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A Personal Narrative of the Benefits of Acquiring Skills Through Community Service

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Prompt: The mission of Seton Hall University is to form servant leaders for a global society. Describe how the skills you have gained through community service will be beneficial to Seton Hall University or to the specific program to which you are applying (law).

Living in a middle class environment where basics like food and shelter are always available, I gave no thought to the possibility that everyone else might not have the same. I was in for a rude awakening some time ago when I realized there were those who did not have these privileges. When I volunteered in the First Timothy Four Twelve (FTFT) program which requires people to serve in a soup kitchen, I was surprised by the extent of hunger and homelessness among people living not too far from me.

During my time as a volunteer of FTFT, I learned details about the sufferings caused by poverty, hunger, homelessness and social injustice. However, after my initial shock, I developed a close relationship with many of those in need over time. As a result, I became aware that many problems could be lessened or solved if these people had access to adequate legal counsel to advocate on their behalf. Prior to FTFT, I already admired the contributions made by lawyers in our society as outlined by family members and neighbors. They have the potential to level the playing field and ensure that justice is served. Now, with my newfound awareness and empathy, I have a personal motivation to enter the legal profession in order to improve the lives of the poor and disenfranchised through legal intervention and support. I want to pursue a career whose major component is service to others. Like Albert Einstein, I believe “A life lived for others is commendable.” For me there is nothing more satisfying than helping people who are in need, and who often suffer because they lack the influence, clout and advantages of the wealthy.

Not only has my motivation to enter the legal profession grown, but also my general qualifications. Through my FTFT service particularly, I have expanded my ability to communicate and advocate; I have developed leadership skills and increased my awareness of the concerns of those around me. Since my specific volunteer period ended, I have continued to work from time to time, because I enjoy both the physical contact and the sense of fulfillment I feel from doing something without any tangible rewards.

After visiting Seton Hall and researching the online school website, I am excited at the possibility of becoming a member of the incoming freshman class in 2010. Seton Hall being a part of a worldwide charitable religious organization operates with the same goals I have come to adopt. The school seems like a perfect fit for me. I am service oriented, have hands-on experience that I will gladly share in any useful way. I do not shun hard work and aim to improve my surroundings like the Catholic Charities do. As a student at Seton Hall, I expect to discover new pursuits and interests that will better prepare me for an increasingly diverse and demanding workforce. Although my path might be filled with challenges, I expect to be ready to overcome them, and later, make positive contributions as a lawyer with a conscience.

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