When you get to the essay questions in your application, don’t see them as a barrier to be overcome. Instead, consider them as an opportunity to tell reviewers about the great things you have been doing and how being a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow would benefit your community as well as yourself. The essays offer a chance to explain in your own words, and with your own energy and positivity, your track record of making change in the community and how you plan to do even more as a Fellow. (Here is a great article If you need general writing tips.)
Don’t give in and fit in. Most importantly, it’s not honest, and you won’t give your best to anything. It’s also likely that your outsider ideas will catch on and you’ll find others who can help you, support you and find strength in knowing that you are there.