Personal Statement Essay - Sample

The following example is typical of the personal statement admission essay templates included in the eBook Instant College Admission Essay Kit. This sample school admission statement is for admission into a graduate program. In addition to extensive "how to write an essay" information, the Kit includes 47 real-life downloadable templates like this one, covering Undergraduate, Graduate, MBA, Law, and Medicine programs.

Graduate Essay 5: Master of Social Work
Copyright (C) Shaun R. Fawcett

Question: "What is it about you that draws you towards a career as a professional social worker and why have you chosen to apply to this particular program?"

As a kid growing up in a series of foster homes, whenever the social worker would show up at the door it would brighten my day. Even if I didn't particularly like the social worker who showed up, just their personal appearance would mean at least a few days of relief from the usual abuse that went on. It seemed that my foster parents would clean up their act for a two or three days after that visit. Since I didn't attend the one-to-one session between the social worker and my foster parents I was never quite sure whether they were acting out of fear or guilt when they would be on their best behavior for the first few days after that interview. Maybe it was both.

For me, the abuse started in earnest when I was taken from my mother by the local Children's Aid Society. I was ten years old at the time. Even though my mom was a schizophrenic and had trouble looking after me sometimes, she was kind and loving most of the time, and she never hurt me deliberately.

However, once I started shuffling from foster home to foster home it was often a different story. Between the ages of 10 and 16 I lived in seven different foster homes. Many of my foster parents and/or caregivers during that time were kind-hearted, and some of them even tried very hard to do the best that they could. But these people had little or no training on how to deal with trouble teens. Most of them got involved in foster care in order to qualify for the allowance check at the end of the month. On the other hand, for every good foster caregiver, there was another one who had as many or more "issues" than the kids in their care. Consequently, by the time I was 16 years old I had been abused sexually, physically and emotionally, numerous times.

One might wonder why, after a childhood like that, I am now applying to a Masters of Social Work program. For a while I wondered myself why I just didn't put as much distance as I could between me and foster care now that I have the choice. In the end it pretty well comes down to the old cliché "I just want to make a difference". I started to realize this need when I was in college and did some volunteer service stints working with youth groups in my old neighborhood. It almost goes without saying that if a kid comes from that neighborhood they're troubled. Well, it seems that I was a natural at relating to these kids. I had no trouble identifying with them. They could sense that I had "been there and done that", so they paid attention to what I had to say. Even though I was only a part-time volunteer I managed to put smiles on some faces and was able to give a few kids hope for the future. I can't tell you how good this made me feel. All warm and fuzzy inside, to say the least.

Since I graduated from college three years ago I have been working in the publishing business as a proof reader, fact checker and junior editor. As an editor-in-training I have a good future ahead of me in the publishing business. Nevertheless, I seem to have this gnawing emptiness inside of me that just doesn't get filled through my job. It seems that the only time I get relief from that empty feeling is on those weekends that I spend volunteering at the local community center working with troubled teens.

So I have finally come out of denial and resolved to face this issue head on. I have decided that I want to be a full time social worker. I want to help those kids who are living the "hell" that I lived through. I truly want to make a difference in their lives.

I have done research into a number of Masters Programs in Social Work and have concluded that the program offered by your school is a perfect for my interest in focusing on troubled teens. With a Masters degree from your program, I am convinced that I will be able to change many lives for the better.

Word count = 714

Quick Comment:
One only has to read the first two paragraphs to understand why this candidate relates well to troubled teens. Clearly, she's well-qualified in the area of "valuable life experience". In addition, she has spent some time working in another profession which has given her the perspective she needed to see what she really wanted to do. The reason why she is applying to this particular program comes across clearly.

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