The handwriting is neat and legible, the tone modest but confident. The message is of an ambitious high school senior intent on becoming a doctor, who knows she must persuade someone to help pay the considerable college expenses that such a goal will require.

Kendrick Essay PicBy the standards of handwriting analysis alone, Sabrina Kendrick’s 1981 application for a scholarship from the George M. Pullman Educational Foundation would probably have been approved. Everything communicated in the essay—her high school accomplishments, her organizational skills, her ability to list achievements without seeming boastful, her bold ambition—is reflected in the person she is today, a veteran infectious disease specialist at Stroger Hospital (a public, urban teaching hospital in Chicago) and an assistant professor of medicine at Rush Medical College.

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