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

Four and a half years ago, I was living a chaotic life as an active alcoholic, the only thing I cared about was finding my next drink and living in a blurred reality. I was the mother of nine year old at the time, who despite my flaws was always my biggest advocate. An adoration, in my mind, that I did not deserve. Although she received food, shelter and the basic necessities, she didn’t really have a mother to interact with and be a role model for her. Today my life is so different, I am sober, more active in my daughter’s life, volunteering for activities at her school, chairing book fair committees, helping her with homework, and I also started a troop so I could became her troop leader. Our relationship has blossomed and I look forward every day to spending time with her. Because I am a single mother, my daughter attended the last year and half of my undergraduate courses with me, and observed first-hand the hard work, persistence and dedication that I put into accomplishing my goal. She is the reason why pursuing my graduate degree is extremely important, and she is the inspiration why I push myself every day to continue. I want to show my daughter that no matter what our life circumstances, we can rise above and accomplish so much. It may have taken me twenty-one years to complete my undergraduate degree, but the important part is that I finished it and will now continue on in my education. I can hold my head up high, knowing that I am have been a good mother these past several years, especially in her crucial teenage years where she needs guidance the most. And, although we will never eradicate any unpleasant memories we shared before, I hope these new memories we have been forming will blossom into a future filled with hope for her. I want to be the example she needs to lead her towards the path of college so that she can accomplish her dreams and goals.

Emily from California
Claremont Graduate University