Growing up as a Mexican child in the small, picturesque town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, I was always curious. I was unafraid to ask questions and didn’t worry how dumb they would make me sound. My concepts of equality and justice were informed by trivial injustice towards immigrants. My parents moved to United States when I was seven years old. They had nothing with them. They faced a lot of harassment from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This made me possess curiosity and eagerness to understand the world around me. It started through language, later through travelling parts of the world, and today in my current work as a volunteer for a legal aid clinic that helps immigrants.
During my time in high school, I engaged in many extracurricular activities. I was elected class president, edited my high school magazine, was a peer-tutor, and played in the football team. I still do many of these activities today. However, the extracurricular activity I enjoyed most was debating. I began as a shy person but through practice, I went on to gain confidence and beat stage fright. Debating also helped me to learn how to keenly listen to my opponent’s arguments and find flawed logic or baseless assumptions.
While Jim Thorpe will always be my home, my concepts of justice and equality originally conceived there have evolved over the years. Jim Thorpe is a reminder of my unearned privilege that motivates me to advocate for justice and equality. I’m eager to study international human rights law, a field in which the University of Pittsburgh School of Law would train me through its International Human Rights Program, clinic opportunities, and global internship options.
My experiences as a debater, mentor and leader have equipped me with the initiative, competency, passion, and commitment required to succeed in law school. I believe a University of Pittsburgh School of Law education will prepare me to help immigrants find justice.
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