Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Memorable Night of Making Connections

The Vanderbilt cohort!
Excitement and nervousness filled me up as my dad and I drove over to the BART station. I made sure to leave my house extra early, just in case we got lost. Fortunately we got there early, and our ride to San Francisco was pretty quick, arriving at One Market with time to spare.

 My nerves began to build as more and more people began arriving at the restaurant, but I was happily distracted by the delicious appetizers and kind service. I enjoyed the ahi tuna and of course the cheeseburger sliders. As I began chatting with some alumni and my chaperone, Mr.Mannix, I realized that there was nothing to be nervous about and that all these people are here to support me.

As we entered the dining room, about 30 of us: ILC sponsors, administrators, district members, alumni, our chaperone, my cohort and our parents, looked for our names on the tables. We were all split up, to be sure we get to know new people, and make new connections. At my table sat: my father, Tyler Sanchez and Summer Preve, two of the eight Vanderbilt alumni that attended, and also two sponsors of the Ivy League Connection program, who were both architectures. It was awesome to know that one of the ILC sponsors was one of my interview panelists and is even the architecture for the future Pinole Valley High School.
It was a great experience to talk with Tyler and Summer about their high school experiences, and their life at Vanderbilt. I learned that they both were greatly involved in sports, leadership, and community service in high school which paid off in the end, as they received many scholarships at Vanderbilt. One interesting thing that I learned, was that Vanderbilt allows you to create your own major, to study specific courses which you are truly passionate for. Both Tyler and Summer both studied areas which they loved, and now both work for the company Google. Another interesting fact I learned, was that Vanderbilt is very safe. You can have a police man escort you from your dorm room to the library if need be. I was amazed to learn how Vanderbilt is very closely knit, with buildings surrounding the whole campus. In addition, you will able to build a one on one relationship with your professors. Compared to many Universities out here in California, average class sizes are hundreds upon hundreds, while at Vanderbilt there's about twenty to twenty-five students in each class. I believe that this is a very important aspect of colleges to consider when applying. It was a fun experience to be able to connect with these alumni, and I am very grateful to them for offering their own time to be with us.

 Amidst all the wonderful conversations I had with the alumni and sponsors, it was an honor to speak as the student speaker for this Vanderbilt dinner. All my nerves were gone as I began to speak, and I spoke from my heart, letting everyone know how excited I am to be attending the Vanderbilt Summer Academy, and also giving a big thank you for the opportunity the Ivy League Connection Program has set before me.

 I must not forget the wonderful food at the One Market restaurant. Although I didn't quite understand the names of each dish, I can say the crab soup, the bacon wrapped filet mignon with mushrooms, and the tart-like dessert with strawberries and ice-cream were all quite delicious. It was very satisfying and I enjoyed the pleasant meal.

Lastly, I'd like to give a warm blanket of thanks to the whole Ivy League Connection program, especially, Mr.Ramsey, Ms.Kronenberg, and Don for believing in us, continuing this Vanderbilt program, and paving the way for our future.

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