Statement of personal purpose and history
In the present day, education is an institution with which an individual should remain in lifelong contact, given that the modernization of knowledge has become an extremely dynamic process. Therefore, leadership in the realm of education is a requirement dictated by the modern epoch and, if effectively practiced, it becomes a valuable contribution to social progress.
Having faced diverse cultural environments, I developed a genuine interest in educational leadership as an opportunity to help large groups of people in obtaining literacy, broadening their worldview and setting their career orientation. Therefore, I would like to apply for the their UC Riverside Master Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy. I consider my candidacy eligible to enter the school, as my educational background, career ambitions and professional experience are to great extent related to leadership in education.
Since my adolescence, I have been goal-orinted and ambitious enough to be distinguished with high honors and scholarships for service by California Scholarship Federation in 2000-2001 and 2002-2003. My Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, obtained from the Biola University, points to the fact that I have received an idea of the complexity of our society and the changing role of institutions like occupation, education, family and religion.
Since year 2005, I have volunteered for the Christian Zion Church in Los Angeles as Youth Group Coordinator and Event Organizer and since 2007, I have been making my career as Sunday School Instructor. Given that my major responsibilities include teaching children of immigrants and assisting them in the adjustment to the new academic environment, my areas of research interest are already crystallized and include the scope of methods and techniques of training and counseling immigrants and their children and the pertinent social policies regulating adaptation of newcomers.
In addition, I am interested in studying the methods of policy efficiency and efficacy assessment, in particular, the ways of evaluating educational programs and policies as soon as possible after its beginning and obtaining valid and reliable results. It is also quite easy to trace the interrelation between my cultural background, life experiences and my willingness to study educational leadership.
In fact, I am originally a descendant of a Taiwanese family, but taking into consideration the length of the period I have spent in the United States, one can understand that I am acculturated enough. However, the primary education and socialization experiences I received in my Taiwanese family are still influential, thus, I am basically committed to such values as respect for neighbor, regardless of their race, social class and age, harmonious childrearing and upbringing, diligence and determination at work and education, humanity and nonviolence.
Furthermore, given that my earliest remembrances associated with the United States draw the pictures of numerous difficulties each international student faces, I am able to identify the precise aspects of educational and psychological support immigrants normally need at the first stages of their acculturative stress. Subsequently, I have become truly motivated to help newcomers, especially children and adolescents, avoid the mistakes I made and solve problems I was living with in a maximally painless way.
For instance, during the first year of my stay in California, I had almost no friends, due to the doubts in my classmates’ and peers’ positive disposal to my personality; thus, I literally convicted myself to loneliness exceptionally because of my fears and negative stereotypes. I recognize I lacked than a wise and patient person who would explain to me the nature of my acculturation fears and show that in most cases interpersonal boundaries and gaps live rather in human imagination than in objective reality.
I can also recount that the first year in California was characterized by a substantial language barrier and the lack of cultural competence in the context of American culture, relationship style and family traditions, so I believe, as an educational leader, I will be able to fill these gaps in newcomers’ lives. Another major determinant of my choice was my social work internship experience in the rural area of Kuang-Zhou, China. This missionary trip encompassed abroad scope of activities, from teaching Bible with the local children to assistance in the construction of purifying water systems, vital for disease prevention in the county.
I was working shoulder-to-shoulder with local teachers, who, in spite of poverty and dissatisfactory physical and health conditions, continued to struggle illiteracy and work on educating the new generation. The variety of challenges Chinese rural schools endure is huge, but teachers are devoted to their life mission and contribute their pains and time into children and adults in order to improve society and overcome devastation and poverty.
Their only motivation is the belief in a sunny future, when their adult students will suffer no need and no deprivation – although the problem of poverty is less acute in the United States, there is still a number of factors that hinder the development of children to active members of society, including inequality, discrimination and the decline of family institutions. Therefore, it is possible to adjust my Chinese experience to the American settings and develop a similar motivation system for teachers and students, so that education is more comprehensive and sensitive to society’s changing needs.
To sum up, I am willing to contribute to the reformation of the educational system both as a researcher and as a practicing educational leader, given that my experience and cultural background have allowed me to identify the direction of my personal interest, which is all-inclusive education and cultural adjustment of immigrants and international students. I believe my previous professional and academic background make me fir the high standards of UC Riverside Master’s Program.
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