Attending my second Pinole City Council meeting was another great honor. I attended one a couple of months ago in recognition for the Pinole Valley High School Marching Band performing in the San Francisco Chinese New Year's Parade. But this evening was something different. Ten Pinole Valley students had the amazing opportunity to be recognized each for being an Ivy League Connection ambassador, by the City Council. We even got to receive special medals, as elite Pinole Valley Students.
After listening to the many speeches, from each ILCer, ILC administrators, chaperones, and alumni, I had an overwhelming feeling of great achievement. It was great to hear from Austin Long, Dyana So, Alex Elms, and Andrew Gonzales about how the Ivy League Connection each touched their lives. Now that they are going on to Ivy League Schools, you can see how proud they are to be products of Pinole Valley High, particularly the Ivy League Connection. It's amazing to see how they each came from a small town, competing with students coming from prestigious public and private high schools, and succeeding into attending an Ivy League college. It has proven that although we come from a low income school, we ALL can succeed if we want to.
It was an honor to also speak to the City Council, expressing my gratitude for their support of public education and beyond. I am really excited as the Vanderbilt Summer Academy approaches. "With great gifts, comes great responsibility." Pinole Valley High School has given me and many of my peers an opportunity to explore the world outside the small town of Pinole, and in return I am willing to come back with an eagerness to share my wonderful experiences with other students to encourage them and inspire them to fulfill a higher education. I thank the city of Pinole for pushing us in the right direction.