I've never been to a Pinole City Council Meeting. Perhaps even worse to say, I've never even been inside City Hall for the sixteen years I have lived in Pinole. But Wednesday night, I finally had the chance to visit.
Seeing so many of the Pinole students--not just my classmates, but my friends--who are apart of the Ivy League Connection, brought me excitement and happiness for everyone who's got in to their school for the summer. In fact, Pinole will be representing each school this summer: UPenn, Columbia, Brown, Yale, and of course, Vanderbilt. The only school a Pinole student didn't get into is Cornell, which isn't a district-wide program. The fact that Pinole has accomplished this gives me great pride, and I feel honored to be a student of Pinole Valley High School. This accomplishment has made me realize Pinole has so many opportunities--academically and non-academically--that other schools in the district may not have. It's made me realize that going to a school that may seem disadvantaged to other high schools is actually at an advantage to these schools. And I'm proud to be an ambassador for the West Contra Costa Unified School District.
Keeping up with the positivity of this post, I can honestly say everything went fairly well. From start to finish, we were praised--something that rarely happens for me--by the City Council, parents, administrators, and others for our hard-work into getting into the colleges we applied for. It felt great to be treated so highly of, just like the fancy dinner at One Market. However, unlike the dinner, the atmosphere was less pressuring and more layed-back, which helped me to feel much more comfortable and just "chill" with my fellow ILCers. All of the ILCers even got to receive a Pinole Valley High School '12 medal (given from the mayor!) for just being a participant in the program.
Overall, it was just a great night to show-off the ILC ambassadors of Pinole for 2012, and inform the Council that Pinole is on the radar, and we're accomplishing amazing things in this program. We gave the Council assurance that we would come back and share with our community all of the amazing things that we'll discover in the East Coast and Nashville, Tennessee. The City Council seemed very proud of us all-in-all, and their feedback to the "young adults" (current ILCers) at the end of all of the speeches by past ILCers who are now attending an Ivy League school, the ILCers this year, and the ILC administrators and chaperones made me only feel even greater honor--that being in this program is much more than worth it.