The Renewal | University of California – Berkeley Undergraduate Application Essay

I shiver with anticipation as the other nine finalists and I line up on the Portland Teen Idol stage. I’ve performed my songs to the best of my ability, and now I grasp the clammy hands of my talented neighbors, waiting to hear the results. The announcer booms: “And your 2012 Portland Teen Idol winner is….Miss Hailey Kilgore!” My name is not Hailey. Hot tears prick my eyes as tumultuous applause fills the auditorium. I guess my jazzed up rendition of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” didn’t go so well, because next thing I know, I’m clutching a participant’s plaque and attempting to force my lips into some semblance of a cheerful grin.

After striking out in the Portland Teen Idol arena, I decided to take my talents backstage. I founded a singing competition called Beaverton Teen Idol. As school budgets were slashed, students lost access to music education in my district. Beaverton Teen Idol was intended to offer those students a chance to make their voices heard. I pulled together two preliminary auditions, a semi-finals round, and a grand finale. The night of the finale, 150 people attended, a journalist wrote up the event in the local paper, and we raised $2000 through ticket sales and donations, all of it intended to help homeless…

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