Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last Milestone Event, The Milestone Journey Begins

Wow! All of us ILCers are almost on our way back East! Tonight, we all attended our last milestone event, the ILC Orientation. I once again arrived early, because punctuality is key in being part of the Ivy League Connection. Mr.Ramsey and Don couldn't stress enough how important being on time is, because back East no train or plane will wait for us. Ms.Kronenberg stressed the fact that we can still be taken out from this exceptional program, and that we all earned our right to be here. As the Ivy League Connection program supports us, we must support them. This trip is not like any other scholarship, it comes with strings attached. It is each of our duty to represent our schools, our towns, and most definitely our district, as we meet new people, particularly admissions officers. It's interesting to know that the first thing admission counselors do, is Google our names. The first thing that will pop up is our Ivy League Connection blog leaving a lasting impression on them. Although I'm only a sophomore, my first step for college has already begun. It's an overwhelming feeling to know that the ILC cares about the future leaders and ambassadors of this world.

This program is giving their full support for us even towards the small, but important parts of our trip. I am very thankful for Don for giving us an opportunity to borrow loaner items. This is a huge load of help to many families, so we don't have to spend a lot of money for the things we need. From bed sheets to a laptop security cable, Don has it! The Ivy League Connection is preparing us for this trip very well, and I am so grateful for that.

Additionally, I obtained a lot of information as we broke off into our respective groups by the school we are attending this summer. Let me not forget to mention the beautiful new campus our orientation was held at, Pinole Middle School. I got a chance to use the first new building in seventh grade, but this newer building is also very nice. My cohort, our parents, and of course our chaperone, Mr.Mannix, gathered in a classroom and discussed our itineraries back East. As I skimmed over the large stapled packet of all our plane, train, and hotel information, I grew more and more excited. It was a relief that we don't have to wake up super early for our first flight to North Carolina, but to get up around 3 in the morning is still pretty early. I am very impressed on how organized the ILC program is, giving us each and every detail for our transportation and hotel reservations. It also lifts a burden off our parent's shoulders, knowing that we are put in safe hands. On top of the very important packet, our chaperone gave us an itinerary for the places we will be going, and things will be doing on the East Coast. Our very hectic schedule is packed with college tours of Duke University, Georgetown University, and University of Pennsylvania, an amazing fourth of July at Washington DC,  and even dinners with college admission officers and alumnus. Being the only cohort going to Duke University, Mr.Ramsey made sure that we will put a first good impression on the school, and hopefully start a relationship with them and the ILC. It is very exciting to see what has been planned for us, and just by looking at the itinerary, I know for sure, we will all have a blast.

This Ivy League Connection program is not only giving us the opportunity to explore the beautiful college campuses back East, study with a college professor, make connections with people who can put a great impact on our  futures, but also come back as a better person. Mr.Ramsey said to all of us, "You're opening doors, let's continue to make it happen." This program is not only impacting us, ILCers, but also the thousands upon thousands who don't get this opportunity. The ILC wants each one of us to come back as an active ambassador, so that all students know they have many opportunities set before them.

As I was talking to Yohanna Pepa, who is an ILC alumni, a rising junior at Yale University, and who will also be participating at the Yale Grand Strategies program this summer, she told me to, "Put a lot of effort in, because that's how much you'll get out." She reassured me that all ILCers got to this point, because we each deserved it, so we should make the most out of it and have fun. I must remember to go back East with an open mind to the different cultures and endless possibilities.

This orientation was just another reminder that we've made it! All of our hard work has been put in and we're almost there. With high expectations, new challenges, exciting plans, and  new places to explore, I know we'll have an unforgettable experience. One more month, then Yessenia Reyna, Chris Han, Narges Sahibzada, Mr.Mannix, and I are off to the East coast! Next up, packing!

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