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

My passion for literature and learning started from a young age, however, my skills were far behind my peers. In elementary school I was always in the lowest reading group but that did not stop me from picking up books that were far above my reading level. When I reached middle school I began to surpass my classmates and it did not take long for my English teacher to notice. After she learned about my troubled childhood she recommended that I join the AVID program. I come from a long family history and addiction, alcoholism, and abuse that led to my placement in foster care but that did not stop me from pursuing college. AVID teachers inspired me to pursue college along with other "at-risk" and/or low-income youth. Although the odds were stacked against me and I had to work full time in my undergrad I was finally able to receive my bachelors degree. My inspiration to further my education comes from all of the teachers who inspired me growing up. Although I could just pursue a credential program and become a teacher right away, academia was always my ultimate goal. Strong women inspired me to pursue college and my drive to become one of those women to someone else is the reason I am pursuing my masters. If I had financial stability I would continue on after Graduate School and pursue an MFA program. I feel that with my personal background I will be able to relate to a more diverse group of youth and serve as inspiration and hope for them. I want to be able to show young people that no matter what odds are stacked against them they can achieve great things. I feel that the higher the degree I have the even more inspiring I can be to the youth that I hope to teach.

Kayli from California
Sonoma State University