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Natalie LaRowe

Ms. Schuetz

Service Learning

18 October 2017

Statement of Future Plans

One of the most significant decisions in a persons life is the path they take after

graduating from high school because it determines how the person will spend the next four years.

Furthermore, the plans an individual makes about their postgraduate career allow them to utilize

the preparation that high school gave them to be a successful and contributing member of

society. After high school, I plan to attend University of California, Los Angeles with a major in

civil engineering.

Throughout my secondary education, there have been many educational opportunities

offered to me that I have taken advantage of. One such opportunity is the program at the local

community college which allows high-achieving high school students to attend a limited amount

of community college classes free of charge. This opportunity has challenged me to excel at a

higher level than offered through regular high school classes, and also to succeed in a different

type of learning environment with higher expectations. During high school, I also took advantage

of an Advanced Placement Calculus course that was offered at my school. While the class was

difficult, it was a beneficial experience that prepared me for the more difficult mathematics

classes I will take in college, as well as preparing me overall for more challenging, fast-paced

courses in college.

One of the most significant skills I have developed over the years is the motivation to

learn in order to improve. I have realized that it is very difficult to be motivated to learn without
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having a purpose for it, and have established that learning is much more meaningful when there

is a goal to implement new knowledge into solutions for personal, societal, or worldly issues.

One area in which I have used my knowledge to make an improvement is in Robotics club.

When I first became a member, it took many hours to become familiar with the way things

worked in order to be a contributing member of the club. During this time, I began to see an

issue in the Public Relations and Business departments. I noticed that there was an extremely low

retention rate in the Public Relations department, and there was only one person in the business

department who handled all of the jobs in the department, including planning fundraisers, filling

out grants, and planning and executing a budget for the whole year.

Rather than allowing the department to continue functioning in an inefficient way, I

chose to use the knowledge that I had gained in robotics about planning and leadership to draw

attention to the Business and PR departments. This allowed me to help the department members

with jobs when their task list became too long for one person to complete alone. Through this

process, I was able to draw the clubs attention to the need of higher retention rates in the Public

Relations and Business departments and prove to them that these departments were worth

spending time and energy on in order to make them successful. Working with the Public

Relations department lead, I organized a list of jobs with descriptions for the incoming Public

Relations members. This would allow members to choose a job when joining the department

and then have projects to do, which will serve as an incentive to stay in the club. To address the

issue with the business departments lack of members, I composed an announcement for the

schools daily bulletin to attract people interested in business skills and arranged a presentation

to promote the clubs need for members. These events are an example of my team player

quality. Rather than keeping my knowledge and experience to myself, I choose to use my skills
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to improve situations and better the community. The members of the robotics club recognized

this skill and voted me as their new Vice President.

The most outstanding skill I possess is my own determination. For example, when I first

began my Advanced Placement Calculus class, I was very discouraged and confused with the

material, but I allowed that to motivate me to become better at the subject. I spent extra time

talking with teachers, watching math explanation videos, and getting ahead on Khan Academy.

My determination caused me to understand the subject much better than I originally expected to,

and eventually earn a score of five out of five on the Advanced Placement test.

Determination also played a large role in my experience with robotics club. When I first

joined the club, it was difficult to begin participating in club activities because many members

thought I was incapable of doing the smarter jobs due to the fact that I was a girl. Rather than

accepting that, I used their discouraging opinions of me to motivate me to work harder and be

even more committed to meetings and competitions. This resulted in my participation in four

different departments throughout the years, along with my unceasing determination for

excellence in all of my tasks. The members of the club gained respect for me and elected me for

multiple leadership positions over the years, including the position of Vice President. My

determination gave me a desire to major in Civil Engineering in my post-secondary education. I

am well aware that engineering is a difficult field, but this has only further motivated me to

persevere and work beyond what is expected in order to become an excellent student and

engineer.

After graduating from high school, I plan to attend the University of California, Los

Angeles. I have chosen this school because there are an abundance of educational opportunities

including studying abroad, research labs, and one of the best engineering programs in the
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country. I plan to major in Civil Engineering because it seems to be one of the most difficult

subjects to study, which will highlight my determination. Through this path, I will become a

significant contributor to society and technology and will be able to make improvements in the

world using the knowledge I will have gained through the study of engineering at the University

of California, Los Angeles.