This prompt should tell you that Harvard holds leaders in high regard. Here, they test your self-knowledge as to where and how you can help fit society’s needs. In a similar way to Prompt 5, they are trying to see the type of graduate you will become.
If leadership has been central to your life experiences, be sure to make note of those roles here. Be picky when deciding what roles to highlight, though! Make sure the group you led has something to show for your leadership (whether that thing be tangible or intangible).
For example, if you helped a club on campus better the culture of its membership, talk about how your leadership contributed to that. If you helped a diverse set of teammates come together for a common goal, discuss what aspects of your citizenship helped bring everyone together. Your goal here is in two parts: create an assessment for your personal leadership skills, and address how your community or society has benefited from it (more than simply pointing to trophies or awards, this is intended to show how society itself can change because of you.)
Make sure you showcase your leadership style, and how you believe it was effective. More importantly, make sure to show why you think it will be effective in the future. Remember, this essay should relay back to you as a graduate of Harvard!
One strategy could be to build up your leadership skills, then direct them to a specific area where you feel inspired to change society. If you choose this route, be specific in terms of the needs you can fill. Ask yourself: What qualities of a leader does a good lawyer need to have? How does citizenship help you be a good engineer? Most importantly: How do those necessities in those positions lead back to who you are?
Remember to answer the other aspect of the question. Besides being a good citizen-leader, how will you be a good citizen? Admissions officers want you to discuss how you would be an important part of something greater than yourself. You could use an example of something you did as a part of an extracurricular activity of which you were not the president or the de facto leader. For example, if you built an app for a conference your town was hosting, helped organize logistics for a school recital, or even volunteered at a food bank throughout high school, this prompt would fit your experiences well.
Harvard finds it very important that the citizens of their learning community come from diverse backgrounds, allowing students to learn from one another. Think about how you can add to this environment of diversity, or discuss your experience in a diverse environment in relation to your citizenship within it. Essays about discrimination or inequality in your community, and your development as a citizen-leader as a result, could fit well to this prompt.
How are you? I hope you are well! My name is Jared Kushner, and I would like to go to you. As an example of how smart I am, here is some money.
I heard from my daddy and my friends’ daddies that you are a big house for smart, good boys. I am a good boy! I am nice and my face is very smooth. Would you like a hundred-dollar bill? It has Benjamin Franklin on it! He is silly, because he only has hair on the sides, not on the top. Here are some of him!
Here are some facts about me: I am Jared. I am more than six feet tall, which is funny, because feet are on your legs, not how tall you are! That always makes me laugh. My favorite color is green, like money. My favorite shape is rectangle, like money. I also like round, which is like some kinds of money that poor people use for littering in fountains.
When I was a kid, which was last year, I got mad that there was no sixty-nine-dollar bill, so my daddy paid the U.S. Treasury to make one special for me. I showed it to all my friends and we all laughed and then I gave it to our maid because I was bored with it. She cleaned it and gave it back to me so that I could throw it away.
I am a good student. I got straight D’s in high school. “D” is the first letter in the alphabet. At first, the teachers said “A” was the first letter, but my daddy paid the teachers to teach us a new alphabet song so that I wouldn’t feel bad about my grades. It worked! In school, my favorite classes were recess and lunch. I did very good on the SAT because I filled in every single bubble, even the ones for my name, which was a trick question. I am so smart! For me, tests are as easy as D-B-C!
I am good at after-school activities, such as sports and allowance. I was on the basketball team in high school. My daddy gave the referee money so that I didn’t have to dribble and could just carry the ball. All the other good boys were jealous, but only my daddy loved me enough to pay the referees so that I got to carry the ball and use a ladder. Ladder dunks are worth fifty points.
My daddy is also so good at games. Daddy and I like to play a game called hide-and-go-seek, which is where we tape money to ourselves and go to the Cayman Islands and hide the money all around. We are so good that no one ever finds it! Daddy said we were there to put the money in the laundry, which is funny because after we buried the money it was so much dirtier and sandier than before. My daddy is so silly sometimes!
Harvard, I would like to go to you so that I can be big and strong someday, like all my daddy’s friends. They are so cool and impressive. They wear ties all the time to keep their shirts from falling off. My daddy is so rich that he can buy any building he wants, even the Empire State Building or the moon. Here are some things I want to be when I grow up: a fireman, an astronaut, a business boy, a fire truck, a thousand-dollar bill. If you would like some more money, here is some more money!
I do not want to be mean, but if you do not let me into you something bad might happen. My daddy is very nice but when he is mad he can be very scary. One time when he got mad he made a lady go to my uncle’s house to kiss my uncle even though the lady wasn’t my aunt! Yuck!
Anyway, thank you for letting me into Harvard! I am so excited to go in you. When I arrive, I would like four dorm rooms, a parking space for my Range Rover, a girlfriend, a girlfriend for my Range Rover, a pony, a Range Rover for my pony, three opals, and the ocean. I have been a good boy and I deserve it!
Jared Kushner, grade 12, age seventeen and a half. ♦