I just finished editing a rough draft and would appreciate any of your feedback.
As the first-born child of teenage parents who separated around my birth, I grew up seeing my parents work unyieldingly through jobs and college. My persistence to learn at school and from my parents’ experiences was instrumental to not making the same decisions they did.
My father did not wish for the same difficulty of responsibilities and was at odds with the poor living conditions under my mother. As an adolescent, I did not perceive or treat my status as a hindrance toward success. The roots of my family stem from Jalisco, Mexico, where my grandparents left their adobe home and their culture, for better opportunities to provide for themselves and their children. The jobs my grandparents worked were physically demanding of them but they were a source of dignity and pride. The extent of their strong work-ethic and accomplishment is an example to me of what can be sacrificed and achieved as long an opportunity, even if small, is present.
Early in high school, I became intrigued by the legal issues my family experienced. The labor and trust of my grandfather and other immigrants like him were exploited by their employer for financial gain. As much as it troubled him, he had no knowledge of legally advancing his claims or of his individual rights. Most stress for me, though, was in my own home, where my mother faced domestic issues, creating a constant state of fear. Through discussions with law enforcement and my mother, I quickly realized how little could be done for us with no financial resources to proceed legally with our problems and the disadvantage we had with the inability to afford a lawyer. Learning from law enforcement about the procedures and importance of evidence, I took charge for what I could in the situation, adapting my home life to record crucial information that could help my mother in court.
When it was time to apply for colleges, my fondness on the subjects of politics, law, and history had stemmed from being engaged about the effects of legal and institutional forces on societies and on individuals’ ability to live their lives, leading me to select Political Science as a major. Fortunately, I was admitted to UC Merced, located in the San Joaquin Valley, a region known for high economic deprivation.
At UC Merced, I was privileged with receiving full-tuition and other scholarships, giving me the ability to pursue and focus on my education, without the stress of finances or my troubled home. Settling in my dorm for the first time, I could remember the day vividly. It was a Saturday night and through the thick, dormitory doors, I could hear the chattering of students, whose voices were filled with liveliness and excitement, bringing upon me feelings of curiosity for what I could experience in an unfamiliar setting.
A new perspective in college, which I adhere to this day, is to not learn for the sake of succeeding in classes but rather, to comprehend information to improve my understanding of a variety of discourses, all of which I believe can be interlinked to relate to politics and law. I made it a mission to be fruitful of the resources that were at my disposal.
Outside my major, I took many courses in Sociology because I was interested in learning about the effects of communities comprised of different traits and the forces that molded individuals in them. My Spanish courses helped me expand a language that allows me to connect to family and other Spanish-speakers and Archeology courses focused my studying on the development of communities and power differentials inside and between them.
Departing from my studies, I joined different clubs, and I also set my efforts to join Alpha Phi Omega, a fraternity characterized by national service for our local, university, and national community. In its infancy at my university, Alpha Phi Omega was still forming its presence and identity. I took on the role of leadership positions, serving as a Sergeant-At-Arms and in a financial committee, in which I pioneered and helped execute the idea of starting a marketplace, which rose over five-hundred dollars in one month to provide funding for our expenses.
While in law school, I wish to foster a legal education that I can later use to advocate for those who do not have the financial resources or the knowledge to protect or express their rights. Given my background, I believe that my participation in legal discourse, particularly concerning race and class, will supplement the cultural and intellectual diversity of my university colleagues.