University of Maryland - College Park
The Awakening of a Spoiled American Girl
How have your life experiences and background shaped you into an individual who will enrich the university's community?
An average fifteen year old, I was selfish, ungrateful, and convinced that the world was against me. My unproductive summer was passing by as usual, until a friend of mine invited me to travel to Paraguay with her for an international service project: constructing a new school for the indigenous Chumococo people of Esperansa, a destitute island with a population of about five hundred. I took advantage of the opportunity, looking forward to a nice tan and a few weeks away from home.
We arrived at Esperansa to hundreds of smiling faces, friendly kisses, and abundant embraces. The local children ran in unison to greet us and grabbed us with their mud-covered hands, overjoyed at the prospect of new playmates. Immediately welcomed as though we were family, we thanked the Chumococos' for their finest accommodations and most lavish meals, regardless of how humble it seemed in comparison to the American lifestyles we were accustomed to.
In the days that followed, I witnessed the Chumococo people spend each day without running water, electricity, or even jobs; yet, none of these misfortunes seemed to bother them. They smiled and laughed as we enjoyed each other's company, working together on the new school. One day, our group...
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