An Essay on How You Impact Your Community

Optional: At Fordham, we expect students to care for and engage with their communities. Please share a specific instance in which you challenged yourself or stepped out of your comfort zone in order to impact your community (for example, your family, friend group, high school, or town). Or, share a way you hope to do so at Fordham. (150 words)

I embody both a young Muslim woman passionate about civil liberty and a global citizen whose identity transcends her nationality. After witnessing migrant workers in the Middle East left at sunrise in desert mountains with only a broom and a single meal to last the day, I found my calling as an advocate. 

At Fordham, I want to pursue these human rights questions in courses like Professor Durkin’s Development and Globalization, where I can delve into discussions about reproductive rights, genocide prevention, and prison reform. By joining the Humanitarian Student Union, I can work alongside my peers to directly engage with social justice issues. And as an Indian classical dance enthusiast, I look forward to joining Fordham Falak.

And some day, in addition to being a world voyager, I will become the first hijabi United 

States Ambassador to the United Nations, a journey I embarked on at Fordham. (148 words)

Tips + Analysis
  1. Clarify the challenge. Fordham couldn’t make the prompt any clearer by asking you to recount a specific experience. And admission officers aren’t looking for just an anecdote about an experience. It’s experience + challenge + impact. We know a 150-word response requires a concise answer, but don’t sacrifice details for brevity. In this student’s case, she clearly outlines the inciting incident (seeing migrant workers set out with just a broom and a meal), but her essay could’ve been even stronger had she explained why this was challenging for her or how it required a step outside her comfort zone.
  2. Make it like a Reese’s. You know—the two great tastes (or essays) that go great together. In this essay’s case, it’s a Community Essay with a touch of Why Fordham. If you choose to tackle the “how you’ll make an impact on Fordham” perspective, make sure you do your research on specific classes, clubs, and opportunities that offer the chance for you to make a difference in the community (see our Why This College guide for tips and advice in writing this “Why us?” portion of the essay). This student addresses the Fordham connection in several specific ways—showing how she’ll use coursework, extracurriculars, and her future career to fulfill her dream of being an advocate.
  3. Demonstrate impact. Many students might worry that they had an impact on only one person, or that the impact on their community wasn’t important enough. To that, we say: Give yourself more credit. If you can say you made an impact—big or small, one person or one nation—then you made an impact. Embrace it. And, by all means, write about it. This student begins to explore what she’ll do with her Fordham education—engage with social justice issues and be the first hijabi U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations—but we would’ve loved to have seen her also state the impact she’ll make on her issues of interest and in her communities.