My personal statements for school.
1.) What types of skills and strategies do you believe you will learn at Landmark College?
“Skill is the refinement of our current abilities added to the acquisition of new talents.”(Jim Rohn)
My goal for attending Landmark College is to acquire and solidify any additional or pre-existing learning strategies and talents that would be supplemental in my progress towards personal refinement. I’m looking for any additional knowledge and tools that would compliment the vision and goals I’ve set before myself, that I might be fully equipped with an arsenal of knowledge and strategies for success and learning that would allow no room for lack of confidence in confronting the inevitable challenges and obstacles that arise in life. Every endeavor I set before myself I look at with optimism and confidence. I have hope that as long as there is a vision beyond the challenge and difficulty, the insatiable desire and determination to make that vision a reality will propel my efforts far beyond the precedent, and pave the way for success.
I believe that my purpose for attending Landmark College is the preparation of necessary skills and success strategies I’ll require as my goals become more specific, and the vision I hold for my life expands. I’ve told myself, “You don’t know what you don’t know, until you know.” I want to provide myself with an environment where I’m submersed in commitment to acquire, develop, and sharpen these tools. Specific skills and strategies I hope to absorb, and implement through habit, include efficient and effective goal setting strategies. Strategies that encourage an efficient and effective success, as well as the refinement of organizational skills needed to complement that success. I’m interested in the introduction of new and meaningful approaches to studying, as well as forming additional study habits and efficient time-management techniques. I feel that Landmark College will provide the environment and work staff that would encourage all this, with the opportunity to employ these skills and strategies towards the college education I’ve chosen for myself.
2.) In general do you feel that you have been taught academic skills and strategies that enabled you to perform to your academic potential in the past?
I’ve been taught by a variety of teachers, many brilliant and successful practitioners who’ve mastered the art of conveying information to their students in a way that leads to successive achievement. I remember those teachers because I remember seeing the power within me when they pressed me with challenges. Challenges presented in a light that sparked desire and confidence for a yearning of more than I previously offered. I’ve had teachers that saw my grades, but paid them no attention because they knew there was an unlimited reservoir of potential that was crying out to be heard. These teachers may not have had the skills or answers I was looking for, but they encouraged me to look in myself and find the answers. They were patient and hopeful, never critical or negative towards my undertakings, even though I’d struggle and consider the possibility of giving up. Those teachers I hold in the highest regard. They stand apart and will be remembered by every student whose life was touched.
I’ve also had the unique pleasure of standing before the teachers who’ve presented me with the truths and answers that go unchanging throughout the course of time. They were firm in their faith in every student’s potential. They were teachers that knew the formula for success. They allowed neither excuse nor any kind of rational for the lack application of these principles and values. These teachers would continually remind us every time we stepped into the classroom why we were producing our best efforts. I admire these teachers. These teachers provided every tool needed for success, and most importantly why success is important. They instilled the principles that provided the foundation and framework for my aspirations. They taught me that any noble and honorable pursuit was specifically held together through discipline, self-sacrifice and the art of being pro-active. Integrity and the preservation of character in every work you undertake will only leave lasting results. As I progress as a young man, I see that you will find whatever it is you’re looking for, as long as you search earnestly. The truths and good I’ve learned throughout life, and through these teachers, will never cease to reappear and continually qualify as necessary elements of a life worth living as I search for real success and worthwhile achievement.
3.) How as your learning disability or AD/HD affected your academic progress to date?
I’ve come to accept a reality that use to otherwise discourage me from doing my best, the reality that I learn differently. I would shrink away from challenges that I knew I was more than capable of overcoming, simply because of fear. Things were to be done a certain way and I did them a little differently. I did my best to conform to the ways other student’s grasped the information and it left me discouraged. The possibility that my individual learning approaches were just as effective, if not more effective, came to me only recently in my journey of personal development. I realized I was no longer limited in any area of learning. I could progress and learn and store whatever material and concepts that I was presented, as long as I took the proper approach and attitude. I realized there was no excuse to avoid tackling problems and challenges. Faith in my ability emerged as the wick that held the flame as I walked into the unknown and faced my fears.
Throughout high school there was no place or classroom I felt incompetent in. I could absorb anything if my desire led me to do so. The continual monotony of a specific way of instruction and a certain way of learning stifled my enthusiasm and creativity. As I produced mediocre grades, and grades were the standard reflection of the student’s ability, I scoffed at the system, yet it simultaneously left me doubting my full potential and abilities. Eventually my frustrations led to lack of motivation, producing even more unsatisfactory results. I began to think school was not for me, which caused incredible confusion considering my insatiable thirst for knowledge and understanding in every academic area. I did what I had to get by, while trying to sort out and pursue my life’s meaning and purpose. It wasn’t until after I left high school that I spent time in the real world and had time to make sense of it all. It was then that I discovered the rewards of personal development. It was a revelation like no other. You aren’t just born a certain way. You have a mind that you have full control and power of. You can control every thought and form any habit you choose. I never knew how to make myself into the person I always envisioned myself to be, nor did I think it was conceivable. Now I know it can be done. It will take time but there’s nothing I can’t do. The ups and downs along the way I accept as apart of life that everyone faces. I learned that every failure is a stepping stone to success. I’m no longer afraid to try because every time I make a mistake, I see it as a opportunity to learn and try again, only better.
4.) Describe a situation where you had to advocate your needs as an individual with a learning disability or AD/HD.
Throughout high school there was always confusion as to why my efforts didn’t appear to equal my potential. Before I learned how to harness and focus my energies I was endlessly frustrated by the lack of mind power I was able to commit to my studies. Although I knew all too well the importance of time-management and organization, implementing it was something quite unfamiliar to me. Essays specifically took an unusually long time to complete. As a result, the majority of the time they were handed in late, and docked points. I would always draft excellent compositions that deserved the very best grade, but it didn’t mean a thing if it was late. This would prompt me to produce mediocre works just to get them in on time. This kind of work ethic was contradicting to the perfectionist inside me who despised producing average work. The answer was I needed more time. I was stubborn however, and it would take a lot of me to ask for these extensions because of pride. My parents and I learned that it was often necessary for passing to go to teachers asking for additional time for completion regarding reports and essays. This allowed me to progress my way through high school with more confidence.
5.) How does an associate degree from Landmark College fit into your long term academic and career goals?
My hope is that Landmark College will prepare me with the education, as well as a good foundation for future success, to move onto more specialized interests of study. My goal is to double major in business and psychology, eventually earning two bachelors and moving onto a master’s degree program for Industrial Organizational Psychology. I plan on becoming a business consultant and eventually own my own business. The idea behind my vision is to provide a service that would allow people to boost productivity as individuals as well as a company. By addressing individual mentalities and philosophies, a healthier and more productive work ethic and drive can be created in the company. Coupled with the refinement of the business plan, tapping into the potential of company executives would allow for better leaders and managers. Overall I would like to share my knowledge and services with a company in order to encourage stimulating growth factors such as effectiveness and efficiency. I see Landmark College as a place where personal development is a necessary part of the education process and that is encouraged in every classroom. I see that landmark would fit perfectly into the overall academic and career plan I’ve set out for myself.
6.) Describe a teacher who made a difference in your academic life.
My sophomore year as a cadet at Valley Forge Military Academy provided me with an opportunity to learn from one of the most challenging teachers I’ve encountered throughout my academic schooling. I’ve had the blessing of learning from many excellent and passionate teachers who really cared about the student’s individual success. Many of whom I’ve connected with, and their love and hope for my success fueled me towards reaching my higher goals. My honors modern world history teacher Colonel Medearis was unlike any other teacher I’ve had before and after. Stoic and reserved, he was determined and focused in every endeavor he set before himself. He stood as an example of what discipline, honor, and excellence really exemplifies, never wavering from his ideals or his conviction.
The real difference in his instruction was his ability to convey those very ideals onto his students in a way that motivated us to make no excuses for a weak and lazy mind. He provided us with every opportunity to learn the material, and some. The only reason for anything less than an A in his classroom was the individual lack of ambition and drive. He knew our potential, and he allowed no excuses for anything but our best efforts. I can close my eyes and visualize myself stepping into his classroom, mentally preparing myself for the next hour of maximum absorption and development of every detail in the lesson. Not just absorbing the matter, because I could simply read the book, it was the lesson in every lesson that was to be learned. It wasn’t cut and dry textbook material, read this and that, and if you’re smart you’ll get a good grade. It was a character based classroom, with efforts based on our character as a person. We want our efforts to reflect our character and integrity- our attention to detail- because the details add up in the long run. Like a painting of your life, there are long strokes and short strokes, vibrant and dull. Every stroke or action, no matter how insignificant, adds up to construct an expressive canvas of idea and color, personality and character. It’s up to the artist to be precise in every stroke if his aim is to paint the most beautiful work.
This was the first time this approach was ever presented to me. Everything I knew of school prior was simply a place where material was presented to me, with the basis for academic advancement, so we could be allocated with grades that reflected our ability to crunch information and regurgitate it in a manner that could be awarded with a good grade, deeming us worthy on the spectrum of A through F. There was never motivation to be excellent in all challenges. I never saw school as something that should be taken as an opportunity for a personal challenge that would allow for refinement of my being, whether it’s characteristically, mentally, or physically. I remember him so distinctively because for the first time in my life I could make no excuse for myself. I couldn’t muster up the courage to tell myself any of his challenges were impossible, although at first glance anyone looking at the workload and expectations would indeed raise their eyebrows and write him off as ruthless. I knew Colonel Medearis provided the most academically challenging classroom with no excuse for lack of resources. The memory of him, his vision, and the experience lay in the back of my mind as I endured a variety of trials in the years that followed. It’s comforting to know that truth never changes and as I pursue my personal development I can look back and recall those who took the time to instill the unchanging qualities that really matter in success and achievement.
7.) In what ways do you hope to contribute to the Landmark College community?
My life experiences have brought me to confront cold realties that many people would never dream to face. At a very young age I was different in a variety of aspects. The mix of intense enthusiasm and creativity, coupled with my inquisitive fascination of the world around me, proved to be too overwhelming for the tastes of the standard elementary classroom. The teachers recommended that I be clinically evaluated in hopes that some answers for the unusual behavior would be addressed. I was diagnosed with AD/HD and medicated thereafter. My family traveled across the country, moving from California to Virginia, up and down and in between, attending first grade at three schools in separate states. This trend continued throughout elementary school until we settled in New Jersey.
My seventh grade year marked the beginning of the dark span of tribulations that would shape me indefinitely. I slowly began drowning in a world of depression as I struggled to balance academics and a social life for the first time without the crutch of medication. It occurred to no one around me as the decision was made, that much of my academic consistency and stability was contributed to the crutch medication offered the seven years prior. I had never been faced to cope with the realties of life without it. I had never been forced to learn and employ any coping habits regarding my individual learning abilities that would allow me to function successfully in a classroom or social setting. I lost ground in myself and my self confidence. Behind a mask I huddled in a dark comforting corner filled with hopelessness and chaotic confusion. I sought refuge in other hurting people whom I could relate these foreign feelings of unbearable pain and suffering. This confused mentality was the basis for the majority of my relationships for the next many years. I developed deep emotional relationships with many hurting people. I tried my best to relate with them in hopes I could maybe find answers to my pain and suffering. The ending result was destruction and death. My seventh grade year began that dark obsession with finding my cure, and ending the pain for good. Suicide became the only option after self-mutilation yielded weak results. That year I formed a suicide pact with my best friend which led to his devastating death. Coping was not an option. I swallowed the guilt and it became a part of me that kept me from finding the truth for many years. I was hospitalized a variety of times for severe depression, anxiety and suicide ideations as well as attempts. I was medicated each time to no avail as psychiatrists and psychologists scratched their head and introduced new medications, tweaking the dosages at each evaluation. There was no improvement. I was smarter than the majority of the Dr.’s rightfully accredited me. I began to accept this demon that possessed my mind and soul.
I must say I knew God, and I knew his truth, because for the brief moments I sought to dwell on the truth, clarity entered my life. Clarity that resonated and lifted my spirit and brought me out of the depths of confusion and chaos and brought a vision beyond the walls I built for myself. One of the determining elements that might have sooner brought me to the vision I now have for myself was the lack of unchanging truth, rightful knowledge, and tested tools in my life. These were necessary for the continual development and repair that I desperately needed to salvage the wreck I had become. I was blinded with false information and lies. I put my faith in things and habits with no foundation and they would consistently collapse all around me time and time again, leaving me more and more discouraged and bitter and sad. I was a lifeless zombie that acted with little thought of consequence. I eventually, almost inevitably, found my way into the realm of drugs. They offered the escape I longed for. It was a place free of pain, and filled with endless possibilities and realties. I dwelled in this world and my fascination remained until I learned it offered no answers for the mounting questions as the hurt and confusion remained.
My junior year reopened the past wounds as I was faced with another compounding reality. My close childhood friend committed suicide. I was left to deal with the coping on my own as I rejected any help or comfort from anyone other than the close friends I had who were just as affected. I soon thereafter began deteriorating noticeable inside and out, no longer able contain the hurt and depression. I delved headfirst into drugs and began residing there full time which led to successive overdoses and my eventual emergency hospitalization. The most frightening awakening experience occurred when I was committed to the state adolescent mental health ward. After spending a short while in the confinement of those walls, I realized that my issues were minor in comparison to those who earned the right to be there. I knew I could escape the depression I faced if I willed myself so. I realized I had to be responsible for myself more than ever. After appealing my evaluation to the state board of psychiatrists, I was reevaluated and left in the care of my parents under strict circumstances. We would move shortly after to Florida in order to start fresh. I started my senior year knowing exactly where I came from and I did everything possible to make sure I’d never enter depression again.
My confusion and search for amidst the world mislead me down a variety of paths. The first major breakthrough in my developmental processes came as I harnessed my ability to cope with my feelings. I was still lacking the mental knowledge and tools of achievement to cope with my mind in order to succeed in school and individual against challenges and obstacles. I failed my senior year which, for the first time, was a failure I was comfortable with. I saw that I wasn’t ready for college and that I’d be ready in due time. I reflected and searched for answers that would eventually renew the faith I had in my abilities and rekindle my self-confidence. For the first time I realized books provided answers that might take a long time for me to learn for myself. After each book I consumed I became more and more empowered as I groomed my mind and weeded out negative thoughts and habits, and planted new seeds of thought. I dwelled on every good, time tested, constructive thought pattern I learned, saturating my mind with information that supplemented these foundational truths, until habits slowly developed through discipline. As time passed and I put my faith into the men who’ve mastered success and attaining every life goal, the character I’ve always wanted for myself emerged and took shape. I continue to mold and add to it with every newly acquired thought.
My unique life experiences have led me through an immense amount of confrontation that many people would never experience in a lifetime. I would say it is not entirely uncommon to meet a brilliant mind full of potential that started with no ambition or hope, and rose from the dregs of unfortunate circumstances to find his place is the world of success. That’s almost a proverb. What would make this proverb unique are the circumstances, and everyone’s circumstances are different. It’s up to the individual to make them worthwhile. The realities I’ve been subjected to face have been instrumental in orchestrating the life I’ve played out thus far. I wouldn’t be who I am today, and know what I know, if it wasn’t for the experiences. The spectrum of struggles and challenges I’ve been faced with, and the decisions I’ve made to handle them, and eventually overcome them, reinforce the creed that anything is possible. I’ve had the opportunity to be in a wide array of places in my life that constitute as being on the far ends of positive and negative extremes. My mind has led me to dark realizations as well as enlightening revelations. I think the deep contrast between the two provides me with an obligation to help others discern as they are faced with decisions and confrontations in their life. I feel deeply convicted, knowing what I know, to create opportunities for others to succeed. I want to help and encourage anyone who has a desire to want more for them by providing any insight, tools, or direction I could possibly offer so that their eyes might be opened as mine are. “If you hold to my teaching…Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8) As I progress on my own journey I’ve learned that it’s necessary to earnestly seek truth in everything you do. There is not enough time in life to allow room for the weeds of negative thoughts to fester. Nor is there time to save room in a beautifully groomed garden for a patch of weeds reserved for the vices and limitations you allow. The beautiful garden of goodness and character you’ve prepared in your mind will bring forth the most fruitful rewards, surely surpassing any imaginable vision you’ve set for yourself. My goal in everything I do is to exemplify a life founded on truth, and attract those in search.