Of all the characters that I’
ve “ met” through books and movies,
two stand out as people that I most want to emulate.
They are Attacus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird
and Dr. Archibald “ Moonlight” Graham
from Field of Dreams. They appeal to me because
they embody what I strive to be. They are influential
people in small towns who have a direct positive
effect on those around them. I, too, plan to live
in a small town after graduating from college,
and that positive effect is something I must give
in order to be satisfied with my life.
Both Mr. Finch and Dr. Graham are strong supporting
characters in wonderful stories. They symbolize
good, honesty, and wisdom. When the story of my
town is written I want to symbolize those things.
The base has been formed for me to live a productive,
helpful life. As an Eagle Scout I represent those
things that Mr. Finch and Dr. Graham represent.
In the child/adolescent world I am Mr. Finch and
Dr. Graham, but soon I’ ll be entering the
adult world, a world in which I’ m not yet
prepared to lead.
I’m quite sure that as teenagers Attacus
Finch and Moonlight Graham often wondered what
they could do to help others. They probably emulated
someone who they had seen live a successful life.
They saw someone like my grandfather, 40-year
president of our hometown bank, enjoy a lifetime
of leading, sharing, and giving. I have seen him
spend his Christmas Eves taking gifts of food
and joy to indigent families. Often when his bank
could not justify a loan to someone in need, my
grandfather made the loan from his own pocket.
He is a real-life Moonlight Graham, a man who
has shown me that characters like Dr. Graham and
Mr. Finch do much much more than elicit tears
and smiles from readers and movie watchers. Through
him and others in my family I feel I have acquired
the values and the burning desire to benefit others
that will form the foundation for a great life.
I also feel that that foundation is not enough.
I do not yet have the sophistication, knowledge,
and wisdom necessary to succeed as I want to in
the adult world. I feel that Harvard, above all
others, can guide me toward the life of greatness
that will make me the Attacus Finch of my town.
** ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE COMMENTS **
This essay is a great example of how to answer
this question well. This applicant chose characters
who demonstrated specific traits that reflect
on his own personality. We believe that he is
sincere about his choices because his reasons
are personal (being from a small town, and so
forth). He managed to tell us a good deal about
himself, his values, and his goals while maintaining
a strong focus throughout.
Source: Essay Edge