Expound upon how your heritage has played a role in your academic endeavors and how your experience will benefit our collegiate community.
I am proud of my African-American heritage. As a teenager in modern-day America it is easy for one to lose touch with the rich culture of their history in an effort to blend into the fast-paced, forward-thinking, modern American culture. But it is not a matter of forsaking one for the other: I believe that the two can be balanced, to the benefit of every American. It is the duty of every African-American to keep alive the passions that burned in the hearts of those who fought and died for our progress, never forgetting the history that has brought us so far. However, to stay mired in the past can hinder the voice of the present-day activist, possibly stifling the potential of our assimilated cultures. In my own life, I try to stay connected to both worlds, learning from the past and projecting the influences I find there to my betterment in the future. As an African-American teen, I endeavor to represent my race well and with pride, and I hope to prove through my efforts in school, the community, and in my collegiate and professional goals, the specific significance of the Black community in contemporary America. In school I have always been a member of the minority. I scan the faces of my AP classes and find that I am one of very few representing the African-American people. Academically, I have always desired a more difficult regimen and maintained the mindset that my progress is not only for me, but for the people I represent simply by being “the black girl.” When in a challenging and stimulating environment, I work well, as is evidenced by my many recognitions as an AP Scholar with Distinction, 1940 SAT score, GPA, recognition as “Who’s Who Among American High School Students,” repeated National Merit Scholar awards, and ensuing graduation with honors. In all of my classes I pushed myself to excel, and my determination brought me to the top 4% of my class. I am one of few Black people in this percentage, and view my position as an opportunity to contribute to the African-American community. I am aware that my decision to be competitive in education will someday be witnessed by other Black students who find themselves among the minority in the classroom. In my community, I remain an active volunteer and leader, staying active in clubs and sports not only for the academic or physical benefits, but also for social betterment. Always interested in making friends with people of all races, I joined the Asian club, CSF, FCA, Vertical Reality, and Club Riot, and was elected Choir Club President this year. I joined Swim and Soccer for one year each, Track and Field for three, and Colorguard/Marching band for two years. Participating in different clubs and sports throughout high school has given me a fuller understanding of other cultures, afforded me the chance to represent my own heritage, allowed me to make new friends, and enabled me to experience what it is like to work with people who have similar interests regardless of the racial divide. I have also found clubs and organizations to be a great arena for community service. The 200 hours I have spent tutoring children, serving on Cathedral City High School’s Public Relations committee, helping to organize non-profit events such as blood drives and the Dannon Duathalon, and participating in a local Youth Group, have greatly benefited both myself and my community. These opportunities give me a greater sense of pride in my community, and the free performances I participate in through Marching Band and Choir bring others in the desert together to celebrate our community’s culture. In the same spirit, I joined our campus ASB and found that leadership has become an integral part of who I am as a Black student, and who I desire to be in the future. Leadership has proven to be a demanding and revealing experience: I was the ASB Commissioner of Student Organizations during my junior year, and served as Executive Treasurer, Colorguard Captain, and Choir Club President this year. I have discovered that leadership is sacrifice above all else. In order to learn how to better help others, I embraced opportunities like RYLA, where I met other students who wished to help their peers meet their potential. I plan to be a leader in the future, and as an African-American leader, I know I will need to cultivate the good habits I learned in my high school career. In the immediate future, I plan to attend a four-year university to continue my academic and personal growth. I have worked hard throughout my high school career, balancing my academics with a job, extra-curricular activities, and leadership positions, adding more to my plate each year to shape me into the strong and determined person I want be. I seek to gain a better understanding of the world around me. I want to make a difference, and I feel that the best way to achieve this goal is through higher education. I have a passion for learning, and hope to become a better, more influential person capable of representing myself and the African-American heritage I carry with me each and every day. Ultimately I plan on becoming a college professor, and I know that I can and will succeed. I hope to never stop growing and developing, and as I stay connected to both my heritage and my future, I will continue to work to represent my race well and with pride, as a determined, well-rounded, well-educated African-American student who can bring a multifaceted background to her future college and community.