I grew up with a mother and father who were very involved in public service. They volunteered at local shelters, organized benefits, and helped the less fortunate. They did all this while each working full time jobs. Eventually, my mother quit her job and decided to run as a Congressional Representative for our district in California. She didn’t win, but watching my mother decide that public service was the most important thing she could do with her life inspired me to take up the calling myself.
When I was in high school, I joined a public service club that volunteered at local homeless shelters. I quickly became the President of the club and was responsible for recruiting new members. I found it exciting and invigorating to talk about how good it felt to help people, and to discuss important issues with other students my age who had never really considered them before.
As I continue my academic career in university, I believe I can draw on my experience through my family and my time in public service. Going forward, I think that my dreams have become more centered as I have become more driven, and my motivations have become clearer. Public service has allowed me to become a more productive part of my community and has given me the teamwork skills I’ll need when I major in Government and Politics.
My parents have also helped me to understand how elections and the government operate, thanks to my mother’s candidacy when I was younger. I believe this will prove to be invaluable information for me in my classes.
In closing, my dreams have been shaped both by family and by the community in which I live. My experience with academics and fellow students in high school has led me to aspire to a greater role in public service.
The author of prompt #1 is interested in Politics and Government, and he clearly has a lot of experience and influence in his life that has led him to choose that major. He goes into excellent detail about his parents’ influence, as well as his experience in high school and how discussing important issues with others affected him. This is all very good. However, the structure of the personal statement seems thrown together. The author should have written a clearer outline to guide his writing, as it would make his personal statement flow better and be more concise.
The only stumble in the personal statement is the use of the verb “to shadow” when the author discusses following her parents around to see what they do at work. “Shadow” as a verb has a relatively negative connotation – for example, a detective may “shadow” a suspect. It would be better to say that the author “rode along” or “accompanied” her parents as they went about their day.
Melissa, UC Personal Statement
Writer and Coach