Essay on The Community Barbershop: A Place to Find Help

Essay on The Community Barbershop: A Place to Find Help

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From when I was a child until present day, an unconventional place has been instrumental in eliciting, shaping and expanding my desire to help under-privileged communities: the barbershop. It is from this passion, founded at an unexpected neighborhood staple, that has brought me to King Hall at UC Davis. Through the Human Rights and Social Justice concentration, I will be prepared for a career in the legal field where I can serve the communities I am most familiar with, through both public counsel and education.
When I was about eight years old, my parents divorced and my mother took my sister and I to live in Watsonville, CA, a small agricultural town that seemed foreign to my birth city, Sacramento. My mother, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico as a teenager, had a lot of family support in the town, so relocating there was a sound choice for her, both financially and emotionally. We lived in a full house in which every adult -- with the exception of my disabled grandparents -- worked two to three jobs to support the family. Because I hardly saw my father, my uncles were often in Mexico and my grandfather didn’t communicate much with us children, I yearned for interaction with adult males. I found solace when my mother began taking me to a neighborhood barbershop, and was elated when one of the barbers eventually asked if I could help out on Saturdays by sweeping up and taking out the trash; I would be compensated with “tips” and a haircut.
At the time, I understood my Saturdays at the barbershop merely as a way to get outside of my impoverished home environment and gain exposure to a world in which I never knew. I was oblivious to the fact that this time at the barbershop gave my mother more time to study for ...


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...riting skills through contributing to King Hall’s highly respected law journals, I will become a positive and prudent voice for the public. With proper application of the law, significant changes, albeit incremental ones, can be made to benefit the aforementioned communities I strive to help.
Working as a barber has provided me a way to both see and experience the struggles that face socio-economically disenfranchised communities in the world. Although I have enjoyed my experiences with outreach and advocacy, I am ready to embark on a legal education that I know will strengthen my capacity to create or defend justice where it is often absent or unclear. The barbershop is responsible for having shown me the challenges communities face at a grassroots level; but law school will be credited with giving me the necessary tools to address those issues, on global scale.

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