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.

Sweat dripped from my brow as I carefully set my roll of tape onto the granite kitchen counter in front of me. My masterpiece was finally complete. As I slid down from my stool, I was careful to not let my knobby ten-year-old knees topple into the counter and risk knocking over the neon green box perched there. Its contents were delicate, and if they fell, the hours that I had spent working would have been for naught. This seemingly unimportant little box represented my first effort in which my creativity and imagination combined to form something tangible.

The object in question was a recycled box of Johnson’s Extra Soft Baby Wipes. It was now filled with a delightful array of objects and substances, including water, pieces of plastic straw, sugar cubes, and rotten banana peels. The damp paper sign taped to the front of the box announced what I had been working on for the past day—FLY WATER RESORT: COME AND RELAX WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS.

It had been another hot Memphis summer, and my aversion to the sweltering temperatures was eclipsed by only one thing—my antipathy for flies. I had always been a bleeding heart, and every time I debated swatting flies, the empathy I felt for the unsightly insects exceeded the revulsion I...

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