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

As Kanye West once said, "Mama said go to school, get your doctorate". To many this quote, from a famous American rapper, may seem indecorous to use in a scholarship essay but to me, it holds great importance. At the young age of nineteen I held my mothers hand, while she laid in a hospital bed on life support, and sang Kanye Wests', "Hey Mama", to her with tears rolling down my face. I do not recall how many times I sang this song to her, but they were the only words that I could make out at the time. My mother, an immigrant from El Salvador, never had much to be proud of. Growing up in a poor country with very abusive parents, she found herself in need of a fresh start and new life. At the age of 22, she decided to leave her family and the only country she had ever known and start her own life in the United States of America. After many years, and four children, she found herself falling into a similar pattern of abuse that she endured as a child which led her to become a single mother of four. My mother worked fulltime in a factory, despite having a pacemaker, diabetes, and other health complications, in order to provide for her children. Although she stood at only five feet, my mother was our protector. She did not want us to have a traumatic life, as she did, and she did not want to see us working in a factory or struggling. She wanted us to have huge goals and aspirations. My mother is the reason I graduated high school. My mother is the reason I decided to join the military, in order to be able to afford college. My mother is the reason I enrolled into Arkansas Tech University. My mother, although she was not able to be there, is the reason I graduated from Arkansas Tech University. My mother is the reason I am pursuing a graduate degree. My mother is the reason I plan to pursue a doctorate degree. My mother had nothing to be proud of, except her children and I want to give her a reason to be.

Katherine from Arkansas
Southern Arkansas University