the Canadian Red Cross. I volunteer with the Street relief program a department of the Canadian Red Cross where I work with homeless people and poverty affected communities. We serve hot meals to theses affected population three times a week and we provide a health bus where homeless people can get free health care from doctors and nurses. It is more rewarding for me than it is for them because I derive a great form of satisfaction volunteering.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: For Writergrrl101
This will be for 2 required supplemental questions to the Rice University application. The specific question is:
Need 700 words for this: 1. The quality of Rice's academic life and the Residential College System are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What perspective do you feel that you will contribute to life at Rice? (Most applicants are able to respond successfully in two to three double-spaced pages.)
200 words for this: 2. What motivated you to apply to Rice University? Please be specific and limit your response to 200 words.
Below are essays, a resume, and 2 letters of recommendation that Rice already has for you to get a sense of what would be best.
Catch of the Day
Each summer, my family and I visit my grandparents at their home on Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas. Mother promotes it as an opportunity to fish, swim, and water-ski to our hearts’ content. But I know the truth. Grandfather runs low on firewood in the summer, and he loves free labor, namely Dad and me. At age twelve, my summer holiday is spent at a forced labor camp with a stunning view.
Grandfather is very intelligent, cultured, and polished, when he isn’t swearing at his chainsaw. I admire him. He is a slave driver when it comes to felling trees and chopping logs. He comes from a time of struggle, believing that when things need to be done, you do it. Bellyaching produces nothing.
At sunrise, we drive across his vast property in his bright red truck with the trailer rattling behind and begin chopping trees. We work silently. I hear only the smack of the axe as it slices through the air and attacks the trunk. As soon as we finish one tree, Grandfather curses at the chainsaw until it sputters back to life, and we start all over, laboring until the sky dims.
My reward for arduous labor is my first fishing trip with Grandfather. This is a momentous occasion, and it begins with a safety lesson. “I do not want a hook in my neck.” I stare at him blankly. “I do not want a hook in my neck, so be careful casting your line.” He repeats himself, so I know it must be important. I store his concerns away right where every twelve-year-old boy does, somewhere.
We enter the lake as dawn begins to shimmer on the water. When we cut the boat motor, the summer air sits so still we can practically hear the fish swimming below. Grandfather unlatches his tackle box and begins searching for the perfect lure. Every time he does so, he behaves as if someone has taken everything from its previous position and put it somewhere entirely new. Sometimes, he rummages so long, he convinces me of the conspiracy too. How else can one loose a hook in a two shelved tin tackle box? There are only fifteen or so places for lures anyway. Finally, after considerable digging and grumbling, he locates just the right one.
I know I am in the company of greatness. Grandfather is a legend. He is the angler that every fisherman secretly wants to be. I am the heir to my grandfather’s talent. I feel it with every ounce of my being. I will apprentice with the Jedi fish master. Grandfather is my Obi-Wan Kenobi.
I watch him reel and cast several times, anticipating magic. I am sure his fishing rod will beam brightly, and fish will scurry to be his first catch of the day. I watch and wait. His rod does not beam. “Are you going to collect dust, or are you going to fish?”
It was like Joe DiMaggio stepping away from home plate and offering me the bat. Grandfather will learn that I possess his astonishing talent too. On his deathbed, he will die happy, knowing that I carry the fishing torch for the family name. I rustle about in my tackle box, looking for the magic. “Boy, you’ve only got four lures, pick one before the fish forget how to eat.”
I grab the largest lure, one that my grandfather entrusted to me only hours before. I attach it and stare out across open water, scanning for potential prospects. I connect with the fish. I imagine them through the water. I mentally feel their presence, not wanting to squander my cast on a measly mortal fish. I will amaze and astound Grandfather. I will prove to him that his genes live on.
“The fish are not going to jump in the boat, boy.” Grandfather is as excited as me. In the glory of the moment, knowing that my mark is thirty feet in front of me, I cast my line. I expect to see my expertly placed cast ripple the water as the fish of my dreams grabs the lure. Instead, I hear a moan, followed by swearing and the resounding thud of a rod striking the bottom of an aluminum boat. I see my mentor grip his neck. I think a curse word, an awful one. I reach back to assist him, but he raises his hand and snorts at me.
I watch as he unsuccessfully struggles to extradite my hook from his neck. Finally, he cuts the line
from my lure and heaves up the anchor. I am petrified. He is going to murder me as soon as we reach land. No one will save me. “I am sorry, Grandfather.”
“Don’t fret, it’s nothing. We will go home and get the pliers, and then it’s just a nudge and a yank. We’ll return soon.”
Later, we do return to the lake and fish till dusk. Little did I know how many lessons my grandfather taught me that day without uttering a word.
July in South Texas is hot, so hot you forget winter even exists. It's the kind of day when people die of heatstroke and brush fires erupt. The debilitating heat engulfs my senses, and sweat rolls profusely down my forehead, into my eyes and onto my neck. It is useless to wipe it away.
I am used to the heat. I often practice football for long, strenuous hours in the blinding light of the afternoon summer sun. But there is far more at stake in my task today than a game. I am outside, hammer in hand, whacking nails into a wooden ramp as if someone's life depends on it.
And in a way it does.
I am part of a youth missionary team assigned to repair old, weathered houses for people who do not have the strength, the ability, or the money to maintain them. I am far from famous oil fields, Neiman Marcus, or large cattle ranches. I am in a world where people live in shacks, some without air conditioning.
The woman's name is Marie. She has white hair combed into a careful bun, wrinkled skin, and a slightly unsteady walk. Her clothes are as faded as her home. The paint on her little house is peeling; the front porch is thick with weeds sprouting up through broken boards; the bushes are overgrown; and the window screens have holes in them. My team has been given the specific task of repairing Marie's front porch and installing a wheelchair ramp for her husband. A few boards nailed onto the steps will make such a difference for him: the difference between mobility and being trapped inside on a hundred degree day. With every nail that meets the board, I use my full strength. I am determined that every nail will last, in all weather, long after I am gone.
She has lived in this home almost her entire life. To the eyes of the uninitiated, the structure is a decrepit shack. For Marie, it is all she has. Every day she puts on makeup and her best clothes because she knows we are coming. Precisely at two every afternoon, Marie is there in a dress, with ice cold lemonade and muffins she made herself so that we can "keep our strength up." Marie believes in the importance of small gestures. We are not charity workers because of the lemonade and muffins. We are friends, helping her, and it is an even exchange. She chats with us, and she often tells me how much I remind her of her son, now grown, who lives far away.
Every day, a few minutes before three, she excuses herself. Every day, in the stillness of the heat, I can hear the phone ring.
Except for one day.
That afternoon, I can hear her pacing back and forth across her worn living room carpet. I know she is waiting for the daily call from a volunteer from a local charity calling to check on her and her husband. I find myself willing the phone to ring. Finally, I hear her dial the phone.
"You didn't call!"
"You were about to?"
"O.K., I'll hang up!"
The receiver slams into its base. Seconds later, it springs back to life.
"Why did I hang up? Because if you don't call, our phone won't ring today."
The volunteer's seemingly small gesture, as small as nails and muffins, is Marie's lifeline to the outside world, a reminder that someone cares about her life. It is a reminder that someone thinks about her every day.
I cannot rebuild Marie's life, but I hope the boards I nail on her house hold fast and strong. I wish I could build an entryway to a new way of life for all of the people I meet on this trip. I cannot, but I do the best I can, with the resources I possess. It is important to do all we can do, one nail, one scrap of wood at a time.
Years later, I find myself thinking of her, wondering if the phone still rings at three every afternoon, and if she is there to answer it.
GPA: 4.9 weighted
5 AP courses and 10 Honors / Pre-AP Courses
o Assist customers with purchases
o Prepare store displays
o Stock inventory
6/10/09-8/5/09 Windsor Park Home Sales 30 hrs/week
Assistant to Sales Manager
o Updated client database and cost sheets
o Created mailings using Word and excel spreadsheets
o Helped out with various administrative work
o Ran errands and answered phones
6/1/08- 8/15/08 Windsor Park Home Sales 25 hours/week
o Construction site clean up
6/1/07-8/1/07 Windsor Park Home Sales 25 hours/week
o Construction site clean up
ACTIVITIES / HONORS
10th-11th Academic Excellence Award
11th-12th National Honor Society
o Participated in toy and food drives
o Helped set up fall festivals for non-profit groups
o Constructed wooden “Horse Race” game for a local retirement home
o Tutored elementary students in chess
o Helped set up volunteer stations for the Alzheimer’s Walk for a Cure
o Participated in fundraising efforts for UNICEF
9th-12th Football Team Lettered
o Varsity and Junior Varsity
o Defensive leadership positions
Speech and Debate Team
o Helped train novice debaters
o Demonstrated resourcefulness and dependability in researching, writing, and presenting argumentative cases
o Worked individually and as a team to solve problems
o Judged novice LD and IE rounds (12th)
9th-10th High School Choir
o Member of Men’s Choir
o Performed in “Garden of Eden” musical
o Assisted with teaching Sunday School 45 weeks/year
Excerpts from recommendation letters:
Sincere, honest, kind, funny, tenacious, polite… These are words that come to mind when I think of
He and my son have been friends since they were in second grade. I was his den leader for four years in cub scouts, and later, his chemistry tutor. (I have taught chemistry for 29 years.) Additionally, he has come on vacation with our extended family for the past several summers. I definitely know him quite well!
His positive attitude and alacrity impressed me when I worked with him on a chemistry semester review. Even though he had an obvious command of the material, he was eager to hone his already finely tuned problem-solving skills. The impressive work ethic he demonstrated in his approach to his preparation for the exam will undoubtedly serve him well in college.
His sense of humor and wit, along with his affable, easy going personality added to our vacation experiences in the Florida panhandle. Our extended Italian family members look forward to seeing him each summer. He is poised and relates well to adults, young and old, as well as other kids. Any other non-family member would have been completely overwhelmed by our family, but his self-assurance and confidence allowed him to amalgamate easily! He had fun participating in any activity he was presented with. His flexibility was exemplified as he bravely tried (and liked it!) fried alligator at a local bait shop/ restaurant in Perdido Key!
His personal and academic qualities will render him an excellent university student. His professors will truly enjoy his eagerness to learn and tenacity to master new concepts. His agreeable personality, sharp sense of humor, and levelheaded approach to situations will make him a great roommate.
I urge you to include him in your incoming freshman class this fall. His honesty, integrity, and work ethic will make him an outstanding representative both as a student and as an alum. This young man will make you proud! He is an ideal candidate for matriculation
except from 2nd letter:
essence of a well-rounded individual with an exceptional work ethic ....strongest on moral character and individualism....coupled with a firm scholastic platform and personal achievement...........possesses most positive of attributes and with the nurturing to be derived from a strong college education and its experiences ..........
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