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Subject: Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they

believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please
share your story.

Imagine what 24 trillion USD can do to upgrade life on this planet, the amount is so perplex that
my mind can’t stop thinking of all the people it can help, all the improvements it can pertain to,
all the lives it can save and enhance. That thought rooted recklessly in my mind with other
thoughts swirling around, such as maintaining a 4.0 GPA, and winning a gold medal for the ski
Olympics in which i represent my country, those thoughts flashing around while trying to
organize a mission by garnering the support of multiple volunteers and collecting two truckloads
of used clothing, blankets, and food to distribute at a refugee camp in Northwest of Lebanon. As
I strolled in the camp I was overwhelmed by the chilling countless raised arms in sign of need
and by the sheer wailing faces as i got nearer to them to listen to their necessities. As I walked
through various feeble tents in which refugees would ask for supplies, one tent caught my
attention, that being that no one was waiting on its door. In an apologetic manner I asked if
anyone was in and peeked inside only to find a shivering mother sitting inside. I leaned to offer
her a couple food boxes, with submissive appreciation she raised up and handed me her twelve
months old baby spotted with dust and blood crying with no tears on his drawn cheek bones
probably from being too dehydrated and malnourished.
The refugees in this camp were victims of a ruthless war that took its toll on all demographics of
the Syrian population, in which we find widowed mothers, orphaned children, fathers who have
lost their entire families, suffering elderly, victims of rape, torture or kidnapping, all bundled up
in this refugee camp to make you doubt humanity and the sheer existence of God. The horror
tales that those people endured made my skin curl and thought to myself what would happen to
me if my family or i had to suffer what they did, and eventually tears would stream down my
cheek. Some of the stories i heard were how atrocious life was when their towns were under
siege by Assad troops and they were trapped together with rotting human
corpses, disembowelled bodies and body parts scattered all though. The war scars of their
memories still resides here in the camp with many men equipped with smuggled hidden hand
arms, themselves survivors of the ruthless civil war in Syria where they were compelled to take
part as paid volunteers or recruits in armies or militias. Only did I realise later that my
compassion and naïveté was reason to ignore that at any given moment this foodless, waterless,
unhygienic camp could erupt in life threatening violent clash, to me and others.
My disappointment only swelled when my further research taught me that there is 65.6 million
other of such refugees in the world who have collectively travelled more than 2 billion miles to
find shelter, with countless ones dying during travel. In Lebanon alone, there are over 1.7
million, or about twenty percent of the total Lebanese population whom are forcibly displaced
from their homes as a result of conflict or persecution. This has caused economic stress on my
country also affecting it culturally, socially, and an increase in crime which is associated with
murder and smuggling drugs and prostitution. I remembered an essay I once wrote in which
twenty people in the world are forcibly displaced every minute, that being said the counter
arguments is that some countries donate instantly to those people such as the US and Gulf
countries, the UN quickly takes pre-emptive measures to secure basic needs, NGOs such as the
Red Cross send equipment and personnel, Doctors beyond borders quickly come into aid to
salvage and aid the sick, philanthropists donate money, and then I remember the world does hold
hands and God hasn’t forsaken us after all. Love persists even when everything vile happens
around us.

I pause in silence, my palm on my head, thinking how can I save the world, maybe science can
find new ways to stop wars, halt famine, cater every household with energy, as I’m a patron and
believer in science and am a believer that through science all can be fixed. Focusing back at the
image at hand I remembered the real world we live in, and the extent of misery those refugees
were facing. How we tend to turn the channel when we see misery in this world, neglect it, reject
it, even news broadcasts barely give any importance to those war stricken countries or famine hit
cities, and because it’s bad business sum it up in speed with a few images here and a few
comments there, Yet, even if the world won’t acknowledge it, the enormity of the Syrian crisis is
compellingly stimulating with the words of John Wesley appearing to me on as the ultimate
stewardship: Gain all you can. Save all you can... and give all you can...

The world has never been wealthier, in which one percent of the world owns half the world’s
wealth, and 80 percent of the world makes less than 10 dollars a day, how can there be this much
disparity and much squander. I am mystified to learn that USD 17.5 trillion per year interpolated
globally are wasted as fees to remedy diseases and other indirect costs as a result of poor living
habits from excessive drinking, smoking, drugs or just physical inactivity. Another USD 7
trillion per year are costs consequences of atmospheric pollution, the root of the doomed global
warming and the source for the multiplying diseases in humanity and increasing premature death
rates. How about the USD 750 billion or 1.3 billion tons of food going to waste every year?
These numbers are not fiction; they are my findings in three meticulously researched projects
over the past 18 months who happen to be today subjects of current and global proportions. I’ve
been moved about having a healthy wealthy world ever since I understood how much injustice
there is in this world and wanted to research about it ever since I was a toddler, queering
questions to my dad and mom, asking them, why they are poor and why our government isn’t
doing something about it. Or when the News shows famine hit countries in Africa or Asia, I’d
reiterate those questions about why is this happening, and why hasn’t the world moved already to
help. I needed answers and researched endlessly to understand reason, facts and possible
solutions to how we can help. In some of the finding I found, science subject project which
aims at reducing existing air pollution and transform it to energy which technology is still at its
infancy, another project which aroused from my surrounding circumstances compelling me to
create a website to collect foods near hit-by-date expiry food products, and a research I have
completed to answer a public speaking invitation to speak on wellbeing at the highly acclaimed
Women’s Forum attended by over 2000 delegates and triggered by my triple athletic national
performances.
Yes, that is a total of 24.750 trillion USD per year frivolously wasted, plenty that can be saved to
improve wellbeing and sustainability and sparing seeking charity or imploring for contributions.
It springs to my mind my Chinese language teacher repeating her native proverb “in every crisis,
there is an opportunity”.
Suddenly all what I have learned so far has a fitting purpose. I am longing to start my higher
education to advance my knowledge in the multiple perspectives in sciences and arts and share
ideas in order to contribute develop feasible integrated models that work as solutions to our
global challenges. Suddenly it hit me, the domino effect of an Ivy League education would help
me and others prospect from an excellent job placement and growth. In which people can be
integrated directly or indirectly to improving medical sciences, help grow fragile economies as
prevention to implosion and counter dire civil wars or feed the children in the world who go
hungry to bed every night, 800 million of them. Knowledge is essence and through knowledge
it’ll enlighten our lives and the ripple effect will cause a more stable world, driven youth with
the right education to create a technological advancement funnelled to enhance poverty stricken
countries.
No accolades or achievements have given me as much to meditate about as during the stroll in
this camp. Helping and interacting with people I’ve never encountered before gave me an added
social responsibility, greater understanding of diversity and an enhanced well-rounded
worldview to see life from a different perspective and reevaluate goals and better appreciate
wellbeing. It felt like every day’ stresses and anxieties are event material, I left a little stronger
than when I came here. Stronger to overcome life’s adversities when knowing that others
trapped facing conditions that are life-threatening and maybe impossible to overcome without
outside compassion.
Little did I know then that the camp I visited had burned down to ashes, It makes me even more
focused on my goals and eager to learn what there is to know to apply the multiple
perspectives in sciences and arts and share ideas to contribute develop integrated models that
work as solutions to our global challenges.