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

When I return “Downeast”, as we Mainers call Washington County, I feel proud as I drive past the blueberry barrens in Deblois, ME where I worked on blueberry harvesters to save money for school clothes. I pass the old weathered cabins where raking crews traveled from their homes in Mexico to spend their summers raking blueberries and earning money for their families. I look for the spot of land where I would sleep in my camper after a 14 hour day of work - only to wake up at 4 AM the next morning to do it all over again.
East of Deblois is the town of my old high school, Washington Academy. WA hosted my fellow students and friends from countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic and South Korea. I would never have gained the international connections I made had I gone to any other high school in the area. I was fortunate enough to have parents who fostered my curiosity in what was beyond our rural borders and who pushed me towards attending this school. Growing up in rural Maine, I always thought that what I needed most in life was to get as far away as I could from Washington County. While this was partly true at the time, I no longer feel that my time in Washington County served only as a momentary stage in my upbringing. When I take the 4.5 hour drive home to Dennysville, I am reminded that my home is the reason I have gotten to where I am personally and professionally. My humble upbringing is the reason why I feel so passionately about becoming an attorney. My passion for intercultural mediation stems from the values I established while in high school. The multicultural classrooms facilitated unique perspectives I still use in my work today. I undoubtedly owe my current job representing J-1 visa holders here in the US to the time I spent bridging cultural gaps throughout my formative years. Our globe is growing smaller and we need effective international mediation and representation. By becoming an attorney, I hope to make an impact in this way.

Brandelyn from Maine
Quinnipiac University