Application Admission Essay
1. Young Global Scholars Program 2013, Yale University -
Business school like case study on health and poverty issues with Yale professors and students from 46 countries. Became motivated to help and support needy.
2. National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine 2013, UCLA
Awesome experience living at a college campus. Participated in group discussions with doctors and professors to explore opportunities in health care
3. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, June – August 2013
Epiphany watching cure from grievous illness while volunteering at a modern patient care facility staffed with renowned doctors and famous clinicians
4. Kaiser Permanente Hospital, (2011 – Present) and Simi Valley Free Clinic (2011-2012)
Experienced joy and fulfillment of helping doctors and patients. I feel content in their company. Taught me to be humble, strong, and hopeful.
5. Metaphor Systems (now Pinacia Inc.), Software Tester, June 2010 – Present
Worked as an intern for past 2 years. Developing and testing software in a group. I donated part of my salary to a charity org. for school supplies and computers.
6. Software Product Patent Pending with USPTO, May 2011 – October 2012
Explored new territory to find solution to automate data collection and analysis of assays from ELISA readers. My first S/W patent is pending with USPTO.
7. Future M.D. Club president, August 2011 - Present
Recruited 58 students to form a club. Instituted club charter, activities, invited local health care professionals and facilitated monthly meetings.
8. Trustee of Utthan Charity Organization, 2005 - Present
Continuing with my grandfather’s vision, of helping underprivileged and lower caste people in Bihar. Helping with the provision of Computer and English education.
9. President Student Body and Council
Assisted in changing long standing beliefs to include all castes and genders in school & community affairs for diverse representation and participation
10. Caption of Varsity Tennis Team and Half-Marathon Runner
Experienced the power of team work and pride of winning. It heightened my team work and coordination skills. Learned to remain focused under pressure.
Essay #1 - Reflection on a time when I challenged a belief or idea, and what prompted me to act
Ever since my juvenile age, I have always had the desire of helping others, and taking part in community work. This was demonstrated through my donations to charity organization and the time I have spent volunteering at children homes. At high school in 2010, I noticed that students and the students’ council were not actively involved in school and community affairs. The fact that the student council was made up of only 8 male members from the high caste students made the situation worse. I was disturbed with this situation, and I strongly believed that the state of affairs of my school should change. Thus, I felt the need to introduce a new way of doing things as well as ensuring more active participation from students of all backgrounds, girls as well as the school parents. I figured that taking up various roles in organizing school events, charity work, clubs and extracurricular activities could definitely achieve the needed change.
Despite the challenges, I dedicatedly continued with my council activities with the help and support of my school principal, students, parents, local doctors and other volunteers. One of my greatest achievements was helping a student to launch a humanity club that brought students from all castes together. The club aimed at spearheading the message of harmony and awareness. Our initiative motivated two nearby schools to form similar sister clubs. By the end of 2012, I created the first student council bylaws and made it mandatory to have 25% female members and 25% members from lower caste in the student council.
The situation in my school has gradually improved as seen by the increase in participation of both parents and students. However, some people still remain rigid to gender and caste system. We have so far organized 6 community events similar to the “Big Brother and Big Sisters” of USA and “Habitat for Humanity” to help the underprivileged people in the community. We also managed to create 8 more student’s run clubs and an enrichment program. Three of these clubs are run by the lower caste students.
Given another chance, I would make the same decision again. The whole experience has made me a better person and has greatly sharpened my leadership and communication skills. It has also given me a chance to contribute to my grandfather’s mission of bringing socio-economic development and equality through education and establishment of school and scholarship programs to encourage education for underprivileged students. Finally, the experience has been fulfilling and rewarding as I believe that the long hours of hard work have not gone to waste. They have definitely made an impact in an individual’s life and the community at large.
Essay #2 –Reflection of what can be learnt about me and my application entirely
Born in East and raised in West, I have been fortunate to get the best of both worlds. At the age of two, I moved to Dallas, Texas in 1998 with my parents. Since then I have lived in various cities including Dallas, Memphis, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Cincinnati, before returning back to India in 2010. I came back to my home-town in Bihar, India; to be with my grandmother, whose health situation has been deteriorating over time. She has been suffering from a severe form of Rheumatoid Arthritis and old-age-related health issues. She did not have healthcare insurance in USA, and her cost of healthcare was becoming unbearable for my parents. Thus, the family agreed that she should be taken back to India to receive the needed medical care.
Having stayed in this town for the past four years with my grandmother, the experience has transformed me as a person and I am very thankful to God for providing me this life changing experience. There is an abundance of opportunities to help people living in this community, where a small tangible and intangible help make a big difference in their lives. Unemployment and illiteracy rates are very high, and accessibility of proper education and decent health care for a large population is close to non-existent. The disparity between the rich and the poor is significantly high. A large percentage of people live in poverty and most of them cannot afford to send their children to school. The first six months were extremely challenging and difficult for me physically, physiologically, and culturally to adjust in this environment. However, I can proudly say I am still here, and I have successfully made the transition. I feel very fortunate and blessed in the company of these people.
My role model, my grandfather, was not a hero, but also a leader, who had started a socio-economic development program in India; which he could not see through to completion because he died of cancer at an early age. He had a dream and a vision to bring socio-economic development and equality through education, and had established a school and scholarship programs to encourage education for the underprivileged. My dad, since then, has carried the mission and has put many students through college, leading to successful careers. I want to accelerate my grandfather and dad's ambitions by doing this on a larger scale. I want to achieve global scale by bringing together like-minded people committed to similar noble course. In order to achieve my goals, I must develop the highest level of analytical skills, problem solving skills, communications and leadership skills. I am very determined and I have been seeking every single valuable opportunity for self-improvement to advance my journey towards achieving the goals mentioned above. I have a passion for helping people, especially the children and underprivileged people in the underdeveloped regions of the word.
Essay #3 - An accomplishment or event that marked my transition from childhood to adulthood within my culture, community, or family
In June, 2010, the world around me came to a screeching halt. My family and I were completely overwhelmed with major setbacks and an unexpected chain of events. We felt we had hit a brick wall, and our world had come to an end. The real estate and financial crisis of 2009 had created havoc for many families in general and particularly mine. Our lives changed forever, and I had to say goodbye to my childhood much sooner than I had ever imagined. Our do or die situation forced me to become more responsible, to balance priorities, and to step up to face the challenges and crisis that lay ahead.
There were 5 of us (my brother, grandma, mom, dad, and myself) in my immediate family, and approximately 26 members in my extended family. The events of June, 2010 changed me forever and my life has not been the same. Starting in late 2009, my parents’ financial situation had started to deteriorate. Like many parents, our parents keep such things close to themselves so as to avoid troubling us as siblings. At the height of this formidable crisis, my father had lost all his savings and investments. In June 2010, my dad’s employer had a major workforce reduction, and unfortunately my father was among those who were downsized. Up to that point, our lives had been smooth all through, and we had almost everything we needed. However, things in our home changed drastically thereafter. Affording basic needs such as health care insurance became a major problem. I had to stop my tennis and piano lessons, because they became luxuries under the economic conditions we were faced with. My parents were forced canceled admission to a private high school that I wanted to attend. My father was applying and interviewing everywhere, but nothing was working in his favor and it would be a long time before he would find work.
I loved my family, and I would do what I could to protect them. In August, 2010, I started tutoring fifth and sixth grad students for $10/hour to provide some financial support to my parents, and in September, I took a part-time software testing job. My supervisor was kind and allowed me to work late in the evening and later extended my hours to include Saturdays. I used my income to pay for household utilities, my brother’s expenses, and a few other necessities. At the present moment, I am in 4th year of this journey. Under these circumstances, I have become more mature, thoughtful, and humble, but feel much older than I actually am. I feel very fortunate that I was able to help my family in whatever way I could.
In 2012, I joined the Big Brother and Big Sisters organization to be a mentor for young children who are not as fortunate as some of us. I have been mentoring three less fortunate children through this organization, and I am determined to provide the help that I wished to have had in late 2010 and 2011. In return, I derive inner happiness, a sense of accomplishment, and the most important lesson not to take things for granted. Additionally, I have been also volunteering at Kaiser Permanente and Senior Living center to give back some of what has been given to me.
If childhood can be defined as a time of innocence and bliss; adulthood, now I realize could be defined as time of awareness and experience. In three brief years, I moved from childhood to adulthood. I now see the world with candor and fearlessness. This change in prospective will strengthen me, no doubt, in the years ahead.
Essay #4 - The world I come from (family, community or school), and how it has shaped my dreams and aspirations
My family story is similar to the story of any other immigrants, but unique in its own way. Like any other immigrants, it entirely involves the realization of the American dream. It all begins with the story of my father and the culture he grew up in. My father had seven siblings, and grew up in a village in a combined extended family of 28 members living under one roof. He had a very humble childhood and was the first one of his generations to attend college.
My grandfather worked in a city far away from the village, and could only visit the village once a year. My father was raised by my grandmother, who was a very strong person and strongly believed in education. She made personal sacrifices to protect her children and ensured that each of them got the basic education. The nearest school was 4 kilometers from the village, and was staffed with only one self-claimed teacher (called guru). The school was located in a 10 x 10 hut, and most of the classes took place under the tree on bare floor. My father, along with his siblings and friends, walked 5 Kms barefoot to school on unpaved trails. This is the kind of environment my father grew up in. My father was determined to change his situation. He took charge and became a self-made man.
I cherish my father’s legacy. He developed a different mentality from most of his peers, and worked hard to create a better place for his future family. Because of his hard work in school and his vision, he worked his way through and managed to bring us to America, a dream most of my friends back in India wished to realize but never materialized. I count myself lucky for having a loving family around me. All along, my parents have worked hard to ensure our lives, as children, are complete in all ways. In addition, I have learnt the importance of a family, and why it should always come first in all that we do. My parents laid a wonderful foundation in my life, that of respecting other people and always being ready to share our blessing with them. It is because of these principles that I have to appreciate other people, especially those from the lower caste, because I have first-hand experience of what it means to be socially and economically disadvantaged in the society.
Moreover, I have come to learn that good life is not easy to attain. In life, there is no short-cut, and we have to use the stairs up as there is no lift to success. I am what I am today because of the hard-work that started with my grandfather and picked up on the way by my father. As I work hard to better the future of my children, I am also focused on bringing change into the life of the other people through assisting them in every way possible that I can.
Essay #5 - A personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to me
While volunteering at a local hospital, I took on a challenging assignment to help streamline assay screening and testing processes to minimize repetition, delays, misinterpretation, and mismanagement of blood samples drawn from the patients. It was an overwhelmed project and I had trouble finding a starting point. With some help from my science teacher, I started with Microplate Reader Instrument’s operators manual and discovered many functions and features that were either not being used or in some cases not being used according to the specifications. I talked to senior lab technicians to gain additional knowledge and also reached out to the instrument manufacturer for details about the instruments such as user guide, product specifications, protocols and maintenance procedures. I did a technical training for lab technicians which helped improve the process.
My curiosity and enthusiasm continued to grow. Upon further investigation, I discovered additional information on connecting and reading Optical Density (OD) data including other important details regarding the sample data from the instrument. I read several papers regarding the use of regression model for ELISA sample data extrapolation and learnt that Four Parameters Logistics (4PL) statistical regression consistently provided superior results than any other models such as linear, binomial and 3PL. The hospital had been using linear regression. My next challenge was to find a software program which could read and analyze the assay data using 4PL non-linear regression. I could not find one and I decided to develop a software myself. It took over 18 months to complete the project and in the process I explored and learnt about computer peripherals, communication ports, computer programming language, several non-linear regression analysis techniques, as well as numerous back and forth with instrument manufacturers to get additional details on communication protocols and the format of instrument’s data packet. I hit many obstacles along the way and thanks to internet, help came from people whom I did not know. I had to do most of my testing and troubleshooting in the late evening and in the night due to the unavailability of the instrument during the day.
The software is finally complete and I am planning to further improve the software by adding more functionalities and make it easy to use. This project won me state science fair award in 2012 and I have been invited to present and talk about my projects to many schools and science fairs. I also completed a patent application for my software and submitted to USPTO. My patent application was rejected 3 times by USPTO for the gaps in documents and format reasons and finally was accepted in October 2012.
I am proud of these accomplishments, and it has definitely made me the kind of person I am today. I have learnt a lot about myself and attained valuable problem solving skills, communications skills, and technical know-how. The accomplishment has further elevated my confidence level and has enabled new prospective on how I approach my school assignments, problems, team work, projects and new challenges presented to me.
- What in particular about Yale has influenced your decision to apply? (Please answer in 100 words or less.)
My application in Yale has been influenced by the academic atmosphere of the school. The two weeks spent at Yale’s Johnathan Edward residential college during 2013 summer has been among the most memorable and rewarding academic experience. It felt like being part of United Nations in the company of Yales’s renowned professors, senior students and the best and brightest young global scholars form 46 countries. In addition, I learned about Yale’s residential college’s flexible curriculum, small class size, emphasis on leadership development, libraries, on-line resources and extracurricular activities. My most favorite is Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
2.) Please respond in 150 characters (roughly 25 words) or fewer to each of the questions below:
- You have been granted a free weekend next month. How will you spend it?
I will spend time with my family catching up on relatives where-about, wellbeing as well as update them on my past months activities.
- What is something about which you have changed your mind in the last three years?
I believed community would support movements for noble cause. I changed my mind after realizing that tremendous efforts are required to get them on-board.
- What is the best piece of advice you have received while in high school?
“Believe in yourself and follow your intuition”. This made me stronger and gave courage to stay my course while I was overwhelmed with the opposition.
- What do you wish you were better at being or doing?
I get impatient and react strongly to people who procrastinate and do not keep their promises. I wish I were more patient and tolerant.
- What is a learning experience, in or out of the classroom, that has had a significant impact on you?
Learning in a group has added many flavors and enables me to see situations from many prospective which I would have otherwise missed.