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

I didn’t realize that I had hit the car. It was the summer of my sophomore year, and I had only been in possession of my license for 3 weeks. I had been at basketball practice, and I was exhilarated on my ride home because I had dunked for the first time that day. Apparently, on the ride home, when I was trying to get into the left turning lane, I misjudged how close I was to the car on my right side and scraped it. Maybe it was because of my lack of experience, or maybe it was due to a sudden boost of adrenaline. I’m not sure which one, but I do know that I didn’t realize that I had hit anyone, nor did I purposefully flee the scene. Thankfully, my parents were able to retain a competent defense attorney, who was able to provide exceptional representation, resulting in the dismissal of all charges.

The resolution of that case sparked my interest in the field of law. Fortunately for me, that story had a happy ending. The same cannot be said about many other people with similar circumstances.

It is not a secret that our system of jurisprudence doesn’t always swing in favor of people of color, who account for 37% of the U.S. population, yet represent 67% of the prison population. My sobering experience, along with the knowledge of the aforementioned statistics are significant drivers in my quest to be a champion for the disenfranchised, an advocate for the wrongly accused, and a voice for the voiceless.

As an undergraduate student, schools offered numerous aids and grants to honors students attending universities in their home state. I recognized that minimizing my student loan debt would enable me to allocate money efficiently, which would maximize the opportunities available to me throughout the next three years. This scholarship fund is exactly what I have been searching for. It is truly an honor to be considered a prospective recipient of this award, and I will make good use of the resources if I am selected.

Justin from Georgia
The University of Georgia