SDSU Scholarships - Essay Samples

Essay Samples

Sample Essay 1

A young woman who will be the first in her family to get a college education and hopes to serve as an example to others. She plans to graduate with a degree in Journalism.

Sample Essay 2

This student is working on a M.S. in Counseling in order to pursue a career as a school counselor.

Sample Essay 3

After suffering an on-the-job injury a 34 year old husband and father decided to pursue a college degree.

Sample Essay 4

A lackluster year at a small university causes an aspiring doctor to drop out and take work as an accounting clerk. Now, at SDSU, he has set his goals to becoming a teacher..

 

 

Sample Essay 1

I started tenth grade three years ago after my family moved to the United States from Mexico. I had to face the problems of not knowing the language or how the education system worked. I felt alone. Everything was different from my country. I could not express myself with the people around me. Often I felt frustrated. Many people told me that graduating would be hard for me because I did not know the language and was just starting to learn English.

Instead of being upset about this comment, it motivated me to study hard and to get good grades. My goal then was to graduate from high school with good grades and on time with the rest of the students my age. My counselor gave me credit for my transcript I brought from Mexico. She told me if I finished the requirements for graduation, I could graduate with other students my age.

Finally I did it. I graduated from high school on time. I was fifth place in my class and so happy to receive my diploma with high honors.

My family had a large part in my achievements in high school and continues to be a source of motivation in my achievements in college. I am the youngest in the family and the first one to graduate from high school and to attend college. My sister quit school and got married at an early age. This was another thing that motivates me to continue my education through college. I want very much to make my parents proud of me.

My family encourages me to be part of activities at school and in the community. Although I was involved in many activities in high school, here at San Diego State University, I find that it is harder for me to be involved in extracurricular activities, because my class schedule does not allow it and I have to take the bus 21 miles to get home. But I would like to join some organizations like Associated Students.

I like to work with people who are interested in developing the potential of students. I am also interested in the Native American Student Alliance student organization because I would like to know about their culture before I graduate.

In my community, I am involved in the youth group and in the choir of my church. I sing at mass every Sunday morning. In the church youth group I am the treasurer, and I am in charge of the group’s activities once a month. These activities demand commitment, responsibility and time.

College education is very important for my future. College is my opportunity to improve my life by having more opportunities to get better jobs, and to encourage my family to go back to school. In college you look into different ethnic groups, their backgrounds, style of thinking and ways to solve problems in the world. I think because I want to be a journalist, I need to have an open mind to understand the people in the community and to know more about the world in which we live.

My goal is to become a journalist who would be in touch with the people, helping them to make this world a more pleasant place in which to live.

Sample Essay 2

I am currently enrolled in my third semester as a full time graduate student in the Master of Science Degree in Counseling. Upon successful completion of this program, I will earn an M.S. in School Counseling with the California Pupil Personnel Services credential, allowing me to practice as a school psychologist in California.

My goal to pursue a career in the field of education has been a part of my plans since my early teen years. From my first summer job to my current position, the majority of my work and volunteer experience has involved counseling and children. To know that I can make a positive impact on a child’s life is rewarding for me.

I was enticed to choose school psychology as my career by its varied and challenging nature within an educational setting. The responsibilities of the profession involve, but are not limited to, counseling, testing and assessment, behavioral intervention, and classroom observation. A school psychologist never knows exactly what the day will include, much like my current position as a counseling assistant at Castle Park Middle School in Chula Vista. From this experience I know that spontaneity and high energy are vital for my growth and satisfaction within my career.

As an undergraduate I dedicated my best efforts toward my education and as a result, I graduated with high honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara earning a B.A. in Communications. I soon attained full-time employment with the San Diego Center for Children, where I continue to volunteer on various weekends and holidays. This facility is a residential treatment program for children with severe emotional disturbances resulting from abuse, neglect, homelessness, or abandonment. My main responsibilities are to aid children in learning and carrying out daily living skills, counsel them in their relations with peers and adults, serve as a responsible role model, and to work closely with other members of the treatment team, such as therapists and social workers implementing the Center’s programs. All of this has proven to be an invaluable learning experience.

Complementing this experience is my current position as a counseling assistant. My responsibility is to provide various psychological and educational services to students who need additional assistance to succeed in school and in the community. My day is usually filled with activities such as group, individual and crisis counseling, conflict resolution, behavioral observation, and assessments. I also assist in training and coordinating 25 students to become peer counselors. I feel very fortunate to be involved in Castle Park’s counseling program. I am proud of my work there and feel it is excellent preparation for my future role as a school psychologist.

Volunteer work has also been an activity that I like to include in my life. As I previously mentioned, I currently volunteer at the San Diego Center for Children. During my senior year of college I served as a volunteer, mentoring gifted children through my university’s honors program. Helping a child realize his or her own potential gives me a strong sense of accomplishment. Both of these experiences have been emotionally rewarding.

I hope that by sharing my activities and goals, I have been able to give you a glimpse into the person I am and what I hope to achieve. I have included what I have felt to be the most significant influences on my career choice. I expect graduate school to continue to be a journey which I embark upon with great enthusiasm.

 

Sample Essay 3

Dear Scholarship Committee:

If the 18 year-old James would have known and understood the value of higher education the way the now 34 year-old James does, you would have received this letter 16 years ago. Perhaps the passage of 16 years and the experiences contained in them will prove to be an advantage that will make further education of the 34 year-old more fulfilling personally and more beneficial to family, friends and the community.

I am, first of all a husband and father. Jan, my wife of eight years, and I have two beautiful children—our daughter Sue is six, and our son Josh is three. My marriage and the birth of our children are the most satisfying, inspiring events in my life. Another event, not exactly a positive one at first glance, is one of the reasons you have received this letter.

For nine years I was a journeyman carpenter working for several framing contractors on both residential and commercial projects. My duties included all aspects of framing construction as well as supervisory responsibilities. Then, my life changed drastically. A wall and beam assembly, later estimated to weigh some 3,000 pounds, fell and broke my left leg in several places.

Since this career ending injury, however, more positives than negatives have emerged. Despite long therapy sessions and several follow-up operations, I can honestly say that the worst consequence of breaking my leg was that I broke my leg. The incident has allowed me the opportunity to spend more time with my wife and children and to seek a college education.

Before the accident I was physically active at work, in recreation, and in my participation as a semi-professional baseball player with the San Diego Marlins. At that point I hadn't thought seriously about furthering my education. Because of my injury, I was faced with the realization that I was not indestructible. This revelation, along with much prompting from my wife, encouraged me to view this as a chance for a positive change and a more secure future.

I am the first in my family to attend a university. In the spring of 2006, I enrolled in 18 units at Miramar College. Being a self-motivated, goal-oriented person, I was able to achieve a 4.0 grade point average and a place on the Dean’s Honors List. Despite my subsequent operations, I have maintained a 4.0 grade point average after 75 college units. My goal is to earn a Bachelor’s degree. I selected a Psychology major and Recreation Administration minor to improve myself and my ability to interact and communicate effectively with others.

One of my most time-consuming activities, as well as one of the most rewarding, is my involvement with the San Diego Unitarian Church. My responsibilities as volunteer youth counselor and advisor for our 20 Southern California congregations include planning and promotion of youth trips and activities which include visiting the sick and elderly and various musical performances throughout the year. My new communication skills and the broader view provided by the university experience, will be invaluable in my relationships with these youth and my future career.

This 34 year-old returning student has learned to appreciate the generosity of others. I would be honored and grateful for whatever assistance you are willing to provide. Your investment in me will not only assist me in the accomplishment of my personal goals, but will benefit our community. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sample Essay 4

Throughout my childhood, many individuals posed that infamous question: “So, what are you going to be when you grow up?” I cringe even now as I write it. During my childhood, the answer came quickly and with assurance: “A doctor.” I don’t know quite when I settled on that profession, but there it was, for all to marvel. My high school education was organized to take advantage of all the honors courses my school offered, as I knew this would look much more attractive when I applied to college and eventually medical school. I graduated top of my class with a 4.0 grade point average and was selected Valedictorian.

My first year at college as a pre-med student resembled not so much a pristine haven of learning as a carefree romp. I imagined that college grades would be as effortless to attain as high school grades had been. My roommate nearly called the emergency room when I received my grades. The next semester was even worse. To further my frustration and despondency, I was also trying to come to terms with my budding sexuality, and coming out of the closet as a gay man in a conservative community. In the end, due to family pressure, I left school.

I drifted rather aimlessly for the next few months, until I found a job as an accounting clerk, a far cry from my dreams of being a doctor. I tried to reason with myself that it was a temporary setback, and that I would attend another school later that year. It would take many years to realize that dream.

Finally, after years of drudgery, I made it to the pinnacle of my career as a controller for a major engineering firm. One morning, I woke up and realized for perhaps the millionth time that I was miserable. I decided then and there, that no matter what transpired, I would return to school.

Looking back, I realize that the time I spent working was extraordinarily helpful, as it allowed me to return to school with increased organizational skills and the intense desire to perform well.

Since returning, I have maintained a 3.8 cumulative grade point average and have been admitted to the English honors program, I have been given the opportunity to study under some of the best teachers at the university. My educational process remains enthralling, as I continue the journey to my degree.

To this end, I have also dedicated myself to working with important organizations on campus. I am involved with the substance abuse prevention group on campus, as well as the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Student Union, for which I was the director last year. This year I was elected President of Sigma Tau Delta.

I volunteer outside the university as well, with such organizations as San Diego HIV Consumer Council and Mama’s Kitchen, a hot food delivery service for home bound AIDS patients. I also volunteer at the San Diego Freedom Ranch, a recovery unit for substance abuse. I am extremely rewarded in myriad ways with this work, and strive to give back and help others through my experience.

I plan on continuing my education throughout the next few years as I endeavor to pursue my doctorate in English Literature. In this way, I will be able to realize my childhood dream of becoming a “doctor,” but in a much different way than I ever imagined. Of course, I don’t suppose that small child would mind very much.