My own personal identity has stemmed from a variety of sources – a lot of components have come together to form ‘me.’ Growing up in Korea, my family did not have a lot of money. My father was a policeman, and was very good at his job, but we still had to struggle to make ends meet. As a result, we often made sure to never waste anything, and never take anything for granted – aspects of my personality I carry with me to this day. My father taught me the values of hard work and perseverance; I also learned patience and compassion for my fellow man from him. In addition to my father, my friends at school were a great influence on me. As one of the few Koreans at the high school I attend in America, my other close friend (also from Korea) has provided me with a great deal of advice and help concerning how to integrate into American society, as well as other difficult crises throughout my life so far.
One of the most intriguing and eye-opening events in my life was my time performing community service on a beach in Taean. In 2007, the Korean oil tanker Hebei Spirit had an accident, spilling thousands of gallons of oil all over Daesan Port; as a volunteer, I spent 10 hours of community service cleaning up the beach, sifting through oil-soaked sand and finding animals killed or harmed by the oil. Seeing it with my own eyes, I witnessed just how quickly people took responsibility and acted in the best interests of their community. By putting my hat in the ring and helping as well, I helped to cultivate my own sense of responsibility for the world in which I live.
Since my father was a policeman, I have always had a very close relationship with law enforcement. Growing up hearing all of his stories, I have become immensely interested in the field of criminal justice. Living with the amazing feats that he has accomplished, I have become very interested in making the world a better place by protecting it. With that in mind, I feel like I have to learn as much as I can to follow my father’s unique and revered tradition of protection and agency. His work as a cop has inspired me to be proactive in a similar way in my own life.
Throughout my years, I have always felt this immense urge to learn more about the way in which crime works – I want to know what compels people to break the law, and by extension, the unspoken code of morality and ethics that ties all people together. The idea that someone would decide that their own needs are greater than the prosperity and safety of others, and would risk hurting or disturbing them to fulfill those needs, is alien to me, and something I wish to understand. For better or worse, getting into the mind of criminals and criminal activity is something that interests me greatly, and something I absolutely wish to do.
In addition to answering two of the questions above, please include any additional information you would like to provide if extenuating circumstances have affected your performance or extracurricular activities. This information is only necessary if these circumstances have not been discussed in any other part of your application. Maximum 100 words.
Our President’s Promise allows students to engage in special experiences that complement the academic curriculum and offer opportunities for extraordinary personal growth outside of the classroom. Getting to know you better will help us understand what opportunities may interest you most. To tell us more about yourself, please complete the following sentences in 20 words or fewer, using only the space provided.
1. In addition to my major, my academic interests include..
music, volunteerism, art, painting, reading, cultural immersion, and theatre
2. I felt like a mentor when..
I would help other members of my Korean club learn more about the culture of my home country
3. My favorite thing about last Tuesday was..
When I woke up earlier than normal, just in time to see the sun rise.
4. My career goals are..
5. My favorite place I have visited is..
The Statue of Liberty in New York City – it reminded me of the great history of this country.
6. When I hear about the environment I think..
of the possibility of climate change, and how people can help delay its effects.
7. One time I led a..
8. The most interesting fact I ever learned from research was..
People who are released from prison in America have a 44.1% probability of returning to their previous criminal behaviors.
9. The one thing I never expected to gain from doing community service was..
The ability to handle myself under pressure, as well as take orders and responsibility for my specific duty.
10. I am unstoppable when..
I am intensely dedicated and passionate about a particular project, especially one I start on my own.