Maevo Yaro: A College Personal Statement

Maeva Yaro, a graduating senior Union Square Academy for Health Sciences in New York City, plans to attend Mercy College to study nursing, Sarah her mentor supported with editing/revising her personal essay below.

On March 31, 2016
, I returned home from school to find my father smiling and watching the news on the couch. Even though he appeared to be watching television, as I got closer, I noticed he was staring at the screen blankly with a spark I'd never seen before. When I asked if he was okay, he turned to face me and told me he was waiting for me. This was the day my younger brother Joseph was born, and it was a day I would never forget. Because of our age difference, our relationship has taught me to see things from a different angle. Being an older sister instilled in me a sense of responsibility and taught me to be introspective and sympathetic to others by listening to and connecting with them through their experiences.

Despite the twelve-year gap in our relationship, I’ve learned just as much from my brother as I have taught him and have found many parallels between my role as a sister and my role as a Peer Group Connection Leader. My responsibilities as an older sister include helping to bathe and feed my younger brother, as well as putting him to bed; my mom works as a home care worker and my dad is a delivery man, thus I help as a caretaker of my brother when they are not at home. There are small rituals we have developed such as picking up a strawberry frosted donut from Dunkin’ Donuts after school or enjoying the Lindt Milk Chocolates my dad brings home after work. My brother has started to break off pieces of his own candy to share back with me and seeing the simple behaviors I have taught him is rewarding as an older sister. The compassion and thoughtfulness my brother now shows towards me are traits that I realize I embody and value in others.

These characteristics have also helped me become a leader in my school through the Peer Group Connection Program. The Peer Group Connection is a peer-to-peer group mentoring program for ninth-grade students designed to ease the transition from middle school to high school. When I work with freshmen, I remember to take into consideration the kind of behavior and attitudes they bring into the meetings. It can be stressful to give instructions to a group that is not paying attention; however, instilling my own behaviors and lessons can be equally rewarding here as it is back home. I challenge myself to practice patience as well as demonstrate compassion and responsibility. In a similar way to my brother, many of the freshmen mirror these traits back to me. These experiences have taught me that a great relationship is built on trust.

Joseph, my younger brother, is now six years old. Having another person to look after, another friend, and a little copycat has helped me become more responsible, see life in a more positive light, and understand life from a different perspective, knowing that everything happens for a reason. Our relationship has not only taught me more about myself, but it has also allowed me to form other wonderful relationships outside of our home. My brother's relationship has provided me with insight and experience in both stepping up as a sister and stepping into adulthood. Knowing that my mother is expecting a child, I'm looking forward to not only being an older sister again but also to watching my brother teach her the things and life lessons I taught him. These relationships taught me that setting a good example for those around you has a virtuous circle effect. I'm confident that modeling good behavior for my brother will model good behavior for our sister. I'll continue to cultivate these qualities as I form new relationships after graduation, and I'll never forget where they started.