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I am an educational administrator who wants very much to attain the terminal degree in my field so as to be able to make the fullest contribution possible towards educational reform, the ongoing improvement and implementation of progressive educational policies, especially in my home state of Virginia. I grew up speaking Spanish in the home, with my mother who is from Ecuador. My father is African American. Thus, for as long as I can remember, I have been immersed in minority issues, especially with respect to Latino, Spanish-speaking, and immigrant communities. The social and educational issues that are inherent in the Latino struggle to become part of the American dream will always be central to my own professional struggle to help make America a place where equality in education a reality as well as an ideal. We have made much progress through our educational system in bringing our Latino populations into the mainstream of American opportunity—but we also still have a long way to go. As a Spanish speaker, I aspire to continue an active engagement protecting the right of our people to bi-lingual education, with the firm conviction that multilingual education has its place in America.
At 32, I am at the optimal point in my life to undertake doctoral studies and to give my all to my studies. I have acquired the type of extensive experience which will enable me to excel and contribute to your program, at the same time that I am full of energy, drive, and motivation for long hours of intensive research. Having grown up in Queens New York, I am most familiar with urban issues and problems and the way that they are intricately related to challenges to education in multicultural and multilingual societies. I moved to Virginia to live with my father at the age of 15 and have since made it my home. I was always a sensitive girl, someone who took a genuine interest in the plight of the poor and underprivileged, the social classes for whom life was a struggle, as it was for my own family. I chose to study social work as an undergraduate student and later came to focus on education in my search to contribute towards progressive social change and greater social justice and equality. With Master´s Degrees in both Multicultural/Multilingual Education and Educational Leadership, I have prepared myself well for doctoral studies and established a lifelong passion for education and educational reform.
My dedication to the field of educational administration is also very much a product of the current position that I hold as an Assistant Administrator of a High School and Chair Person for our High School Assistant Principal's Group, representing the interests of numerous Assistant Principals (APs), especially High School APs in our relationship with the superintendent, as well as organizing and executing monthly planning sessions. Being fully bilingual English/Spanish is fundamental to both my professional and personal identities. I have extensive experience working with diverse populations and I very determined, highly motivated, goal oriented, and most of all hard working. I have met and in many cases exceeded almost every goal that I have set for myself. And I have completed every task that I have been assigned. I have often even sought out additional professional duties and opportunities in order to broaden my knowledge base and cultural awareness and to enhance my leadership skills. The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to help to eliminate the glaring achievement gap that plagues our educational system. I seek admission to your program so that I might learn how to more effectively work to develop strategies and curriculums that will help to bridge these gaps. I keenly look forward to shouldering advanced responsibilities within all facets of the educational arena and I am especially impressed with and drawn to the focus of your program and its emphasis on preparing students to assume these responsibilities not only at the local level, but also on state, national and international levels. Your program is my first choice for doctoral study because of its superlative reputation and the fact that I will be able to continue to meet my professional responsibilities at the same time that I study towards the doctoral degree. My current principal and many of my professors hold advanced degrees from GW and I have long been impressed with their work ethic, vast knowledge, and refined leadership skills.
While I am most excited about studying the entire gambit of theories and methodologies to which I will be exposed in your program, I am especially looking forward to returning to the task of researching the burning issues of our day, particularly those that have to do with alternative education, drop-out prevention—especially for Latinos—reducing achievement gaps, minority achievement, and alternative scheduling (i.e longer school days or year round school attendance). Not only Latino, but also black like my father, I have a unique perspective to bring to comparative studies of challenges facing African-American vs. Latino students: the way that both groups are over represented in special education programs, have limited accessibility to post secondary education—primarily as a result of dismal graduation rates—, lack of motivation due to “self assumed” dismal future outlook (leading to drop outs), over representation for discipline and suspensions, and under representation for advanced placement and international courses.
I look forward to a long and productive career as a school based principal, but I also sincerely hope to be able to contribute to the development of increasingly progressive educational policies on a national scale, or perhaps working in a district office as a minority student achievement director. Ultimately, I would like to have the privilege of serving someday as the superintendent of a school district with a large minority/Latino population. My volunteer activities have also helped prepare me for entry into your program—especially my current position with the XXXX-based Community Volunteer Network, helping children with special needs and their families. I have also volunteered extensively with the homeless shelters and foods banks in my area. These experiences have further heightened my sensitivities to the needs of diverse populations and laboring to coordinate activities has served to refine my leadership skills. I firmly believe that any effective leader must be fully engaged with the grass roots organizations of the communities that they serve. I have made it a point to live and volunteer in the community in which I work, where my students live, work, shop, etc., so as to be better able to empathize with my students and their families. I also feel strongly that it is important for educational leaders to develop critical perspectives and insights into educational systems on the international level, especially insofar as this helps to spark creative ideas as to how to best improve our own. As I have traveled throughout most of North America, all of South America, and many European countries, I have always made it a point to study the educational systems and peculiar challenges of each location. These experiences have served to refine my critical stance concerning the US educational system as overly "system/protocol" oriented, as well as our abysmal record at multiple language instruction and the cultivation of multicultural sensitivities.