Personal Statement: Make the World Move Forward
I have always studied hard, because I have a passionate ambition to study computer science at the University of Washington so that I can one day return to help poor children in rural China, who currently have little or no opportunity to obtain a decent education. In high school I was captain of the soccer team, as I was very good at sports, as well as being in the top flight in most of my academic subjects. I am an immigrant from China, living in the U.S. with my mother who does not speak English, and have to work as well as study, in order to support the two of us here.
In addition to studying as a necessary part of my own education, I have already worked as a volunteer teaching assistant at the Interactive College of Technology in Atlanta, and worked in a voluntary capacity in the Chinese Students and Scholars Association at Georgia Perimeter College. Prior to that – in China – I volunteered as a teacher at the Red Sun elementary school and did voluntary work for the Red Cross in Hangzhou city and for the Chinese Navy, too.
Each one of us who is ambitious has at least some idea of what we intend to do with our life – who we want to be. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by and wanted to be involved with computers and computer science in particular. With time I have gained further knowledge about computers and the associated technology, and my objectives have become more sharply focused.
This has brought me to the present time, when I know that I really want to challenge myself, by studying for a degree in computer science at the University of Washington. The sooner I can gain acceptance to the program and begin those studies, the sooner I will graduate and be able to begin to take practical steps to achieve my objective of helping the people that need help in getting a decent education, but who are at the moment barred from doing so by their situation.
I believe that I have a natural flair in that area of science and technology. I suppose I have an extraordinarily inquiring mind and see this program as providing me with the knowledge and abilities I will need to help educate people in rural China. Many people think of China as a world superpower, but they do not know that in the real China there are still a lot of people living in very poor areas.
I believe my experiences in the poorer aspects of Chinese rural culture have motivated me to help them even more when I have the necessary education and credentials to do so. For every summer and winter break since 2010, I have volunteered as an English teacher at a poor village in a remote part of Northwest of China – a project that is ongoing. There is no clean running water and no road, meaning that we have to walk two miles to get there. The entire village is really poor. Apart from having no roads and no clean water supply, there are no stores to buy things. People grow their own fruit and vegetables and other produce and have to make everything themselves. Virtually nothing comes from outside the village. The children have never experienced the pleasure of wearing new clothes, never had the opportunity to access a computer, and know practically nothing about anything that is outside of their village.
The children there do not know what computers are; some of them have never even heard the word computer. What few textbooks they use are really old; some even contain errors.
Educational standards there are really low, and there is just the one small school for children of all ages. Although I am from a low-income background myself, I am truly fortunate that I have the opportunity to acquire continuing education in the U.S. I really hope that I can use my knowledge and the computer science technology I learn at the University of Washington to give those children even more help in the future. In the meantime I donate some my income to them each month.
I cannot emphasize enough the impact working with those poor children in China has had on my life, and how it has become the driving force behind my desire to obtain this degree through the University of Washington. Now that I know the power of computers and the Internet and what a fantastic educational tool that can be in isolated communities such as the village I have described, I am convinced that my role in the world is to help those people – to help some of them acquire the education and worldly knowledge that can help them escape from the ignorance and poverty trap that is their village life today. Because it is unlikely that the Chinese government will have the will or the resources to build roads into those villages in the near future, services and resources from outside of the village cannot be moved in, so the people living there will remain isolated and ignorant of much of what goes on in the world beyond their village boundaries. My objective is to make use of the new technology that is widely available in the developed world, to provide them with online resources such as online courses from schools and universities, millions of online books, news broadcasts, and more. Even those poor, isolated people can by these means and with the benefit of some outside assistance be given a chance to access the education that many of us take for granted.