My first two years of high school was a personal experience that has been instrumental in shaping who I am today. Since my early school days I often dreamed of playing sports in high school, especially football and basketball. Sadly, as too many African American males, I was over zealous about the prospect of playing sports, the anticipation of becoming a campus star, and the idea of playing in the NFL. Upon entering the ninth grade, I was elated about the prospect of playing basketball and my school's plan to start a football program. My size, athleticism, confidence, and attitude caused my classmates and coaches to propel me onto a pedestal. As a consequence, I focused mostly on shooting hoops and making tackles, while simultaneously ignoring academics, my primary purpose for being in school. I became known as a "standout" football player and a "good" basketball player while at the same time my grades suffered; consequently, I forfeited my athletic eligibility. I experienced humiliation, embarrassment, and felt I had let my parents down, my peers, and those younger students that looked up to me as a role model. As a condition of being permitted to continue in athletics, my parents required me to sign a contract obligating me to raise my grade point average above the level required by my high school.
Through concentrated effort and a renewed commitment to academics, I experienced a metamorphosis the latter part of my sophomore year. My grades improved markedly and I eventually became an honor roll student. My personal experience instilled in me an understanding and appreciation for striving for academic excellence. I now recognize that earning the reputation as a "scholar-athlete" is a reflection of one who has worked diligently in the classroom and on the field. Unquestionably, my significant personal experience has helped to shape who I am today. I am currently on a football scholarship and meeting the demands of a rigorous athletic schedule while managing to perform very well in the classroom. Proudly, I have maintained a better than 3.5 GPA. My goal is to become an attorney. Given the academic irresponsibility during my early years and my efforts to right this senseless wrong through an unyielding commitment, my experience has positively influenced my ability and willingness to succeed in becoming an attorney. Perhaps my most rewarding experience that influences my goal to become an attorney is the volunteer work I performed in high school by assisting persons with special needs. I learned to appreciate the virtues of respect and patience. As an attorney, I would like to represent the interests of the underprivileged and under represented by protecting and enforcing their legal rights.
By Arlen McCray-Nibbs
Our Grandma's House
1720 Mars Hill Rd NW
Acworth, Georgia 30101
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