You only have a few seconds to engage the reader of your personal statement. It is important to grab his or her attention. That first sentence must be compelling. What can you say that will "hook" the person who is reviewing your application?
One example that I use frequently was actually written by one of my former students. She started off by writing, "At the age of fifteen I was the mother of five". Did that get my attention? You betcha it did! In fact, I read it over again to be sure that I had understood what I had read.
She went on to explain that after losing both of her parents to cancer, she was left with the responsibility of raising her younger siblings. Now that the youngest sister had started her college education, it was her turn to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.
Not only did she have my undivided attention, but I ended up with a lump in my throat and a strong desire to help her in any way that I could. Undoubtedly, she received many scholarships and is now a practicing RN somewhere.
Many times the most deserving student is overlooked because they haven't devoted the time and energy to their personal statement. You need to write and rewrite over and over again. Believe me, it is so very important.