Diversity

Share an experience through which you have gained respect for intellectual, social, or cultural differences. Comment on how your personal experiences and achievements would contribute to the diversity of the University of Michigan


Last Summer I worked as a Teacher’s Aide for students who needed extra help before fourth grade. I thought I would be working with students who had a hard time because they didn’t work hard. Surprisingly, these were the smartest, hardest working kids I have ever met. They didn’t need extra help because they were not intelligent; they needed it because they were at a huge disadvantage because their first language was not English.

Through this experience I gained immense respect for students who have to learn English in school instead of at home. As I bonded with the students I struggled to understand what they were saying. I learned patience and to focus intently on their words. When these nine year olds drew pictures of me holding their hands I learned that when people try, they can communicate very effectively, and sometimes written words and pictures are more effective than the spoken word. I can learn ideas and opinions from people with different cultural and economic backgrounds. Our world is not black and white and the only way to see our world in color is for people who are different to flourish in a single environment.

I believe these fourth graders taught me more than I could have ever taught them. I will contribute to...

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