Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

I started training in a gym for disadvantaged youth when I was twelve years old. As the years went on, I began to notice that the ground beneath me was feeling more solid; my boxing skills had improved, and I was a college-bound student. It was while I began my college journey, that the educational disparity between myself and some of those I had been training with started to show. I continued to celebrate victories, but it became clear that many of my peers were struggling to move forward.
I was encouraged by an attorney at the Legal Aid Society as an intern with their office. I was able to take part in a legal report overseen by Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, to create new legislation within the foster care system. This experience solidified my decision on how to contribute to my community. I formed the entity Southpaw Prince, Inc., a 501 c (3) non-profit organization, dedicated to serving low-income youth through an after-school boxing program. The Southpaw Prince clothing line was born, with proceeds supporting both foster care programs and local youth in the form of boxing and mentorship activities.
In December of 2016, an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach approached
me with a story of four teenaged sisters, who were placed in the foster care system just before the
holidays. Due to the girls being placed in the foster care system so close to the holidays, the
foster parents were not eligible for funding for any Christmas gifts. Southpaw Prince, Inc. was
able to step in and provide gifts to each of these girls. Their gifts, the things they indicated to the
foster care system that they needed, were basic necessity items including socks and toiletries.
I believed that with a law degree, I will be able to give back much more than I am currently able.
I believed that with a law degree, I will be able to give back much more than I am currently able. I will work to influence public policy that helps build societal structures.

Raul from Florida
St. John's University School of Law