Chocolate Chip Cookies

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

There are few places in this world as diverse as my high school cafeteria on a food sale day. A tell-tale spicy aroma draws students with jingling pockets to the back table where they are greeted by an array of cultural foods. They fight over the last empanada, compare the prices of jollof and pork lo mein, and choose between the Spanish and Chinese fried rice sitting side by side. Most of the food is gone within minutes, but, clutching precariously to the far edge of the table, a plastic package remains unopened. Inside are store-bought chocolate-chip cookies, priced at twenty-five cents apiece - my contribution.

I am lucky to go to a school with a largely immigrant student body that hails from eighty countries and speaks seventy languages, but sometimes I cannot help but feel inferior to my classmates. They possess something I do not, something incredibly valuable, something imperative to life in our community - a culture of their own. Each has a one-of-a-kind background; they all bring new stories, traditions, and perspectives to the table. Me? I bring the chocolate-chip cookies.

I am utterly American. I’ve never left U.S. borders; I was born and raised in one house, in one city - the city my parents grew up in, and their...

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