Sample Social Sciences Personal Statement
My ambition to study for a degree in the social sciences and to follow a career in community education has developed out of my own experience of caring, fostering and advising. As a mature student who has been out of education for some years, I believe that my decision is the result of careful consideration as a result of my own contact with the lives of those who are in need, often through their inability to find the information and guidance that could improve their lot immeasurably. I feel strongly driven to help those who are less fortunate, but my aims are not simply to be charitable but to offer ways, through education, by which people can help themselves. The worker in community education can be in immediate and direct contact with those who need the service, responding to their personal, social, economic , and of course educational needs. My experience of this sort of work has convinced me that I am temperamentally suited to this role, and I can think of no finer satisfaction than that of being able to bring help to those in such need.
I am very interested in the debate about nature versus nurture, feeling strongly that the “nurturer” can indeed make a real difference to people’s personal development, and that we are not at all the helpless victims of heredity. I fostered a teenage girl for eighteen months after her relationship with her mother had broken down. I was responsible for her care plan, and had to ensure that she attended school regularly, went to children’s panel meetings, and met her social worker to discuss her progress. The family breakdown had left her as the responsible carer for her younger siblings. Gradually the situation was repaired and she was able to return to live with her mother, but it was a rewarding and very informative experience for me, teaching me an enormous amount about the needs of young people. In my immediate family I have devised many strategies to help my son who has Asperger’s Syndrome, and struggles to relate to others, has language difficulties and poor motor skills.
Other experiences have helped me to develop my skills in community help. I have worked on a course assisting parents whose children are making the transition from nursery to primary school. I have myself been on a course to help parents deliver sex education to children. I have worked in a crèche, which has involved much planning and preparation, combining this with community education which allows mothers the opportunity to study various topics. I am very keen on encouraging healthy eating and am a tutor on the Let’s Get Cooking programme, giving parents and tutors ideas on nutrition, budgeting, and preparing food. I am also a volunteer for the Red Cross.
All of these roles and experiences demonstrate my commitment to community support and education, though I lack some of the the psychological and sociological knowledge I need to be a fully effective community worker. I look forward to the theoretical part of a degree course, as well as the chance to work with individuals and groups to gain more practical experience of the career I plan to follow.
Though I come from a family of graduates and professionals, I chose not to apply to university when I left school, feeling that I was not at that time sufficiently mature, and that I wanted to gain some experience of the world. Having children myself has been the greatest influences on my thinking, leading me to see the value and the complexity of family life, and inspiring me to want to devise methods to deal with the inevitable problems that can arise in such a close group. I am very motivated and enthusiastic, with something of a passion for the idea of education of families and young people. I am hard working, reliable, with a natural talent for empathising with others, and I always think positively. I have no doubts at all about how I should like to spend the rest of my working life, and I hope you will consider my application.
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