Transfer Admissions Personal Statement

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Consider yourself on the verge of extraordinary success

A whole, lucid, and magnificent life is in front of you. Achieve! Achieve! These are the wise words of the legendary Andrew Carnegie, a notable American entrepreneur and pioneer. These are the phrases that serve as my compass, constantly telling me to put forth my best effort in order to succeed in everything I set out to do. I have always had a strong enthusiasm for everything IT-related. I have always wanted to work in this industry for a very long time. As a student aiming to pursue a career in Information Technology, I am aware that to achieve this goal, enrolling to study in an institution of higher learning is of utmost importance. My ultimate goal from an academic and professional perspective is to ensure that my academic and professional goals are totally in sync. Over time I have learned that it is both unwise and irresponsible to settle for less concerning the goals one sets out to achieve. I decided to pursue a career in Computer Science because it is both a passion and a rewarding career.

The University of Washington: A Prestigious Institution

The University of Washington ranks among the country's most prestigious institutions of higher learning. Its position as one of the world pre-eminent public universities leaves nothing to doubt as to what an individual ought to expect from the school. It is also one of the oldest universities in the United States and is therefore steeped in history and tradition. One of the fundamental tenets upon which the institution is built is diversity, which is considered an integral factor for excellence. The institution also boasts a world-class faculty with some of the instructors being the leading minds in their area of specialty. For these reasons and more, I am convinced that the University of Washington is the institution that will help me take the step up to the next level academically, personally and professionally.

My Mother: My Biggest Inspiration

I count my mother as my biggest inspiration for all she has overcome. All through my life, she has been the beacon of hope, the pillar in my life and is the reason I am where I am. When my father flew to Honduras to meet and marry my mother, it was supposed to be the beginning of one of those beautiful stories that, as she puts it, are present only in soap operas. However, as fate would have it, it was not to be, and my parents ended up divorcing a couple of months before I was born. While my father went on to start a small landscaping business after the divorce, get married again, get two more kids, and later went to prison, my mother's journey of beating incredible odds began in earnest. In 2014, my father was convicted and sent to prison for nine years.

Mother's Journey and Determination

After her separation from my dad and now a single mother, my mom relocated from Honduras and moved to the United States with the sole aim of supporting her sister. Soon she learned English and Spanish was relegated to become her secondary language. After giving birth to my brother and me, she attended the Highline Community College for her GED and later moved to South Seattle Community College where she earned her associate's degree as a PC Technician, followed by another one in Computer Science. After her second marriage which did not also work out, she landed several computer-related jobs. The most admirable thing I took away from this is that however busy she might have been, she never at any time failed to find time for others including us her kids, we were all she got as she said. Faced with hardships, she always seemed to prevail, and she was also able to uplift those around her. The values she instilled in me, determination, and compassion being the main ones, are the reason I have been able to raise a family of my own and be as dedicated a parent as she was. It is this same dedication that I intend to incorporate during my time at UW.

Overcoming Academic Difficulties

Academically, I faced numerous difficulties which culminated in me recording a GPA of 1.6 while graduating from high school. There were several factors which certainly played a role in my poor performance. First, a house fire forced me to move in with another family which in any case posed challenges because I had to fit in a different environment and I did not pay as much attention to my academics as I could have. Another challenge I had to cope with was graduating on time which meant making up for lost credits during the summer. As such, I had to take six credits in the final semester, and unfortunately, my cumulative GPA was a paltry 1.6. Needless to say, this affected me negatively, and negativity surrounded me as I graduated from high school with my dream of attending UW hanging in the balance. I, therefore, opted to start working, which I did for over a year before I opted to enlist and I joined the Navy.

Lessons Learned in the Navy

In the Navy, the job ('Rate' in naval terms) I tested into was as a Cryptological Technician Technical (CTT). I signed a five-year contract with my job being that of maintaining missile defense systems, making and submitting reports, and using cryptology to achieve multiple classified mission tasks. Even though the work was arduous, great lessons were learned. The Navy taught me the greatest lessons, gave me the most awesome memories, and helped me make lifelong friends. Over two deployments, I got the chance to visit different countries, became involved in various combat situations, and bonds were made with my comrades. It was unlike anything I had experienced before. My understanding and perception about the different cultures were completely altered. Part of the tradition was that before mooring in a foreign pier, each sailor had to be acquainted with the culture of the country. At the end of briefings, we were given the opportunity to sign up for single-day community service trips. Personally, I made it a habit to sign up each time. I was passionate about serving others. The reward of these community service trips was the connection with a culture that outweighed anything learned in a classroom. It is while in these missions that my resolve to pursue a degree in Computer Science was strengthened and even though some of my colleagues laughed at that notion, my wife Taylor and kids, Kinsley and Leon spur me on to achieve the seemingly unattainable.

Life Lessons from the Navy

I also learned a lot of life lessons in the Navy. During the journeys I made to foreign countries, I learned to appreciate what I had and to grab the opportunities that came my way with both hands. I saw the devastation in countries ravaged by war, children suffering, hunger, and situations where people killed each other for power. It is then I realized I am privileged and since I have the potential to be all I can, a degree in Computer Science and further progress is my ultimate goal. I also learned life skills such as patience, dedication, discipline, and the need to serve, inspired by the community service assignments we signed up. I believe that these lessons and skills will serve me well during my time at UW and in the days to come.

Pursuing my Dream at the University of Washington

After coming back home from the Navy, I decided to actualize my dream of earning a degree. I made marked progress from a GPA of 1.6 to 3.6 despite being out of school for all of eight years, a feat that even my family celebrates. This revamped my ambitions of one day being admitted to UW. I am self-driven, self-sufficient, and disciplined. I have the conviction that given the opportunity, my desire to excel and drive to one day become a software application developer or computer programmer will no doubt become a reality. Majoring in Computer Science at the University of Washington will be the first step towards realizing my ultimate goal of personal growth and career betterment.

April 13, 2023


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