Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Gang's All Here

In my previous blog entry, I mentioned that I've never been to a City Council meeting for the 16 years I've lived in Pinole.Well sadly, I've never been to a District School Board meeting either. I feel ashamed to know how little I've known about the people who've been running my community for these many years of my life. However, although going to my first "meetings" with the government leaders of our community reminded me to give plenty of shame and pity upon myself, these happenings have reminded me, again, just how important and just how unique this program is for me. To be honest, without the ILC, I would never have bothered to go to School Board meetings or City Council meetings; but now that I have realized just how important it is to participate and know what's happening in my community--and that includes Board meetings--I'll make to sure to attend these meetings more often in the future. 

Every time I watch a School Board meeting on T.V., the auditorium where the meeting is held at (DeJean Middle) is practically empty. So, it was a great surprise to me to see that there were so many people in the auditorium, so many in fact, that it posed a fire hazard (no joke). One reason for the vast number of people at the meeting was for several of the community's citizens, from young children to the elderly, wished to somehow move the Board in order to save the Adult Education Program in our district. They emphasized the importance of this program. One man that really moved me in particular said, "I don't want to be a burden to my community, so I wish to have an education and at least speak English." This really melted my heart, and I can't but only hope, that the Adult Education Program will be saved. On a positive note, it's nice to know that our community is willing to fight for what they believe would benefit their community, and that's always a good thing. If only we had more money...

Anyway, reflecting upon this School Board Meeting, I, along with the other 41 ILCers this year, are the future leaders of the world, and I believe the world will be in good hands, because we're ambassadors of this district, and soon every city in this country (or even world) will recognize the importance of the WCCUSD and the bright students, as well as young adults, it has produced. This thought truly hit me, when the chaperone for the Yale program said, "These students will take a course that will teach them how to take over the world." He went on to mention that the world will be in good hands, or at least that's what I got out from his speech. Another speaker I was inspired by was Austin Long, who is also a good friend of mine from Pinole. He is soon to be a sophomore at Yale, and his passionate speech really just continued to bring me honor and excitement for the future of this program and what it will accomplish because of us. There was also another speaker; her name was Tarilynn (forgive me if I spelled it wrong). She will be attending Harvard University next Fall, and the part in her speech where she mentions "expect the unexpected" reminded me about what Don said, "Everything is a test". Everything the ILC has done for us is a test and prepration for the "real world", or perhaps I should say "college world".

All in all, it was great to finally see and meet everyone who has contributed to this unique program. I got to see the entire "gang"--the entire workforce that made this program possible. The administrators, the ILC alumni, the chaperones, the sponsors, and of course the students (young adults and ambassadors) of this program were all there, and we took an enormous picture. And all I can say is, "The Gang's all here".