Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences that was particularly meaningful to you. (About 150 words)
For the last three years, I have savored the intellectual stimulation and pressure-filled competition of Public Forum debate, but I have also grown tired of my favorite activity being dominated by boys. This year, as debate captain, I strengthened my high school team into a female-majority powerhouse ten times as large as last year. Easily spending more than 12 hours a week preparing for meetings and practices, I implemented a system of accountability by checking my teammates' cases for completion in a shared online folder and holding them responsible for organizing their own practice debates before competition. I also trained them in attitude, instructing the quieter girls to speak with confidence because they are more brilliant than they realize. Slowly, I watched my smattering of nervous freshman transform into an army of fearless champions who hugged me with pride every time they took home a top trophy.
Please tell us how you have spent the last two summers (or vacations between school years), including any jobs you have held. (About 150 words)
I pursued my enthusiasm for cryptography in two ways: traditionally, by taking advanced hacking classes at a national laboratory, and untraditionally, by learning to design ambigrams. In between, I wrote high school computer science curriculum for the government, read Tolstoy for the first time, and debated constitutional law on national television. I saw U2 perform the best rock concert of my life in Chicago, tutored middle school kids in geometry, and used a GoPro camera to make a music video of my family taking surf lessons. I spoke only Spanish for 5 weeks while traveling abroad, volunteered to test an ancient myth by locking myself in a castle morgue, and cheered hysterically for Team USA during the FIFA World Cup. I survived pre-season training with my varsity volleyball team and sat wide-eyed next to a Ukrainian engineer on a two-hour plane ride as he told me his life story and helped me reflect on the difference between majors and professions.
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