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JD, Women’s Rights, Human Rights, Africa

November 6, 2015

I am the culmination of many victories and great challenges along the way, growing up on the south side of Chicago. The perils of our neighborhood plight—violence, prostitution, and debilitating poverty—are vivid in my memory. Thus, I sought escape, salvation, from a world beyond my reality, in books. My love for reading began and even continues with my mother reading to me at times; she has done this ever since I was a baby. This helped my reading skills to flourish early on so that I was reading at a Junior High level while still in Grade School. I also spent a lot of time making the track team.

Running was an escape valve for my problems, especially my mother´s refusal to denounce and report my father´s violence, for so many years. It seems perfectly clear that my first interest in becoming a lawyer was in response to my desperation as a victim of domestic violence. Where my mother has been the victim I have been the victim. And I always wanted to fight back. Still do. I want to struggle to strengthen laws that serve to protect women and their children from domestic violence.

It was not until my college years that my mother finally divorced my father and transitioned to a new life, with my three younger siblings, an uneducated single mother lacking a work history. Yet my mother is a survivor and she inspired me to complete college; thus making me the first college graduate in my family. My accomplishment has even helped to inspire my mother´s return to college to complete her Education Degree. My childhood taught me many lessons but the most profound lesson of all is never to give up on one´s situation no matter how hopeless it may seem.

In my senior year of high-school, a history teacher further inspired my interest in law and Politics: his engaging method of teaching offered me a different paradigm for how to view the world and the impact that politics and laws had on my mundane life. I finally felt assured that I could make a difference in this world. Thus, in college, I studied Political Science and volunteered with the Rape Action Committee at Southern Illinois University. In my Senior year I received an opportunity to study abroad in Ghana. This adventure has afforded me with a broader perspective on human nature as well as politics, allowing me to re-establish the borders of my own identity and culture. I completely immersed myself for a sustained period in African culture; a part of me that I regard as my greatest treasure. ´African´ American has taken on new meaning, flavor.

As I listened to the women in the refugee camp tell us about their daily lives I inquired into the protection of women’s rights. I was surprised to learn that laws prohibiting the sexual and physical abuse of women where either non-existent or not enforced. I was enraged and wanted to help them. And I intend to do so after graduating from Law School. I want to protect African women from rape, and help those who have been raped to recover, not only justice, but their soul as well. I look forward to bringing my diverse background to your program, along with my advanced communication skills and highest ambitions as a law school student dedicated to the protection of human rights. I feel strongly that I have the right level of maturity at 25 to excel in Law School and I plan to devote myself full time to my studies, confident that I have the strength and tenacity to do excel in your program.

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