ESSAY PROMPT: Please compose a 600-700 word essay that addresses each of the following: Describe a need within your community. What do you plan to study after high school? How will your future education help you impact that need within your community?

Gene Denton 25

A need within my community, specifically my school, is spreading school resources like 20/20 leadership, Upward Bound, and A+. This is a major issue as these programs would be very beneficial to my community as we are a low-income school, and many of us are first-generation college students, some even first-generation Americans who have no idea how the college system works or that there are other options like a trade school. I have had many conversations with my friends about minor mistakes they have committed on their college journey, like not knowing that you are supposed to mark the school year 2023-2024 instead of 2022-2023 on the FAFSA. After helping them and explaining what they should have done, a class discussion usually arises, leading others to admit that they have committed the same mistake. Then they asked if I did the same, and I told them I did not as I went to my Upward Bound advisor and was guided every step of the way and had my parents’ questions answered. This usually results in a response like “I wish I would have known about these programs sooner”. Most of these programs have limited availability due to government and private funding, so they cannot accept all students. However, if we push these organizations out to the community more, then those in need of assistance have a higher chance of receiving it.

It is because of these programs that I have learned what I want to do past high school. After graduation, I will attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City this fall to study computer and electrical engineering. My education will help others realize that despite all the challenges we may face as minorities, we can still make it, especially with the help of these programs. This will give these organizations more credibility. Currently, much of the school thinks it is a joke, it is “lame”, or that they do not believe they will learn much. I have experienced kids snicker at me while wearing some of my professional clothing or how all this effort I am putting in will be for nothing or that college is pointless and that you will get a good paying job but will be in debt your entire life. Now I agree that college is not for everyone, but those who are unaware of their options may not know that trade schools also exist or other certificates. There are also many other programs like A+ that can pay for these certificates. I have also learned of many trade schools through 2020 Leadership, so if my plan does not work out how I intended, then at least I have a viable backup option. Either way, if I do fulfill my plan of becoming an engineer or switching to a trade, I would consider myself successful. Using this success and my knowledge, I can return to these organizations I am an alumnus of and volunteer at big events. Even better, if I earn enough money, I will be able to sponsor students and other events leading to more availability in the program for students. Not only that, but in whatever profession I choose to pursue, I will be able to provide a connection to these programs. They can use this connection to teach about my profession or use it as a space to hold events, as we did with the law firm this past year. Then these connections would be able to be passed down to the students, so if they wish to join the same profession I am in. I can lend a hand and be a mentor.