College Admissions Essay: The Program That Changed My Life

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“You know Kwesi, I only came to this country with forty bucks in my pocket and the clothes on my back and look where I am today.” -- words from my father I thought to myself the first time I saw a rifle plummet down to my head. I live in a neighborhood where non-Caribbeans are seen as outsiders, where the appearance of a white person is a rare occurrence, where violence and death become the norm and where almost every day conversations begin with, "Did you know he or she got shot last night?" Everyday I travel from there to a safe haven, Xavier High School, where the very opposite is true, since it is a predominantly white school where violence is almost unheard of. I began to truly think about the difference in where I live and where I go to school when I was asked a question at the beginning of my senior year. At Xavier…show more content…
In part, I found myself due to the Xavier’s United States Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, JROTC, program where I was pushed to my physical, mental, and emotional limit through leadership positions and opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The JROTC program has made me a more devout citizen, given me a purpose after school, the courage to lead by example, and allowed me to become the Executive Officer of the Drill team. I will never forget the joyful terror and adrenaline that went through my body the first time I stared into the barrel of the rifle hurling towards me, in the hopes of catching it. It is only matched in seeing the pride and satisfaction of a young freshman who achieves his goal of catching one, taking me back to four years ago when I did the same. But with every success, there were a plethora of failures and times where it seemed as if my failures defined me. However, every failure and achievement escapes my mind each day when I call the command, “DRILL TEAM, ATTENTION”, and see everyone's eyes staring into mine for
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