College Essays

UVA Supplemental

Prompt (The University of Virginia) 

What about your individual background, perspective, or experience will serve as a source of strength for you or those around you at UVA?  Feel free to write about any past experience or part of your background that has shaped your perspective and will be a source of strength, including but not limited to those related to your community, upbringing, educational environment, race, gender, or other aspects of your background that are important to you.* – 300 words


Left foot now, y’all, cha cha real smooth! Beaming smiles and thunderous laughter surround me as kids of all ages and abilities strut on the dance floor, enrobed in funky socks and silly hats. I tear up a little, watching the sweet scene of teen volunteers and children—whether able to stand or not—holding hands, expressing themselves to the beat of the music. “You just made her entire year,” the parent of an eight-year-old girl with cerebral palsy exclaims to me, 

“Thank you for organizing this.” 

The art of dance is my oasis and treasured form of artistic expression since the age of two. Looking to share this outlet, I gathered members from the Saturdays in Motion program, the longest running recreational program for kids with disabilities, formed a committee, and organized its first-ever social dance. It successfully melded together my love of dance with improving the lives of children with disabilities.

Energized, I brought this same impactful experience to my high school. As Captain of the Dance Team, I choreographed and taught dances to students on the autism spectrum, and we performed as part of our school’s bi-annual showcase, enabling them to experience the magic of performing in front of an audience. They even got the loudest applause of the night!

Empowering children with disabilities and fostering expression through dance energizes me with a sense of purpose. At UVA, I will draw on these sources of strength to promote inclusivity and collaboration. I picture joining with fellow Hoos to invite children with disabilities to Grounds for dance programs and fun events like dance-a-thons.

With the shrieks of laughter to the Cha Cha Slide playing in my head, I am constantly reminded how valuable it is to foster bonds between communities, students, volunteers, and those from all courageous walks of life. 

Tips For Writing

  • Start as early as possible! Once school starts it becomes more difficult to simultaneously write effective supplements and stay on top of work and studying.
  • Take a day or two to truly reflect on the prompt and how you are going to respond to it because once you take the time to do it I promise a good response will come to you
  • Even if it is not at all perfect or polished, just try to make yourself get out a first draft. Once you have at least a rough first draft done it becomes so much easier to just keep editing and refining it 
  • Read the question carefully. Oftentimes they are not looking for you to brag about an accomplishment or an activity (that is what the common application activities section is for), they honestly just want to get to know your quirks and personality. 

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