In Their Own Words: Student Essays

While the importance of research, policy and debate within the education community cannot be overstated, it is also valuable to be reminded of “what it’s all about.” During our week here, we’d like to conclude each day with an excerpt from a student’s college admission essay that he or she developed at one of College Summit’s annual summer workshops. In addition to jump starting these students’ college application process, the workshops are where influential students are trained to carry the message of college preparation back to students as peer leaders.

Below is an excerpt from an essay written by Pinpoquin Theresa Downey who attended our workshop at Connecticut College. You can read her full essay and others we’ll be featuring at In Their Own Words: Ten Outstanding Student Essays.

“It’s very hard to balance between the white world and my Tewa world. I sometimes wonder why it has to be me. There are times when I want to go home for a ceremony, but can’t because there’s a big exam I have to take or a paper that needs to be completed. It disheartens me at times, but it also gives me strength to continue my education…My Theytay told me that the land is very important to the survival of our culture because without the land we don’t have a home to practice our religion. Native Americans have already been cheated out of so much land due to the lack of education. I feel it is my responsibility to ensure the protection of Native land. With all this knowledge, I have gained the desire to become an environmental lawyer. I feel that as long as I am protecting my land, my culture will survive. My people will survive. I will survive.”

Finally, it should also be noted that these essays, and indeed the summer workshops themselves, would not be possible without our many dedicated volunteers who help make going to college possible for thousands of low income students every year.

–Guestblogger J.B. Schramm

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