“The Road to Public Service” – by Cristina Limas


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Public service is the path I have chosen to pursue because I believe it
is the way through which I can most directly and profoundly affect the
lives of people. Throughout college I volunteered in and worked for
various grassroots organizations. After college I was accepted to the
New York City Urban Fellows program where I researched and developed
creative ways of marketing the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Currently I am pursuing a Masters of Government Administration at the
University of Pennsylvania. Through this program I will be equipped
with solid public policy skills to bring about social change. More
specifically, I plan to initiate programs that educate the immigrant
population in financial matters so as to encourage them to open
businesses or support those who are already business owners. I believe
that by helping immigrant entrepreneurs, we will be creating active
citizens who will participate in the social and economic revitalization
of their communities. For most immigrants, succeeding in opening a
business is an entrance into the social and political process and
becomes a launching pad for placing the second generation on a different
trajectory: college bound.
My passion for helping humanity finds its roots in my interaction with
my disadvantaged community as well as my multiple experiences with
grassroots and government organizations. But I realize that passion is
not enough. In order to reach my goal of providing underprivileged
communities with the resources and tools that will direct them toward
long-term economic security, I need further education in related areas.
Recently, however, I have experienced significant financial obstacles.
Last semester I struggled to keep up with rent, bills and food
expenses, and was even not able to purchase all of my class textbooks.
As a result of these financial burdens, I was forced to take more hours
of work-hours that I could have devoted to study and service. Despite
all these obstacles I was able to excel in my classes, evidence that I
am capable of successfully completing Ivy League graduate level
coursework and that I am committed to be equipped with the skills needed
to become a powerful agent of social change.
I believe I have the drive, skills set, work ethic, and passion to make
positive, meaningful changes in underprivileged communities; I just need
a way to fund the education that is crucial in my journey toward
communal progress. I am the ideal candidate for this scholarship because
I have proven that I am committed and ardent to helping humanity.
There is a long road ahead of me, but through this scholarship I will
have the opportunity develop the essential skills needed to become an
effective public leader. Being awarded this scholarship will help me
continue on this road.

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