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According to a survey done by the National Centre for Learning Disabilities, a third of the population attribute inaccurate causes to learning disorders. 22% think learning disabilities can be caused by too much time spent watching television, and 55% wrongly believe that corrective eyewear can treat certain learning disabilities. The most shocking are the 20% believing that people who suffer from learning disorders are less intelligent.

When I was eight years old I was diagnosed with a severe case of Dyslexia, and I was told I may never be able to properly write and read.

Although I was able to fully understand the lessons at school, I had trouble getting the words down in written assignments. Some of my teachers and classmates would think I was lazy or simply stupid. I sought refuge by spending my afternoons volunteering at a dog kennel with the animals that were my greatest source of joy.

At the age of 15 I decided to take an advanced dog-training course, which required a complex entry exam. This was a turning point for me: For the first time in my life, I set myself a goal: to achieve something I was passionate about. In order to do that I had no choice but to read and write.

The kennel manager became my mentor. He believed in me and pushed me to challenge my way of thinking. Creating mechanisms that helped me cope with the challenge, I broke down every topic into small and simple parts, making it easier to comprehend. I realized that I could visualize and identify patterns, which helped me digest vast amounts of information.

Informed I was one of the top achievers in the exam, I was offered a seat in the course. For the first time I experienced the incredible feeling of success, and a flood of achievements followed. I successfully graduated from high school, completed my military service, pursued an academic degree and kicked off my career in consulting, where I felt I could continue to challenge my own abilities on a daily basis. After achieving 710 in the GMAT exam, I look forward to being successful at Oxford, and in my future career as well.

Although some advancements have been made in changing the public perception of people with learning disorders, many talented, intelligent and creative children get overlooked by the traditional education system. This eventually causes the same people to get passed over later in life. I would like to change this negative perception, which I personally managed to overcome. As education is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of discrimination that children with learning disorders often face, I think that increasing educators awareness and elimination of some traditional teaching methods will provide them with an opportunity to achieve their potential and shine. I plan to increase awareness for the importance of appropriate curriculums in schools and I will encourage companies to recruit talent based on the advantages that are attributed to certain learning disorders.

For a long time, I considered the U.S. to be world-leaders in energy consumption awareness, energy conservation and renewable-energy use. This was largely due to their strict long-standing energy-efficiency policy, and their comprehensive investments in the energy related fields of IoT (Internet of Things), Big Data, and AI, which enable smart decision-making, energy conservation, and more.

It therefore came as a great shock to me to discover in my recent researches that the U.S., the second biggest consumer of energy in the world, was ranked #10 for energy-efficiency, out of the 25 largest economies, by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in 2018. In fact, a whopping 68% of all energy (35% of residential-energy) that flows through the U.S. economy is actually rejected energy; energy that gets wasted through inefficiency, costing Americans a collective $130 Billion annually.

Over the past 18 years, our family business, has been developing Smart City solutions designed in part to improve energy-efficiency. Since working for Elbex, I’ve become increasingly aware of Green Energy standards and I often face the question of how technology can reduce existing energy-inefficiencies in the residential field.

I believe that by decreasing total energy consumption, while increasing energy-efficiency within their homes, Americans could lower their energy bills, reduce reliance on external oil and gas suppliers, and help protect the environment.

In 2017, as part of the U.S. energy-efficiency policy, over 75M smart meters, which measure and record hourly electricity usage, have been installed in the U.S. However, while these smart meters aim to open the door to new services, such as time-based pricing, budget billing and high-usage alerts, they report to end-users only well after the fact, and provide total energy consumption instead of a detailed breakdown.

In order to decrease energy consumption, the U.S. government could expand its policy and require every newly-built apartment to be equipped with smart switches and sockets. Thanks to latest-technology developments, these enable real-time metering and reporting separately from every appliance connected within the house, at minimal cost. Further analysis of this valuable information could provide end-users with real-time detailed information for benchmarking, more accurate high-usage alerts, and smart home management services, minimizing energy waste.

As an immediate complementary step for existing apartments’ end-users, the U.S. government might decrease the total energy consumption and encourage companies and individuals to pay extra attention to energy-efficient product manufacturing by adding a requirement to equip all newly-manufactured electrical appliances with indication sensors that warn end-users when their appliances are sharply increasing their consumption. An old refrigerator may be still working for twenty years, but it is very likely that by that time, it has sharply increased its energy consumption and became so inefficient that replacing it with a new one will return the investment within a short period.

Finally, The US government can motivate consumers with tax exemptions for purchasing designated Most Efficient products, distinguished by labeling programs, such as the U.S. “Energy Star.” They can also incentivize manufacturers to innovate energy-efficient products by subsidizing manufacturing costs.

Over the last 13 years I have enjoyed spending my free time running long distance. As I have participated in numerous social running events, I see running as a great way to build new relationships and reinforce existing ones. For the past 3 years I have also combined my passion for running with social causes. I volunteer to organize an annual running event with an organization dedicated to helping youth from disadvantaged backgrounds prepare for the army, both physically and mentally. I use running as a means to boost confidence and encourage teamwork among the youth, many of whom may have never believed they would be able to achieve anything because of where they were born or their socio-economic status. I demonstrate how setting personal goals and achieving them can give a sense of accomplishment, and I truly enjoy influencing young people to become contributing members of society.

I also take part in charity runs. This year I was able to raise over £1500 for the a Cancer Foundation by taking part in the great north run in Newcastle. I plan to join the Oxford Running Club, and continue raising funds for charity by organizing charity runs.

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