Hello, I am an international student applying to duke this year. there is a diversity essay supplemental prompt. In my culture, there is a lottory like tradition named “weza” which helps to save money. College students face many financial problems these days. this weza system involves a group of people who pay say 50$ a month and the collected money is given to the person whose name is picked in random selection. for example. if Abraham, Jane, Robert, and Jhon use this system, each of them vouches in 50$ each month and each month there will be 1 winner that will be decided by writing their names on paper and rolling it to randomly choose 1 person. that person takes 200$ home on his first day and uses that money but continues to vouch in 50$ monthly until everyone gets his turn. I wanted to say I wish to transfer these values in my duke community and respecting elders culture. is it doable? if so can you give me a hint on how I could write it? (structure).
Hey! This is Lillian from Prompt. This is a great topic to write about because it’s specific to your experience! I would suggest refocusing your connection from respecting elders’ culture to how you hope to help your peers at Duke reach their goals through mutual collaboration.
One separate challenge I see would be explaining this tradition within the word limit of the prompt. You’ll want to focus on the most important aspect of the tradition so you’ll have plenty of room to talk about your personal connection to weza and how you hope to share it at Duke.
I’m guessing the prompt is specifically asking what diversity YOU will add to Duke. You can’t focus on the way the lottery is structured. They won’t care about that. It’s enough to say that in your country, there’s a community lottery that people contribute to, which is used to give a random (elderly?) person a bit of extra financial help.
This is what your essay MUST do: You have to focus on what this system shows about you and how, in discussing this topic, you will bring some important quality to Duke.
Of course, it’s important to respect elders, but does that tie into your interests or what you might want to study? Duke is looking to see how you will fit in with their culture. Remember who your reader is.
Respecting elder culture is not one of the factors Duke actively looks for, in building its campus community. It is valid, it is good, top colleges like kids who appreciate their cultures. But the primary interaction on campus is with college peers and the personal traits related to that.
I don’t see what you describe when looking via google. (I know this sort of thing does exist.) You seem to be describing a lottery-- donate, on the chance you might win. Not sure how that would go over with adcoms.
Diversity refers to what you bring to the campus that is a somewhat unique perspective, one that could be shared with others, enrich all through the experience. It can be small. Or it can be a major factor in your identity. But above all, it needs to be relevant to what the college seeks in its community.