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Kareem Bawaallah

Bawaallah 1
Kareem Bawaallah
Dr. Wade
Honors 12th British Literature
24 August 2016
Common App Essay (Prompt #1)
7th Grade, 4 middle schoolers had an idea that would develop into a talent and provocative
business opportunity. An Xbox clan gone street wear brand, “Amok” has defined the lives of those 4 kids
for the past 6 years, and will define their futures. I, Kareem Bawaallah, am one of those 4 gamers. It’s
been a long time coming, from participating in Call of Duty tournaments every Friday to selling out
merchandise in a couple of hours. Things change as people mature, their talents, ambitions, dreams, and
most frequently their friends.
You know I was once told by my uncle that “Anyone can start a business, that doesn’t mean it’ll
succeed. Eventually life will separate those who take the risk necessary and those who don’t. Your
relentless willingness to follow each and every idea you have any ambition for.” I never really thought of
myself as a business man in middle school, at that age the only thing I was thinking about was lunch,
Xbox, and sleep. I slowly crept out of my comfort zone somewhere around 1st semester freshman year.
When Amok was first starting it was not as successful as I had hoped no one really thought a few gamers
could do anything besides play video games. I can recall times that it seemed as though we were wasting
our time following our ambitions, that there was no reason for us to continue doing this.
Once we started and really understood exactly what we were doing, people started to see that we
were serious about our business. Around my junior year, Amok really became something to talk about at
the lunch table with your friends, or to your co-worker. We started making our shirts and everyone
wanted one. It almost became overwhelming, it’s weird when you think about it, a couple of Call of Duty
gamers gone entrepreneurs selling out merchandise almost every day. Things didn’t really slow down
there, we started receiving emails, phone calls, and even letters from investors hoping to get us into
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meetings where we can talk about the shares of the company. It’s a weird feeling because you know
you’re not actually successful put it sure feels that way.
Looking back that the past 5 years I’ve come to the assumption that there are 2 types of people in
this world, those who have a boss and those who don’t. In no way, shape or form do I want to be one of
the people who have one. I want to tell my story to every middle school student that wants to be their own
boss. The students who have ambitions and are determined. I am the Xbox gamer gone entrepreneur that
will inspire the youth in all that they do.
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