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

After growing up in a working class family that valued practicality over just about anything else, it was quite a journey to discover what I was meant to do. For the majority of my young life I believed I would not amount to very much, and that was nothing short of demoralizing. Every single year I experienced existential crisis after existential crisis, all while attempting to fulfill certain obligations expected from my family, as well as greater society.

I saw friends start families and slide through college with ease, while I worked myself to death and questioned everything around me. I had many passions and interests that seemed to serve no particular purpose, but living a working life did not allot me much time to fully explore dreams. It was not until I accidentally stumbled into the field of social work, my path was finally clear to me. This has only become more clear with further study and hands on experience in the field.

I spent much longer working through my undergraduate degree than a lot of other traditional students. I had to prioritize paying for bills a lot of time rather than being able to finish a certain essay to the best of my ability. It was not until I began studying social work, I felt as though I was utilizing my full capacities, despite always feeling different than other people. My parents wished that they could help me in whatever way they could, but not only did either of them only complete a high school education, but they did not know how to connect with me in this regard.

Pursuing a graduate degree seemed impossible 10 years ago. However, having a Master's degree in social work will open more doors for me than I ever thought possible. I have never felt more motivated and inspired to change the world, even on a small level. Social work values and my values align almost perfectly, it is amazing that I did not find my calling sooner. The only thing standing in my way is not having enough money to pay for my graduate program.

Mallory from Colorado
University of Denver