Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The ILC is for Me

Three people helped get the Ivy League Connection program become what it is. Don Gosney, Madeline Kronenberg, and Charles Ramsey. Three amazing people that I can not thank enough. The amount of work and money put in for the students is unbelievable.

What is the Ivy League Connection? The ILC is a program that gives students from the West Contra Costa Unified School District a chance to study at an Ivy League University for a few weeks. The students are not alone, for they have their cohort and chaperone, but they are away from their parents and siblings. This allows them to experience life away from home and how college life is. During the program, one is expected to behave well and to try their best on any assignment given. There is low tolerance for slackers and trouble makers from the ILC and the universities staff as well.

My experience with the ILC is one I will never forget. From the moment Don called the assembly to introduce the ILC to when I returned from Ithaca, New York in a fancy limousine. The ILC began with my mom pushing me to apply. Curious about it, I followed through and surprisingly did not get into the first two programs I applied to. However, I did not give up and applied to the Hotel Management course. This time I was accepted and given the spot to interview for the class. The day of the interview was a day I was more than nervous. Seven students interviewing for three positions. My chances were not in my favor, but I spoke with confidence and did not shy away from showing who I was. As they announced the applicants who got in, my heart dropped. "Shanti, Julie, and... Stephen." I could not believe my ears. Was I really accepted? The amount of adrenaline that raced through my body was incredible. After multiple pictures and congratulations, I headed home with a smile and story to tell.

One of many adventures you will experience as an ILC student
The opportunity given to me from the ILC was one I can not thank them enough for. I was given a chance to study at Cornell for three weeks and visit three different universities, Emory, UPENN, and Georgetown. I also, had the chance to meet new students and adults from around the entire world. As a result of all these opportunities, I have enhanced my social skills, strengthened my public speaking, learned a lot of interesting information, and most importantly, learned how to blog.

I have learned a lot while in this program. Information that I wish to share with my community. Many of my classmates do not know how applying to colleges work. Most of my school is scared from applying to East Coast schools because it is "expensive", but do not know that they give more scholarships than public schools. This type of information should not be kept a secret, but told to the public on a continuous basis. My job now as an ILC student, is to spread the word and involve and persuade more students to participate in more programs like the ILC. Prove to them that if you try hard enough, you can achieve what you want, but only if you put the time and effort into it. My friends, family, and community got me to where I am.  Now it is my turn to give back and help to the fullest extent possible.

Thank you Don, Madeline, and Charles, for I will greatly appreciate the amount of work the three of you put into the students. Hopefully, one day I can give back to my community as much as they do and encourage others to do the same.

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