Grad School Personal Statement Excerpt – First Draft
Since I left my native country Peru, I have seen the many difficulties my family and others have lived through in order to survive in this country. As an immigrant, I have repeatedly experienced discrimination from people because I was ignorant to the way of life here. I have witnessed firsthand the difficulties and struggles my single mother has endured in the process of learning the laws of this country. People lose their families and friends because they lack awareness of their rights in this country. Seeing the disadvantages and discrimination immigrants’ face, I have always wanted to help spread awareness to the different underprivileged communities. Many suffering people would benefit if someone would help by informing them of their legal rights. I am a Latina woman and I would like to become a lawyer in order to help immigrants receive the correct due process of law.
Grad School Personal Statement Excerpt – Final Draft
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” (Margaret Mead).
… I used my bilingual/bicultural skills in English and Spanish to assist Avantika Rao (an immigration lawyer) with her asylum and temporary protected status cases. One case made a significant impact. A sixteen year old El Salvadorian girl who had suffered three different cases of sexual assault at age 13 and physical abuse from her husband (she married at 14) was requesting asylum in the United States…
I empathized with this young girl. My mother also immigrated to the U.S. as a single parent. When my mother left Peru she had only finished high school and spoke no English. She was only able to find work cleaning houses and waitressing. Thus, I understood the frustration and isolation the young El Salvadoran felt when trying to manoeuvre through the complex immigration system and build a new life. Over time, my mother studied English and eventually became a nurse’s assistant. I saw this young woman’s potential and felt a great deal of compassion towards her and other young immigrant women battling hardships. My own mother’s bravery and determination made it possible for me to pursue my dreams and I wished the same for my El Salvadoran client’s daughter. Having inherited my mother’s work ethic, I worked through high school and university in order to pay my tuition, and subsequently finished my B.A. in three years. My pursuit of higher education is dedicated to understanding, validating, and supporting women like my mother. La Raza Centro Legal showed me that a small group of like-minded, compassionate, and dedicated individuals can change the world of many newcomers to the United States and potentially influence U.S. immigration policy. My own personal experience and work with women like the 16 year old from El Salvador motivate me to pursue a career devoted to helping others and the common good; a career in the public service focusing on immigration. By working together we can improve and even prevent situations, such as, this teenager’s, and in turn, built a more diverse and strong American society….