My Daughter Personal Statement

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All the years of working with global artisans may have shaped my vision for how to help women of developing nations, but my dedication to this cause is the inevitable outcome of being the daughter of a woman who had suffered her entire life from “traditional Korea’s” severe gender inequality.

To give some background: my mother at age nine watched her mother commit suicide by drinking poison. Her mother did this because she was only able to bear daughters, and could not endure the two other wives her husband had brought into the household to bear a son. After her mother’s death, my mother tried to compensate for what she believed was her “pitiful motherless state in the eyes of society” by excelling at everything she did. She proudly told me on many occasions that she was class president throughout her entire school years, specifically that in Korea only the student with the highest grade became president.
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Consequently every minute of my childhood revolved around education. Given this, it was no easy feat to persuade my parents to allow me to pursue a career in fashion. At age 13, I ran away from home when my parents forbade me to study fashion. Frustrated by what I perceived was my parents’ narrow view of life, I refused to come home for a month until my parents conceded and gave me the freedom to pursue my life however I wished. I am not proud of the suffering I caused my parents back then but that event had been the impetus behind my determination to succeed. Since that incident, I had lived the next thirty years of my life with a self-imposed pressure to succeed. It was my belief that since my parents had conceded I had to prove (especially to my mother) that I could still achieve the “American Dream” doing it my way, through a career in

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