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

My childhood was filled with sleepless nights, fearing my parents’ arguments would escalate into an altercation where my mother would rush into me and my sisters’ room again, demanding us to pack a bag to stay in a shelter or her friend’s house. I remember hopping into my oldest sister’s bed, hoping she would relieve me from these fears.
In my senior year of high school, my oldest sister fought her own battle from domestic abuse. I sat present at the hearing and listened to my sister’s vivid testimony of the night she screamed “help” as a result of violence at the hands of her ex-partner. The description of her struggle brought me deep sorrow knowing I couldn’t relieve her fears. Domestic violence was a recurring event in my family, causing damage and creating an ever-lasting trauma for my sisters and I. More importantly, it inspired me to pursue a legal education to provide the “help” many people suffering like my mother and sister need.
At the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, I joined the organization, Black Action Society. In this organization, we held several fundraisers giving back to the Johnstown, Pennsylvania community—Johnstown’s Women’s Help Center was one of our philanthropies, as many women were battling with the damages from their own domestic violence experience. I had the privilege of speaking to and uplifting many of these women. In addition to our philanthropy, we hosted weekly discussions, regarding various controversial topics. Many students, including myself, brought up personal experiences surrounding domestic violence. It was disheartening to realize how many people had been affected by violence in some aspect. Pitt made me more adamant to join the fight against domestic violence and help make a difference through legal powers.
After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, I attended a summer internship at the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. At the DA’s office, I was able to observe trials and assist the assistant district attorneys in their cases—some of these cases involving domestic abuse. I admired the assistant district attorneys’ work as they used the criminal justice system to seek justice for victims suffering from abuse. The internship at the DA’s office only reinforced my determination to pursue criminal law as a future attorney.
I want to help the victims of domestic violence have a voice and eliminate their fears by fighting against it through legal action. I would be honored to receive the Mometrix Graduate School Scholarship to reduce my law school costs and onward my aspirations. Thank You.

Dana from Pennsylvania