In Pursuit of Honor

Describe a project or issue in which you have successfully engaged others and led them to accomplish a shared goal. Why were you passionate about the project or issue? What did you do to mobilize and motivate others?

After nine years in the public school system, I was used to locking everything away knowing that what I left in the open would be gone when I got back. When I changed schools, I encountered a new environment and a set of rules based on honor rather than punishments. Soon, I became accustomed to its luxuries and took it for granted-until my junior year.

Almost one third of the student body was involved in Honor Offenses concerning stolen semester exams, and the administration responded by taking away our privileges. In a few winter days, the Athens Academy I knew and loved for the high expectations it gave its students disappeared. I felt like I was walking into a different school, and I knew nothing would change unless the students took charge. I helped form a group of students and teachers who wanted to understand what went wrong that year, to correct it, and to prevent it from happening again. After hours of discussion, we finally realized that students had little respect for the Honor Code. We formed a mission statement of re-establishing trust throughout the school, and the Honor and Integrity Committee was born.

Last year, I organized frequent meetings between students, teachers and the administration. Although planning...

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