Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Exploring College Options-A full Review

On May 18 a group of us from Middle College joined Kennedy and Richmond High students on a Charter bus to Berkeley High for the college information session. I was a little excited and also incredibly unsure what to expect. Mr. Kent, our chaperone (since Ms. Hart was sick) found a UPENN alum for us to talk to. I told him I was interested in politics and though he advocated Penn, he recommended that I talk to Bruce, the Georgetown representative and a former Penn admissions officer. 

After the event started, we watched brief presentations about each school from their respected representative. The schools were: Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Stanford, and UPenn. They were very informative and made very sure to talk about financial aid and their clear distinctions from each other. Then we went to break-out sessions where we could ask specific questions of each school. 

My mind-set was since I'm visiting Penn in the summer, I won't talk to them since he looked a little busy. Harvard and Duke weren't too appealing to me so I didn't bother. I saw a lot of people heading to Stanford so I went to Georgetown first.

I'm really interested in poly sci so D.C. seems like the place to be. My only concerns are the weather and the competition in politics because we're in the nation's capital. It was hard to get a question in because there were so many people but eventually I did get a chance and I got his e-mail. Awesome! I think the night sealed my relationship with Georgetown; in other words, I will definitely apply in the fall and we'll see where it'll go from there.

Next I went to Stanford, one of my dream schools. The crowd was of moderate size and I heard him talk about some notable personal statements this year. After no one else seemed to have a question, I raised my hand. I asked how the recent financial crisis and the potential of worse happening, would affect Stanford's financial aid and other programs. He talked about his own experience in the recession. He was actually laid-off from the Business School but later re-hired in the admissions office. He found it very advantageous because he is now making more money and having more fun.

Overall, the night was very informative. I can't wait until the one next week!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The School Board Meeting

The WCCUSD Board Meeting on Thursday was our first juncture that included all of the 2009-2010 Ivy League Connection students. It was great to see just how many bright students are involved in this program. 

What’s more, we got to see some of our generous patrons who, despite the economic setbacks, continue to believe in the program. A big thank you to them all! 

And on top of that, we got to stand before the entire School Board and many parents and students in the district as our chaperone Ms. Ishmael proudly introduced us by name to everyone. It was a great honor! 

And there was no better way to end the night than to take a group photo -- thanks, Don!

If I had to pick the biggest highlight of the evening, I would certainly pick the speeches by the three ILC alumni. They are excellent representatives of what the ILC can do for a student who is self-driven and ambitious. Their acceptance at prestigious universities shows not only that the ILC program deserves its honorable name, but it also proves that students like us who come from small communities can “make it big.” All we need to do is believe in ourselves and keep pushing until we reach our goals.

And props to Beulah for a great speech! And everyone else as well! Summer is around the corner, I can already smell it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Speech at the School Board

The School Board meeting tonight honored us Ivy League Scholars and I had a great time meeting more ILC students and making more connections. I enjoyed each speech that took place, and I am sooooooo proud to get to say that I am a part of this. Good Luck to everyone and I can't wait to see you guys at Orientation. 


I'm putting my certificate up on my wall as soon as I'm done posting and I can't wait to see how FABULOUS we all look in the picture :-D. 

My last one wasn't so hot so I'm hoping you guys can all see how beautiful I am in person on this one :-P, I took my glasses off so we'll see how it went.

TTYL guys, there are tons of great things to come

School Board Meeting: May 12, 2010

Today at 6.30 we made a School Board meeting appearance to thank the District for all their help. Vincent Rhea introduced us and the program to the auditorium full of people. Our chaperones and one student speaker per school gave a short speech to thank the board. We had 3 former ILC students, who are attending Ivy League schools in the fall, speak to us about their experiences as well. Benefactors were introduced and given certificates. It was nice to put faces to people who are supporting us. Last, we took pictures with the whole group and our parents.

Every event like this that we attend I feel more and more a part of the program and a community that supports our education and future. Hearing from 3 ILC alum that are attending Ivy League Schools in the fall was really inspiring and a testament to all the ILC has done in the past five years.

A Suit and Tie Occasion at Scala's Bistro!

Having just finished my AP exams today, I'm already feeling it's long overdue for me to express my gratitude for everyone involved who organized last week's dinner celebration at Scala's Bistro in San Francisco.

The event truly began for many students (including myself) at the El Cerrito BART station, where I met some of my Columbia teammates, Winston and Yueming, for the first time. What began as awkward greetings soon turned to lively conversation as we boarded BART, and continued all the way to the first class reception at Scala's where we were acquainted with just some of the wonderful people who've been working to make this all happen.

Listening to the earnest and enthusiastic speeches from ILC peers (great job Michael and Beulah!), graduates, and hardworking members really made me understand the force that's driving this program. That being said, we'd all like to thank Don, Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Knonenberg, and all of the school counselors and angels and everyone we have yet to meet for devoting their time and resources to the program the students.

I'm looking forward to meeting to members of the School Board tomorrow and I'm looking forward to going to New York together with everyone this summer. I'm sure we'll all have a great time challenging ourselves at our respective subjects while exploring some of the possibilities for our futures!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dinner at Scala's Bistro!

The dinner on Wednesday was great! Not only was the food fantastic, but I also got to meet with the other students going to Columbia who I haven't seen since the interview all the way back in December, as well as several new friends. 

After going to the dinner, I can't wait to go to Columbia in the summer and work with the other Ivy League Connection students!

I was nervous for the whole week up until the dinner, but once I got there, there was nothing to be nervous about. Everyone was relaxed and friendly, and it was great talking to not only other ILC students, but also adults who went to Columbia and other Ivy Leagues and could tell me about those colleges. I've never been to a formal function like this, but I really enjoyed it and can't wait for the next one!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Learning Opportunity at Scala's Bistro

Last night, May 4, we had our ILC Columbia Dinner at Scala’s Bistro. I didn’t really know what to expect; the only thing I knew was that we had to dress up nice to take BART. Nonetheless, I was still excited to attend and learn more about the program. 

Upon arrival at the BART station, I was greeted by Don Gosney and our (MCHS) counselor, Ms. Hart. As time passed, more and more people arrived. I met Michael and Jamie from the Intensive Chemistry course, both I realized I went to middle school with so we really didn’t meet. I have to say, the weather was perfect for taking BART and walking six blocks. After the walk, we finally made it to Scala’s Bistro!

We had cute little appetizers and more adults arrived that I didn’t know. We did the whole mingling thing, meeting and conversing with people. Eventually we sat down and were introduced. Michael and Beulah were our student speakers and I think they did an excellent job of representing us.

I learned a lot about Columbia from a 2009 graduate, Mitch Flax who was sitting right beside me. He told me a lot about the campus experience, the student body and the differences between New York and the Bay Area. I was so happy to learn about Columbia from someone who had just recently attended rather than from the Internet.

Overall, the night was spectacular! I finally understand how much work and how many people go into making the ILC what it is and I am truly grateful for the opportunity. It seems now that each day we’re getting closer to boarding the plane to New York. I hope to see all of you at the School Board meeting May 12!

Fantastic Evening at Scala's

Last night's official meet-and-greet dinner was a huge success! It was great for finally talk to all of the students going to Columbia this summer. Also, speaking with some of the generous sponsors, kind supporters, and encouraging Columbia alumni became one of my highlights for the night. Needless to say, the food was absolutely delicious. The salmon that I had was perhaps the best salmon I've tasted ever! But in all honesty, the conversations I had still topped the salmon -- yes, they were that good!

I would like to thank again all the great people who have made this ILC program possible for students like me. Thanks to Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Knonenberg, Don, and countless other behind-the-scenes workers who have powered this program since its start.

The clock is ticking and it is almost time for us to go off to the East Coast! And the dinner last night brought about a new wave of excitement! I can't wait for summer to start! Thanks again for a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Great End to My Day!

The Ivy League Connection dinner tonight for Columbia students was really awesome. I got a chance to see just how much work the ILC has had to do, continues to do, and does for its students beyond the program. I'm so grateful to be able to say I'm a part of this great program.

I want to give a special thanks to our wonderful benefactors, and to Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg for everything they put into this to make it so fantastic for us.

Looking at successful alums was also very nice to see and really inspiring. The speakers were awesome [wink-wink, guess who was a speaker :-D]. The food was also really good: a nice salad + great salmon + a rhubarb pie with very tasty gelato = happy Beulah :-).

Thanks ILC!!!