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I was born into a disadvantaged family in Newark, NJ. My parents, both Ghanaian immigrants, divorced when I was five years old. In my late teens, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder combined with schizophrenia and ADHD. In spite of my race, low-income status, and mental disabilities, I found the best way to overcome these challenges was to immerse myself in my studies and to stay active in my community by volunteering and taking on leadership responsibilities. I have maintained excellent grades throughout college, have become a student leader for various extracurricular activities and have volunteered on a regular basis with organizations within my community. By taking the initiative to become a leader, and by having confidence in myself to succeed in any endeavor I choose to take, I found that not only was I capable of being an excellent steward of resources, people, and responsibility, but that I had a passion for it.
As a student leader, I have greatly enjoyed applying my personal philosophies and passions to my coursework, volunteer activities, and professional organizations. I realize that success does not become a reality without determination, hard work, and the ability to work with others. As a result, I have applied this philosophy not just to my coursework, but also to how I live within my local community and how I am seeking a path to my vocation as a role model for underrepresented minorities. No matter my role, I am committed to showing others that their background, medical history, or social status has no effect on what they will be able to accomplish by applying hard work, determination, and by staying goal-oriented towards a brighter future.
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