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

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away called Tucson, Arizona, a young man with a bachelor's degree he was not using was merely existing, allowing his life to pass him by whilst working menial jobs. His grandparents passed away and his younger sister phoned him one day soon after. She invited him to move to closer to her in order to be around her three young daughters and be a part of their lives as they grew up. As this young man thought and considered, he realized nothing was holding him back and made the decision to move out to Ohio to be with his family.

Upon arriving, the man soon learned about the daily struggles and successes of which his sister found herself grappling and celebrating. For you see, this man's sister was using her degree to influence the lives of hundreds of young minds each and every year. She, of course, was and still is, a revered reading teacher from Pomeroy, Ohio. It was not long after truly understanding what she did, including the complete and overall importance of it, that the gentleman decided he needed to be part of transforming children, as well.

I began graduate school with this burning in my heart, knowing after witnessing the difference my sister was making, that my future was in public education. Earning a degree in school counseling at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio is one of my proudest accomplishments, and is my vehicle for "paying it forward" after all these years of wallowing in the mire. For you see, it is with great satisfaction and hard work that I am now able to influence young minds like my sister has done for so many years. As an elementary school counselor, I now shape and mold my students into the future successful entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers, welders, computer technicians, and parents they someday will be. I am proud of myself and am ultimately extremely humbled to have this opportunity to change lives, much like my sister has done for so many, including my own.

Thank you for your consideration.

Stanley from Nebraska
Druid Hill Elementary