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College Essay Examples

Writing a successful college admissions essay can be tough, so we've put together some example essays below to provide with some inspiration of your own.

Please do not plagiarise sentences or whole parts of these essays - they are only intended as guidelines and you can jeopardise your application if you're discovered to have copied your essay from the web.

College Essay Example #1

Honestly, I have had a pretty easy life.  I have never really gone without something I absolutely needed, and I have always attended good schools and lived in safe neighborhoods.  My parents raised me in a loving home, told me I was smart, and tried to help me be successful.   But almost everyone else I knew seemed to have those same things, and I never really gave the benefits of my life much thought.   Instead, I mostly coasted – focusing on playing sports, hanging out with my friends, and having fun.   It was not until my sophomore year of high school that I started to understand what my parents had been trying to teach me.     

My brother graduated from high school at the same time I finished my freshman year.   I watched as he and his friends went off to college – all but his best friend, Jim.  Jim was a big dreamer, talker, and “coaster” – like me.   Jim had not spent much time studying in high school and could only get into community college.   When we talked, he did not seem down about going to community college and my initial thought was that it was no big deal.  However, a month or two into the next fall semester I noticed that Jim was still coming by the high school frequently, spending most of his time hanging out with younger teenagers,  and trying to relive his “glory days.”  He was not the happy guy I had known and it became all too clear that Jim was not prepared to take the next steps in his life.

That spring my parents announced it was time for me to get a job.  I found a position at a local bakery and made decent money for being sixteen – it was OK, for a job.  My boss was a nice, local guy in his early forties.  He was fun to talk with and had great stories about when he was a teenager.  But as I got to know him, underneath the “cool” exterior, I soon realized he was not happy.  His life had not turned out the way he had hoped, and he seemed lost and still looking for direction – he reminded me of Jim.

I personally do not think everyone needs to go to college to have a successful life, but everyone does need purpose and direction – both of which I did not have.  I began to worry what my life would become if I did not find them, and I decided I needed to make a change.  I asked my parents if I could get a tutor, asked for help from my teachers, and began getting involved in school clubs.  My parents were a little shocked and my history teacher, in particular, all but rolled her eyes the first time I asked for help preparing for a test – I think she thought I was trying to “work the system.”  

I did not change overnight, but I continued to make significant progress.  My grades went from mostly “Cs,” with a few “Bs,” my first two years in high school to mostly “Bs,” with a few “As,” by the end of my junior year.  My history teacher even asked me to become her teacher’s assistant during a free period in my senior year class schedule, and the first semester of my senior year I made the all “A” honor roll.  I will never forget the look of pride and relief on my mother’s face.

While it may have taken me longer than others, I have learned the value of hard work and the importance of having purpose and direction in my life.  I am very excited to take the next steps and hope to have the opportunity to continue my journey at your university.

College Essay Example #2

While I have never seen myself as a rebel, I am not a conformist and have never felt comfortable being labeled.  I like to sew, scrapbook, and wear pink, but I also like to hike through the woods, get dirty, and build things with tools.  When I turned fifteen, I looked for something different and unique that would be fun, challenging, and give me a sense of accomplishment.  I found it in Search and Rescue.

In King County, Washington youth over the age of fifteen are allowed to join the county Search and Rescue team if they complete a set of grueling trainings and pass a series of tests.  New recruits spend multiple weekends hiking, camping, doing physical fitness, and learning general wilderness survival and navigation skills.  Classes of recruits are usually eighty to ninety percent boys and my year was no exception.

My last test was a two-day navigation course in which we were required to traverse a large mountainous area using maps and compasses.  At the end of each task, we recorded how many feet we were away from the intended location and our total variation for all tasks could not exceed 300 feet.   The course took us through swamps, thickets, and other obstacles, and we had to successfully navigate each type of terrain.  At one point, we carried our fifty pound packs over our heads as we walked through water up to our armpits, but my group of three girls would not be outdone by the boys.

The last few miles were the hardest.  As we prepared for the final hike back to base camp, we were met by a truck of rangers.  They told us we could stop, but if we got in the truck we would not pass and would not be permitted to join the team.  We hiked the last few miles with our 50 pound packs on our backs, our cloths soaked, our feet covered in blisters, and snow starting to fall – all the time with the truck following closely behind. Our souls and wills seemed to go numb, and there was a constant temptation to give in, but we would not let each other quit. When we finally reached base camp and tallied our scores, we had stayed under the 300 feet threshold and were the only girls admitted to the program that year.  It was an amazing feeling.

Similarly, I will never forget the first time I saw a dead body.  We were asked to search for a mentally disabled man that had disappeared nearly a year before, but was never found.  His family needed closure, and we were tasked with searching an area not far from his house that had very dense vegetation.  My team members and I lined up about 10 feet from each other and began hacking away at the shrubs, vines, and tall grass.  After many hours, I discovered the body in my section.  The skeleton and decaying remains were clothed in the man’s t-shirt and boxer shorts – and his hat was not far away.  This scene, combined with the looks of both sorrow and relief on the faces of the man’s family, changed me.  I gained perspective on both the value and reality of life and was proud to be part of such a great organization that had truly made a difference for this family.  

Through my experiences in Search and Rescue, I have learned to persevere and gained a new level of empathy for others.  In addition, I have a better perspective on life and am filled with a desire to choose activities that will have a positive impact on those around me.  These lessons and experiences have become part of who I am, and I look forward to building upon them as I embark on my next great adventure.       

College Essay Example #3

Ever since I was young, I’ve never been able to put down a good book. It’s a bit of a cliché to refer to yourself as a bookworm, but for all intents and purposes, I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm. When I was younger my mum used to read to me, so reading has always been an established part of my routine. When the first Harry Potter book came out, my mind was blown. I became absorbed into this fictional world, and was addicted to the escapism. This was the beginning of a life long appreciation of English Literature.

I first new I wanted to study English at university when I studied Wuthering Heights in class at high school. I was fascinated with how Heathcliff was portrayed as some kind of monster with redeemable features. I found myself in awe at this conflicted and tortured character that Bronte had created, and mused whether he was beyond redemption. I hadn’t read a book that had encapsulated such a dilemma before. I was hungry to get my hands on as many books as possible, and after reading some other classics like Of Mice and Men and In Cold Blood, our English class studied the plays Top Girls and The Doll House. At this point, my appreciation for literature reached new heights, as these were the first overtly political works that resonated with me. I was entranced by the ways these plays advanced the idea of Feminism. I wanted to read more, and I wanted to write more on what I’d read. I decided that I wanted to write as a career.

I knew I had to study at US University when I saw the shear diversity of your English course, and the overall climate of diversity that embodies your institution. I’m eager to read books from a broad range of authors from lots of different backgrounds and I find it motivating to see that this is a core part of your curriculum. I love literature, and I’m that I can bring that passion into my lectures and seminars. I’ve always been the first person to contribute when I have an opinion! I’d be interested to expose myself to authors I am not too familiar with and I’d be very interested in taking your extensive course on Charles Dickens to learn more about this literary great.

Outside of my high school work, I’ve found myself enjoying books written by authors such as Naomi wolf and Germaine Greer. Books like the Female Eunuch have inspired me to read more Feminist books, and have encouraged me to become further involved in local activism. I’ve volunteered for a number of women’s organizations, most recently I worked with women’s aid to help to fundraise for a domestic violence awareness event. I helped to research and write parts of a leaflet on domestic violence, which gave me a lot of confidence in my writing and made me feel good about contributing my abilities to an important cause. I’d like to build on this experience by helping to create some other fundraising events on campus, and potentially by joining the University Feminist society.

In addition to reading, I spend most of my time writing on my political blog. I write on a number of topics, but most commonly I write on Feminism as this is the subject I find most interesting. I’m currently planning to release an eBook in the near future called Myths about the Patriarchy. Throughout the course of writing this content, I’ve enjoyed communicating my opinions with my readership and would like to continue this for a career. A degree at US University would enable me to gain some solid academic credentials and enable me to pursue writing as a career. My passion for reading and writing has meant that becoming a full-time writer is the only thing I can imagine myself doing. Studying English Literature would be a good starting point to turn this lifelong dream into a reality.

College Essay Example #4

Ever since I was young, I’ve always been singing along to the radio. Whether it’s a catchy pop song, or an alternative masterpiece, I just can’t help but find myself moving to the music. It was no surprise that when I first picked up the guitar at 11 years old, I couldn’t put it down. I loved the process of learning to play all these little tunes that I heard and hummed before. The process of physically playing music, lead me to appreciate music in a whole different way. As soon as I could, I rushed to start a band, and after around 6 months of playing I played my first concert. Truthfully, we weren’t very good, but I loved the feeling of playing music in front of other people, so much so that I decided I wanted to pursue performing music as a career.

Ever since then, I’ve been throwing myself at any gig I can find. My attitude to music has always been to learn by doing, and I’ll be sure to continue my passion for performing by becoming active in the campus music scene. On that note, I would definitely be interesting in becoming involved within the local area music scene as well. As a player, I started off on alternative music, but not I am much more motivated by the spontaneity of Jazz music. Every day when I wake up I go downstairs and have a quick jam along to a few backing tracks. To me, putting hours into my instrument isn’t work and I’m always thinking about music in one way or another. By Enrolling at Berklee School of Music, I’d be well placed to cope with the demands of staying on track with my learning. If I have a performance coming up I will not be shy of spending 8 hours a day practicing. I remember how proud I felt when I finally learnt how to play the advance piece Eugene’s Trick Bag by Steve Vai, and am prepared to throw myself at any more demanding performance pieces that come my way. It would be an honor study at an institution that’s had Steve Vai as Alumni.

Outside of my schoolwork, I’ve been very eager to learn all I can about the instrument and have been giving guitar lessons for the past two years. I have become very confident explaining the basic CAGED chord system, and teaching students the Major, Minor, Blues and Pentatonic scales. Not only has teaching improved my own knowledge of the instrument, it has also been incredibly rewarding. I have enjoyed helping students who have struggle with the basics to be able to play songs like Green day’s Wake Me Up When September Ends and Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child o’ Mine. I know that it is rare for professional musicians to sustain themselves on performing alone, so I’d love to be able to teach along side performing. A degree of Berklee school of music will be evidence of my ability to teach not only the practice of playing guitar, but the theory that goes behind it.

For a long time, I’ve known that perfoming music is what I want to pursue as a career and I can see that UC Berklee will give me everything I need to become an established part of the professional music scene. Not only will formalized study benefit the standard of my performance but it will also take my theoretical understanding to the next level. In order to fulfill my aspiration to be a professional musician, I can see no other institution that offers the shear brilliance of UC Berklee.

College Essay Example #5

Ever since I read Frank Ryan’s book Virolution, I’ve been captivated by the idea of understanding what’s around me on a higher level. Ryan took the common ways that viruses were interpreted, such as natural evils and annoyances and turned them on their head. Ryan’s argument that viruses had a role in forcing evolution forward by encouraging animals to adapt was a completely new idea to me. The premise that we as humans evolve with viruses, presented viruses as somewhat useful, which was a completely new idea to me. After reading the book I became fascinated by the processes of life’s smallest organisms. I wanted to understand what they did, and how they were doing it. Virolution was my first insight into the shear variety and depth of the field of Biology. Outside of the narrow scope of the high school curriculum, there was a whole new world out there.

Since I read Ryan’s book by happenstance, I delved deeper into any similar books that I could get my hands on. Naturally I found myself reaching for Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene before taking a look at Darwin’s classic The Origins of the Species. These books taught me that I was missing a lot of what was under my nose. I have since decided that I want to pursue biology as a career, and after my degree I will be enrolling to do a PHD. A degree from US University will provide me with a strong set of academic credentials. It’s very important to me, to be part of a committed and active research institution as this is what I want to pursue as a career. By going to an institution with such a commitment to cutting edge research, I will be well placed to make my transition to the academic world myself.

In terms of practical experience with Biology, I have been fortunate enough to complete a work placement at the Baker Laboratory in Washington. My placement as Baker helped me to develop my day-to-day understanding of Laboratory practices and what the working day of a Biologist is like. The staff at Baker Laboratory commented on my commitment to learning, my enthusiasm, and my initiative. I found that I learnt a lot during my short time there, so I can only imagine what I’d learn over years of working at such an institution. I would find nothing more fulfilling than being able to contribute to the academic community full-time.

Outside of my studies and my passion for biology, I’ve spent a lot of time volunteering at the local animal sanctuary. I enjoy helping out with the animals there and aiding the general conservation attempts of the charity. Generally, we tended to smaller animals like badgers and raccoons but sometimes we got larger animals to look after like deer, which have been injured out in the wild. For me, helping to look after a wounded deer and helping her return to the wild was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Naturally, I found it very refreshing to see your institutions commitment to ethical and sustainable research practices.

One day, I would like the opportunity to contribute to academic journals of the future so that I can influence generations of the future to go into the sciences. My work experience and my volunteering efforts have shown me that the study of the natural world is something very important to me, and although I haven’t narrowed down on a specific field of Biology yet, I am confident that I can find this out throughout the course of my degree.

College Essay Example #6

Ever since I learnt about the Crusades in History at school, I’ve known History is the subject for me. Learning about how western Christendom ushered to defense of the holy land and occupied the surrounding areas seemed strangely reminiscent of western interventionism following the Iraq war. To me this was one of those places where History seemed to repeat itself. Since first becoming enamored with the Crusades my passion for History has steadily grown outwards. Today, I’m always expanding my knowledge of History wherever I can. Just recently, I’ve been getting to grips with Russia, reading Richard Pipes’ Russia Under the Old Regime.

As an individual, I’ve always been interested in the Leopold Von Ranke-esque perception of History, where the historian aims to understand history whilst leaving contemporary prejudices at the door. US University’s course on the Second World War, and the peri-centric approach mentioned within the course details, where students will study the lesser powers in World War II suggest that this is an institution committed to inclusion and diversity of history. I’ve always been fascinated with History in terms of hearing from groups/nations who aren’t the typical capitalist superpowers presented to us by mainline historical scholarship.  

My interest in studying history comes both as a result of interest, and as a stepping-stone into a career in Journalism. A History degree would act as evidence of my ability to research and disseminate information into a concise and compelling format. Ever since high school I’ve wanted to pursue a career where I can engage with ideas. Indeed, I would be well place to communicate with others in lectures and seminars as I have read enough over time to become quite fluent at presenting information and arguing a point.  

After completing a work experience placement at a local newspaper recently I have known that Journalism was the career for me. As part of my experience, I had the opportunity to shadow one of the local journalists, helping to source research for articles through a mixture of online and print based sources. It was my responsibility to ensure that what was written down was accurate and to organize this data so that it could be included within an article. I even got the chance to ghost write on a couple of smaller pieces. Personally, I found this experience to be incredibly rewarding, and with a History degree from US University, I’ll be well placed to enter into a career in Journalism.

Outside of my schoolwork, I’m always staying active, whether its playing basketball with friends or going to the gym, I’m always pushing myself. When I’m not at school or out moving about I’m at home reading. If I’m not holding a book I’ll be on YouTube watching political commentary or debates to unwind (well, most of the time!). I thrive off absorbing ideas from new books. My favorite book would have to be The Prince by Machiavelli. I found the way that Machiavelli eschews traditional morality in favor of tyrannical pragmatism to be very interesting and disturbing. Famously, Machiavelli suggests it is ‘better to be feared than loved’, and I find it interesting how his recommendation of ‘fear’ as a tool of rule would leave him admired by later dictators like Mussolini. I’d be very interested in learning more about Machiavelli and tackling his work as part of the University’s Renaissance module. Exposing myself to these unorthodox political ideas is part of what has made me want to go into political journalism, to engage with ideas that others have put out there, and to critique them.

College Essay Example #7

Since I was a child, I’ve always been competitive. Whilst other kids were out playing football, I was in the boxing gym working hard. I’ve always enjoyed football, but for me there was a whole new level of pressure and competition in Boxing that you didn’t get by playing team sports. I’ve found it immensely rewarding to push myself to the limit. As I grew older at high school I began to look for an avenue that I could make a real career out of, and by chance I stumbled upon an old episode of the TV show Law and Order. I found the idea of being a lawyer and being judged on your performance to be incredibly interesting.

To me, being a lawyer meant working in a meritocratic environment where you are rewarded on your performance. I’ve always had the tenacity to hold strong under pressure, and have the innate ability to thrive in high-pressure environments. With my schoolwork, I’ve always done well because of my dedication to just putting my head down and working hard. At Harvard Law School, I’m going to be the one putting in the hours to get the grades I want. I’m comfortable with throwing myself into a routine, and ensuring that my reading gets done.

I’m driven to study at Harvard because it’s the most prolific law school in the world. Harvard Law School has become synonymous with the study of law across the world, and for good reason. As an elite academic institution, Harvard Law School has the capacity not just to forge careers, but also to forge illustrious careers. I am confident that I am of the character, ability, and intestinal fortitude to thrive in such an environment. For me this is an opportunity to stand out from my peers and to create the life that I want to live. A degree from Harvard Law School will place the keys of my future in law well within my own hands.

Recently, I completed a work experience placement shadowing a lawyer, and have had the opportunity to sit and observe a number of trials. I’ve become familiar with the day-to-day running’s of a law firm, and as part of the role I was responsible for assisting the Lawyer with his research and double-checking documents. I saw that being a Lawyer was a lot of work, but this did not deter me, as I’ve always been a hard worker. Whilst others have been finishing their school day and going home, I’ve been going straight to work at a bar. When others finish up their lectures for the day to go home, I’ll be the one getting work done at the library before starting a 6-hour shift. I’ve always been a firm believer that you get out of life what you put in, and I’m always putting in 100%. Amongst my studies and my work, I’ll definitely be checking out the boxing society, and with aim to compete later in my first year.

With my commitment to working hard, I will be well placed within the culture of Harvard Law School. Work as a Lawyer will be incredibly demanding and time consuming, and I intend to put myself through the paces throughout the duration of the degree so that I’ll be able to hit the ground running when I land my first role as a lawyer. Most importantly of all, I’m willing to fail in order to learn. If I don’t get the grade I want on an assignment, I’m not going to start to crumble under pressure, I’m going to take the feedback on the chin and get back in the library to get the grades I want.

College Essay Example #8

While I like to read, play soccer, be in the outdoors, and hang out with my friends, my passion is music.  It started when as a 7 year olds and has blossomed into something I would have never expected.  I have learned how to work hard and about victory and defeat.  Music has led me on many adventures, helped me find my identity, and shaped who I am today.  

One of my first significant experiences as a musician came in the sixth grade.  My school did not offer band classes until middle school, but by that age I had been studying a few years with a private instructor and was a member of a community youth orchestra.  When I arrived at school, I quickly discovered that I was one of the best musicians in my grade and was given the opportunity to join three bands:  the sixth grade band, the seventh grade band, and the jazz band (which was normally limited to seventh and eighth graders). 

I reluctantly performed a short trumpet solo during our first performance before the student body.   I worked hard on the piece and it went well, but what I remember most was that when I walked down the halls after the concert other sixth graders congratulated me.  I did not know many of them, but they told me how “cool” it was that I played with the jazz band.  While it may sound vein, this experience allowed me at a young and impressionable age to embrace who I am and gave me self-confidence, pride, and a sense of identity.

That spring I also auditioned for two all-district bands with the best seventh and eighth graders in the county (even though I was only in sixth grade).  The experience did not go as well – I was nervous and did a terrible job.  I was devastated, but soon realized that if I truly wanted to be great I had to dedicate myself to working harder and learning to handle stress better.
I have drawn on these lessons many times in high school.  I joined the marching and jazz bands, and made multiple all-district and all-state bands.  In addition, when faced with peer pressure or when it would have been easy to question who I am, I was better able to be steadfast and grounded than many of my peers.

My greatest musical achievement happened at the end of my junior year when I participated in the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.  I stopped working afterschool my last two quarters and doubled my practice time to prepare for the audition.  I remembered what I learned going as far back as sixth grade and gave one of the best performances of my life.  I then spent a few weeks in New York with a group of students from around the country studying music with an impressive cast of professional musicians.  We worked ten to twelve hour days and learned to push our lungs to new levels. 

On the last night before we left for a tour in Latin America, we had a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  The venue was filed with our parents, a few political and sports celebrities, and many others dressed in their finest.  At the end of the concert, as we finished the last note, the entire crowd erupted in applause.  I looked into the eyes of my fellow musicians and we shared a moment of pride and accomplishment.   I knew in my heart that all my hard work had been worth it and this is what I was meant to do.

College Essay Example #9

I was that “that” teenager who told his parents at the end of high school that he needed to “find himself” and who received a collective eye roll from every adult in a 5 mile radius.  I did not know who I was or what I wanted, but I knew I was not ready to go to college.  I also knew that I did not want to be one of those “spoiled rich kids” that sat home playing video games and partying on the weekends.  Instead, I took the $2000 I had saved up from my afterschool job; bought a backpack, tent, and sleeping bag; and had an adventure that has forever changed my life and prepared me to go to college.

I left the house with the goal of circling the globe over the next year, working along the way to make enough money to eat and travel to my next city.  I worked about a dozen jobs, from cleaning out horse stalls in Argentina to fast food in the Philippines.  The reality is that, up to that point, I had never really understood the value of money or had to work to survive.  I lived in Greece for two months working for a fisherman mending and cleaning his fishing nets.  At the end of the day, he would inspect my work and if it was satisfactory I would get paid – if it was not, I was not paid that day.  It did not take me long to figure out how to take pride in my work.

I faced dangers that I had never experienced at home.  In São Paulo, Brazil, one of my temporary travel companions was robbed at gunpoint while I was chased down the street.  In the same city, the children would not go to school during periods of heightened gang violence out of fear for their safety.  It was difficult to then be asked by those same kids about my school experiences and why I had chosen to leave home.

Most of all, I learned that most people are generally the same.  Regardless of region, economic class, skin color, religion, or gender most people are just trying to do the best they can to navigate their challenges with dignity and give their children more than they have.   Towards the end of my journey, I stayed a few weeks in France with a family friend.   We talked frequently about what I had seen and observed over the prior months, and I shared this hypothesis with the father.  To my surprise, he opened up to me about the struggles he faced raising his children.  While he did not to have to worry about whether his kids had enough food to eat, his concerns were just as sincere and real, and I saw in him much of what I had seen in others. While this may not be profound to some, it was for me particularly in light of the negativity and demonization that seems to dominate so much of the public discourse in the United States.

I did not walk away from my year-long adventure with a clear roadmap for my entire life.  I do not know for sure what I am going to major in or what will be my final career choose.   But I did gain perspective on what the world is really like and my place in it; I learned how to work hard and the dignity that comes from doing so; and I learned how lucky I truly am and the type of life I want to provide for my kids.  

I am grateful for the experiences I had and am now better prepared to move forward into adulthood.   I hope to have the opportunity to start my next great adventure at your university. 

College Essay Example #10

My parent’s favorite television show is a political drama called The West Wing that that went off the air about 10 years ago.  Growing up, I frequently walked into a room to find them watching old episodes and, in one such episode, the President of the United States closed a discussion with a group of college students by counseling: “decisions are made by those who show up.”  The quote stuck with me, but it was not until recently that I came to understand what it meant. 

I will be honest – I initially joined Key Club International, a service organization, because I thought it would look good on a college application.  As part of my membership, I was required to complete at least fifty hours of service.  I decided the easiest way to complete the requirement was to set up a regular volunteer project and so I agreed to work at the local soup kitchen every other Saturday morning.  For the first year, I went on my designated mornings, helped out, and went home, but I began to notice that other student volunteers frequently missed their allotted time and left the facility understaffed. 

I could tell this really bothered the Director of the program and it took away from her ability to serve the soup kitchen’s clients.  Innocently, I mentioned to the Director that more students may show up on time if she sent them a reminder via text message.  She thought it was a good idea and asked if I would mind sending out the messages next week, and so I did.  The response was positive and more of the students arrived on time for their shifts. 

Over the next few months, the Director continued to ask me questions about how best to engage student volunteers.   I helped her set up accounts on various social media platforms, create better internal volunteer tracking charts, and plan a presentation she could make at local schools to recruit volunteers and increase awareness.   The Director asked me to join her at one of the presentations and, while I was nervous, I enjoyed sharing my positive experiences with the other students.

At the end of my junior year, the Director was asked to make a presentation to the county Board of Supervisors about the student outreach program and what had made it so successful.   She brought me with her and asked that I give part of the presentation.  I received a very warm reception from the Board and, at the end, the Chairwoman pulled me aside and asked if I would join a county commission on hunger and poverty.  She explained that the Board was struggling to find new solutions to the growing issues facing underprivileged children in the county.  I was honored to accept and have since spent a few hours a month at the county offices working on the commission.  It has gone so well that both the Chairwoman and the Director offered to write me letters of recommendation to college.  

The reality is that I am not more talented than my fellow students.  I do not have some great technical knowledge, I am not particularly outgoing, and I am not a great public speaker.  But I was willing to show up and help.  By doing so, what was meant to be a simple volunteer project two times a month developed into a great adventure where I have met many fantastic people, done things most teenagers never consider possible, and had lots of fun.     

I look forward to taking what I have learned with me as I go to college.  I hope to have many opportunities to provide service and improve myself, and I am excited to see what adventures the next 4 years bring.