The Influence of a Family

Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

Anthony Brandt once said “Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.” While others have certainly influenced my life, nothing has shaped the person I am more than my family.

My grandfather follows current events like a cult member its leader. Since I was very young, my grandfather has asked me invigorating questions, sometimes lighthearted and warm, sometimes playing the role of devil’s advocate. We often discussed compelling topics such as the role of government in society or the importance of civil liberty and rights in a democracy. At the helm of my pubescence, a life passion was born within me. I began to absorb current events, history and politics like a sponge. Subsequently, I joined the Speech/Debate team of which I am now President. Another highlight of my civic participation was when my peers chose me to represent their views concerning national and global issues in the local newspaper. While I am proud of these accomplishments, I am even more proud of my Grandfather for nurturing this lifelong passion.

Although both intellectual vigor and civic engagement are valuable traits by themselves, my family taught me that they are far greater when combined with altruism and empathy. My parents volunteer...

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