9. Please respond to one of the following essay topics: A, B, or C (Upload your response or attach it separately, and include your full name, school,
and birth date at the top of the page. We prefer that you limit your response to 500 words maximum, and that you avoid repeating the essay
submitted for the Common Application.):
A. Tell us about an intellectual experience, project, class, or book that has influenced or inspired you.
In any United States history class, students learn about 1960s and how protest demonstrations assisted in pressuring the government to pull out of Vietnam. Millions of young people throughout the country gathered peacefully to express their anti-war views and hope that their movement could somehow sway the perspective of the nation.
Last April I was able to experience this type of feeling as I gathered with hundreds of people atop Penn Valley Park hill in Kansas City to participate in Invisible Children's THE RESCUE. We came together to protest the war being waged between the Government of Uganda and Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) that has caused children to be abducted and assimilated into an army that obliterates villages. At first, I gathered with my school's Coalition members in a parking garage as tornado sirens blared throughout the area. When the skies began to clear up, I walked back to our small tent city where we held wheel-barrel races, rolled down the hillside, and listened to talented poets. To glimpse upon the spectacle from the perspective of an on-looker from the interstate below, our group appeared reminiscent of a gathering of miscreants whose sole purpose was to hang out and start a bonfire when darkness descended. In reality, we awaited our celebrity rescuers, the band Switchfoot, to come and act out a fictitious rescue of our camp that we wished would actually occur in Uganda to release the children from their captivity in the LRA.
At eight o'clock, Switchfoot liberated us and I became aware that I truly was not alone in my want to free the children forced to kill, torture, and kidnap supplementary children. The camp leaders assigned us the task of composing letters to government representatives and I sat down to accomplish the feat. I thought, "This will be easy enough to do. I will simply state the facts and they will listen." However, when I poised my pencil above the sheet of paper and all of a sudden, my mind went blank. What should I say? How can I facilitate their comprehension of the dreadfulness of this conflict? How can I force them to care? It took me a while to realize that my letters required my heartfelt perspective, in conjuncture with the fundamental information of the war's history. If I could accurately compose a letter in such a fashion then perhaps someone would sympathize and unite in the fight. I felt exhilarated as I launched into sculpting my words in such a way as to generate a revolution, one that disbanded the LRA and instigated an end to the carnage.
As I glanced around the camp, my eyes landed upon our massive banner stating, "Every war has an end," and I recalled my United States History lesson about the 1960s protests. I am here, sitting atop a hill, participating in a peaceful demonstration that could someday lead to the government taking action to end a war, analogous to America's efforts of the past.