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Potential Essay on Foster Care

lostbuthopefullostbuthopeful Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
Hello! I'm applying as a freshman to some schools and as a transfer to others because of credit hours after high school.

I am an aged out foster youth, meaning I stayed in the system until I was 18, and it had a very strong effect on my resilience and general personality, so I'd like to write about the ways I tried to stay strong throughout it all.

Currently I am applying to the following schools as a freshman; nowhere near a final list, but it's what I have so far!:
Harvard
Columbia
Yale
Pomona
Brown
UPenn
Amherst
Johns Hopkins
Georgetown
Wesleyan
Rutgers- New Brunswick

If anyone has advice regarding my essay topic and the decision to write about it I would really appreciate it! If anyone is able/would like to read it, PM me! Thanks!

Replies to: Potential Essay on Foster Care

  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 3,083 Senior Member
    Hi--This sounds potentially very interesting. I will read it.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,988 Senior Member
    edited November 29
    Just remember, this is for an admit review, not an ordinary school essay or bio. Since adcoms will be building a community, it's good to include how that resilience and good will extend to others, as well. "Show, not just tell," which basically means an example or two (eg, how you reached out, use your strengths to impact others, etc.) (Try to know, from their websites, what sortf of attributes and traits they like to find in applicants, beyond the classroom.)

    I know your situation can be difficult and hope you're doing well now. Best to you.
  • lostbuthopefullostbuthopeful Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Thank you for the great advice! I'll definitely try to extend it to a bigger picture of what I can contribute.
  • CallieMomCallieMom Registered User Posts: 152 Junior Member
    Hi @lostbuthopeful . If you are considering an essay that emphasizes your staying strong through foster care, I would encourage you to dive a bit deeper and explore the possibility of including how others that may have supported you along your journey thru the foster system may have positively affected you. Some of your foster families, I am guessing, had to have been supportive, or some people in your life, perhaps teachers or CASAs, or older siblings, etc. Being able to honor those that supported your amazing journey and helped you gain more resilience may demonstrate greater maturity and wisdom and gratitude. Please be clear, I have a profound respect for your hard work and focus and commitment. I am also a foster mom. So, I know that to help a child towards attaining their potential takes a tremendous commitment as well from the parents that step to love and support their fosters. Perhaps share a metaphor about some similarity or aspiration you have about the specific school you are applying and how that aspect of the school reminds you of some familial pillar (like a super foster dad) or maybe an amazing guidance counselor, etc. Best of luck, I am rooting for you!!!
  • OutlanderOutlander Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    edited December 4
    Hi @lostbuthopeful. I disagree to some extent with CallieMom. I think it is ok to mention someone in your life that has been positive or been a factor in your success during your time in foster care, but I wouldn't spend much of your essay's limited word count on describing and sharing about others--the adcoms want an essay that gives them a picture of you and what they should know about you. I think an essay showing the impact your foster care experience has had on your resiliency and general personality and strength sounds like a good choice. Write what YOU think is important for the admissions officers to know about you and answers the prompt, then have others make suggestions on how it might be improved.
    I also recognize that you may or may not have had a positive experience with foster families that influenced your education, and that to do well in school and figure out the maze of all things needed for college is a huge testament to YOUR determination. After 24 years of working with foster children and aged out foster youth, I know how many obstacles and hurdles there can be for foster youth to succeed academically. I truly applaud you and wish you success in this journey. I am by no means an expert (I am on this site learning more to better support my own high school senior during her college application journey), but please feel free to private message me if you want me to read your essays or have other questions.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,972 Forum Champion
    Google "Hacking the College Essay 2017" and read it.

    Write the Essay No One Else Could Write
    "It boils down to this: the essay that gets you in is the essay that no other applicant could write.
    Is this a trick? The rest of this guide gives you the best strategies to accomplish this single
    most important thing: write the essay no one else could write.
    If someone reading your essay gets the feeling some other applicant could have written it,
    then you’re in trouble.
    Why is this so important? Because most essays sound like they could have been written by
    anyone. Remember that most essays fail to do what they should: replace numbers (SAT/GPA) with the real you.
    Put yourself in the shoes of an admissions officer. She’s got limited time and a stack of
    applications. Each application is mostly numbers and other stuff that looks the same. Then she picks
    up your essay. Sixty seconds later, what is her impression of you? Will she know something specifically
    about you? Or will you still be indistinguishable from the hundreds of other applicants she has been
    reading about?"
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