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

“The money in your hands can be taken away, but the knowledge in your mind will always be yours” – Niti Patel
I distinctly remember my mother saying these words to me. It was a weekend morning, and she was sitting in her usual seat at the kitchen table. I had come downstairs to sit with her and watch her go through her weekly routine of clipping coupons in the local circulars. While I was only about eight or nine years old at the time, as long as I could remember, we had always been restricted in what we could afford. Saving a few cents meant the difference between being able to afford a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk that week or not.
My mother suddenly stopped and looked up at me. “I have something I need to teach you, and I want you to remember this for the rest of your life.” I sat there confused at her sudden shift in tone. “Put out your hand,” she said to me. I extended my right hand, and she placed a piece of paper on it. Just as quickly as she had laid the paper, she grabbed it back. “Do you see how easily I was able to take that away from you?” I nodded my head. “In the same way, money can always be snatched right out of your hands. Always remember that.” Still not understanding what my mother was trying to say, I looked at her wide-eyed. “What if I had tried to take something out of your mind like that? Would I have been able to do it so easily?” I shook my head, not able to formulate the correct verbal response. “No one can take away what you have in your mind, that will always be yours. Pursue it. Fight to attain it. I am not from this country, and I do not have a lot of money to leave behind for you and your brother, but what I can give you is an education. An education that will ensure you live a better life than I ever did.”
Despite all of the other teachable moments life has given me, this one particular lesson has always been the most notable, making it my sole motivator in pursuing all of my goals, including attending graduate school.

Bhumi from New Jersey
Georgetown University