College Essay

January 4, 2011
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The University of Wisconsin values an educational environment that provides all members of the campus community with opportunities to grow and develop intellectually, personally, culturally and socially. In order to give us a more complete picture of you as an individual, please tell us about the particular life experiences, perspectives, talents, commitments and/or interests you will bring to our campus. In other words, how will your presence enrich our community?

“Ben, don’t you want to play soccer?” I asked, hoping he’d say yes.

“Yes, but wait.” he replied, his voice a little over a whisper. “I don’t really know what to do.”

At the TOPS soccer program for kids with disabilities, I was paired up with a boy named Ben. He was the complete opposite of shy and soon began grasping my hand very tightly. Ben didn’t know the first thing about soccer, and all he wanted was to run around and show me off. But there was a problem with that – we weren’t playing soccer.

I began giving Ben all little hints and tips I could think of to help him get more and more involved.
“Ben, kick the ball towards the other team’s goal.” I would tell him. “Now play defense… don’t let him get past you, Ben. You can do it.”
And overtime, I saw that happen. He began to kick the ball, pass it, and even took a few shots. My determination over that hour to help a boy learn and succeed at a friendly soccer game presented great rewards. Ben became good at something and belonged to something.
Being the oldest of four girls, it became essential for me to be helpful to others. Whenever my mom needs me to drive a sister here or there, I do it, even if I would rather be relaxing at home. When my sister broke her foot two days before we went to Orlando, I was the one who pushed her around in her wheelchair at the theme parks for a week. When my parents didn’t have the time to help teach my little sister how to read, I was willing to.
Working with Ben that day really affected me. It proved that even the smallest of things – such as helping a kid play soccer – can really go a long way. By me just being there for him during that hour and helping him, he felt like he belonged to something.





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