University of California - Santa Cruz
Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
I’m not one of those universally recognized teenagers that most people talk about, the super-student who is academically ingenious and involved in numerous extracurricular activities. I’m more humble about what I’ve achieved, but I take pride in my success. When you take a look at the world I come from, maybe you’d be impressed by me, the student who has only taken three Advanced Placement courses, the girl who spends ten hours a week in a dance studio, holds a part-time job, and completes an honest number of volunteer hours. The world I come from is much different than what the numbers and letters may portray because those numbers are relative to everyone around me. But my world is unique and my success is genuine. Since the beginning of high school, I’ve had to shape most of my path on my own while breaking down academic and social barriers.
I graduated from a middle school that had one of the lowest Academic Performance Index scores in the county. I was underprepared for high school compared to students from the other feeder middle schools. Nonetheless, when given the option to challenge myself and take biology as a freshman, I did. I struggled through my science courses and even had to repeat a semester of chemistry. I...
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