I am working on my application to UC Davis. It requires a Personal History Statement separate from the Statement of Purpose. I've been through this process with UC Berkeley, and the prompts are almost exactly the same. Davis, however, also has a diversity fellowship that I'd like to apply to that requires a short statement, and if I leave my Personal History Statement essentially the same as what I submitted for Berkeley, I'm afraid I may repeat a lot. I'm trying to figure out if and/or how to make them distinct.
This is the Personal History Statement prompt:
The purpose of this essay is to get know you as an individual and potential graduate student. Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. You may include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities, residency and citizenship, first-generation college status, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; or how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate education.
In my personal history statement, I talk about the interaction between my having a significant physical disability and the progression of interest and confidence in my ability to succeed in higher ed, discussing in one para. some of the challenges I faced. I also talk about helping interpret for my sister, who had speech production limitations after getting a tracheostomy -- how it really made me cognizant of language and grew a desire to affect some kind of difference for those who have language challenges.
The diversity fellowship prompt says to briefly explain how you fulfill their criteria. The ones that could apply to me are these:
To be eligible for a fellowship that promotes diversity, applicants must have an interest in an academic career in teaching and research, be a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident, and meet one or more of the following criteria:
Demonstrate potential to bring to their academic research the perspective that comes from their understanding of the experiences of groups historically underrepresented in higher education or underserved by academic research generally.
Provide evidence of academic achievement while overcoming barriers such as economic, social, or educational disadvantage.
Demonstrate potential to contribute to higher education through the understanding of the barriers facing women, domestic minorities, students with disabilities, and members of other groups underrepresented in higher education careers, as evidenced by life experiences and educational background. Examples include, but are not limited to:
b. ability to articulate the barriers facing women, racial minorities and other groups in fields where they are underrepresented;
I have fairly substantial experience volunteer tutoring ESL to refugees, too. I'm trying to figure out where and how exactly I could talk about that. So, my question for you all is, would it be a poor choice to focus on my disability in both statements?