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

I am pursuing a graduate degree to solve the issue of affordable housing.

I am the eldest of 3, raised by a single mother making minimum wage. Growing up, we lived in a 600 square foot, 2 bedroom apartment. My brothers and I would rotate every month - two in the master bedroom, one in the second room. My mother slept on the pull-out couch in the living room.

While young, it was mostly fond memories. We played video games and music before school, the TV was easily viewable from the dining table, and we were never lonely. As I grew into a teenager the situation became less tolerable. My desire for privacy increased, but was rarely met. I became more aware that my classmates lived in far larger houses, and had the privacy I craved. I slowly became resentful of my situation, looked to escape, and subconsciously blamed my mother.

I left home at 18, and through various grants and scholarships was able to develop myself as a global citizen. I lived in China for 5 years where I learned to speak Chinese, I spent 18 months in Amsterdam exploring my roots, and have traveled to 30+ countries. I have gained perspective and understanding that my situation growing up, though hard at the time, was not that bad compared to many across the globe.

Now that I am older, I also understand the emotional toll our situation took on my mother. The instinct to survive and provide led to great personal sacrifice on her part. Not only sacrificing a bed and private room, but sacrificing her own happiness, dignity, and well-being.

Through my time abroad, I have observed that providing affordable housing is a global challenge. My goal is to help solve this problem by building affordable homes and communities in dense urban environments as a real estate developer. To achieve this goal, I have chosen to pursue a Masters of Science in Real Estate. The Mometrix Graduate School Scholarship would significantly help ease the burden of paying for school, allowing me to focus 110% on achieving my g

Noelan from Washington
The University of Washington