Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced

My mother would throw a fit if she knew I spent an evening during Mosaic roaming downtown, unsupervised, in the company of a homeless woman and a high-school sophomore, searching for a homeless couple. Granted, it was her fault I was doing it. She forced me to sign up. And Sophie and I really needed to get the picture of the homeless couple for her article.

Mosaic was a two-week, intensive high school journalism program in which high-schoolers live on-campus in downtown San Jose and work under the guidance of experienced editors like Joe Rodriguez, formerly of the Mercury News. The premise of the program terrified me. Working for two weeks with complete strangers? No thanks. I was inexperienced, as my school had no newspaper, and deathly afraid of embarrassing myself.

Despite my fears, I decided to take the leap and apply to scope out the journalism field. The experience turned out to be the best one of my life. Mosaic forced me out of my comfort zone and instilled the determination that defines me today. When I encountered roadblocks, such as interview scheduling issues with the owner of Porky’s SJ (one of San Jose’s prominent food trucks), I found ways around them. Instead of moving on to another potential interviewee, I set...

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