My letter of application for University of Washington’s Public Relations and Strategic Communications Certificate Program. The word limit was 250, so I wrote precisely 250 words.
My fascination with language began when my mom doled out a seemingly clever punishment: copying definitions from the dictionary. I was so enamored by the project I surpassed my time-out sentence seeking the most captivating and amusing words.
Language’s magnetic pull continued as I studied Latin for six years and became the school’s grammar and vocabulary expert for competitions. As a teenager, I revised and edited my father’s writing for publications at IBM. At university I relished every opportunity to take linguistics courses. In my downtime I read about the effects of language in news media, hiring practices, and code-switching.
As a youth worker and educator, I refined my ability to communicate both in writing and in person to diverse audiences. For my high school students, I write clear and concise assignments and facilitate their critical thinking and discussions about humanity’s most complex themes. For my students with learning disabilities, I break down those complex concepts into manageable pieces. With my ELL students, I find the balance to speak simply, but not rudimentarily. Furthermore I teach my colleagues to support those students by presenting information logically and succinctly with visual cues. With parents, volunteers, and administrators, I am direct, yet tactful. And lastly in my work with homeless youth, I have learned to engage others with utmost compassion.
Using language strategically and precisely is the aspect of my work I enjoy the most, and my past inclinations lay the groundwork for what will be a successful transition into public relations.