Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Night of Gratitude and Appreciation

I have never attended a School Board meeting before, so being at LaVonya Dejan Middle School today was a truly valuable experience. Once all the members of the Penn cohort arrived, we were ready to go. Mr. Hillyer took us aside to give us instructions on how to present ourselves in front of the Board. As we waited for the meeting to begin, a kind parent approached our cohort. In addition to congratulating our group for our acceptance, he gave us a bit of advice on seizing this opportunity and making the most out of it. His generous words were a great start to my first time at a Board meeting. 

It was a pleasure to listen to all the speeches of the other groups as they each presented themselves in front of the Board. Most of the speeches made by the students were about how the ILC would affect them by giving them the chance to visit prestigious schools that were out of state. They also shared how they plan on giving back to their peers and community after they return from their memorable experience given by the ILC. 

A few chaperones talked about the many aspects of improvement that they've seen at their school because of the Ivy League Connection. Their words really hit me with a sense of pride and gratitude for I feel so blessed to be part of this incredible program. 
Julia, as she undermines other people's speeches
Finally stepping up to present ourselves in front of the Board members was a thrilling experience as all the cameras in the room were pointed at our group, broadcasting us on television. I felt so honored to walk with my cohort as we held the flag of the University of Pennsylvania, but I was even more proud of the speakers who represented our UPenn group. Props to Mr. Hillyer and Julia Shebek for delivering such amazing speeches! 

Don took a bunch of pro pictures that included a group photo and that marked the end of the meeting for us.

Gwennie abandoned us for her Intel International Science Fair
On my way out of the building to join the meet-up with Mr. Hillyer and the cohort's parents, I bumped into one of the old security guards from my middle school: Pinole Middle. He recognized me and seemed so excited and proud that I was a part of the Ivy League Connection. Seeing a familiar face from a few years ago made me realize how much I have grown as a person. I can't wait to fully experience the program's effect on my personal growth this summer. 

Many thanks to Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, Don Gosney, the School Board, the benefactors, and everyone else who helped make this happen for all of us. I will now be looking forward to our UPenn dinner at Kuleto's

1 comment:

  1. You got me with a 'Derp' face in the top photo. Glad you enjoyed the board meeting. Each year everyone looks forward to when the ILC is there.