While born in the USA, I was raised in Weslaco, Texas, close to Mexico, the land of origin for my family. I find myself increasingly drawn to the border and border issues, the moral and political dimensions, and the suffering that surrounds or results from the politics of the border. The plight of children caught up in these border issues motivates me to work hard to become a public servant to protect them and help them to achieve a normal, healthy, and happy life, reunited with their loved ones. The MPA program at The University of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley is the only program to which I am applying for a variety of reasons, especially because these border issues are of particular concern to us.
Just getting started on my career, the most relevant experience I have so far is the time I spent with the Southwest XXXX Program as a Seasonal Youth Care Worker. The facility where I worked in Harlingen, Texas - from September through November of 2014 - houses unaccompanied minors from Central America. I conducted intake interviews for new arrivals, provided them with food and clothes, and showed them to their assigned bedroom. I oversaw laundry and cleaning chores every day of the week. My co-workers and I were entirely responsible for the youth’s safety and health, and I took this responsibility very seriously. We supervised them 24/7, day and night, while they were awake or asleep. We listened to these young people and were responsible for reporting any problematic activity or comments to our supervisor. As the days and weeks passed in this position, many children grew on me, and I developed intense, genuine affection for many of them. They shared their stories with me of their journey to the United States. We learned from each other; they saw me as their host and themselves as my guest, a tremendous responsibility to which I hope to begin to live up by earning the MPA Degree with a focus on their healthy being.
At first, this position was stressful and depressing. My first reaction was to feel sad and outraged at the reality of many refugee children who want nothing but to ‘work.’ 9, 10, and 11 years old, and all they talk about is when they will get their temporary visa to start” working” and send money home. Many talked about how hard it was to live in Central America because of the gang violence and saw coming to the US as the only way to escape a violent death at the hands of the gangs that rule the streets. One child watched his parents die of a drug overdose in front of his eyes, so he moved in with his grandmother, who sent him north. While in our facility, he was informed that she had passed away. His only hope for a family was to reunite with an undocumented uncle in the USA.
This is where I want to be, listening to the stories of child victims of life circumstances and failed policies, human greed and political domination, the tales of those that fall through the cracks and live at the fringes of human rights recognition. I want to learn their stories so that I can help them, becoming a credit to my profession and my society by constantly searching for and struggling to implement pragmatic solutions to complex problems, always reflecting a human face and never losing sight of the great vulnerability of the many thousands of children that walk across our border every year.
Thank you for considering my application.
MPA Personal Purpose Statement Examples