Sunday, May 29, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
|Brown University ~ Van Wickle Gates|
|The University of Chicago|
Before the meeting Yeuming told us that these meetings did not have a large attendance, apart from the parents and the few that watch the meeting from the cable channel. Despite the assurance, getting up in front of a camera and the four City Council members is still a daunting task. I was being judged by myself and the rest of the room.
After everyone had spoken, we stopped the entire meeting, and took it off air, just to take a few pictures—I guess the ILC is an honor of the community that must come first. I am proud that our community is so accepting of the ILC to the point that we are incorporated into the meetings, that we can—if students hear our speeches—inspire other students to take the challenge and apply for the ILC for the years to come.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
The blogging tutorial held in the Hercules Public Library seemed to be long, but was quite productive. In this approximately two hour session Don discussed with us the do’, don’ts and intricacies to blogging properly. This was a great experience not only because we all learned the proper way to blog, but because for the first time I was able to meet the majority of my cohorts in the ILC. Someone once told me that every experience you have, you should learn or gain something from it. Well from this experience I was able to gain motivation because for the first time in a while I was able to see a group of focused, yet enjoyable group of young people like myself.
My Brown group was fortunate enough to dine at the One Market Restaurant in San Francisco, California. This event allowed me to meet and mingle with my fellow cohorts who will be embarking on the same journey as me in the near future. I was able to meet with their parents, district employees, future Brown students, Brown alumni, and financial supporters of the ILC. The great range of diversity amongst all the attendees helped to make this a great event. I was fortunate to give a speech representing Brown Session I (Macroeconomics and Biochemistry). Ava Burnell also spoke representing Brown Session II (Women in Leadership). Both of us gave good speeches, but I think that her speech might have been a little more riveting.
The School Board Meeting was a wonderful experience because all of the ILC cohorts attended (minus a sick Caroline Umali). We were all dressed very nicely if I may so myself. Our chaperones gave short speeches to let the School Board, and community know some details and general ideas pertaining to our voyages. Future 2011 enrollees of Brown, Yale, Colombia, and Cornell also gave speeches. All of these students were participants in the Ivy League Connection, so you can see the fruits of the ILC’s labor.
So far our 2011 ILC group has impressed me, and we are all doing well. I am sure we will continue to keep this up, and I look forward to commencing our journey.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
On May 3rd was the big, fancy dinner for those going to Brown University. We went to the One Market Street Restaurant after meeting at BART. I confess I didn't know what to expect but when the 53 of us walked down the streets of San Francisco, I knew it was going to be an interesting night. We mingled for about a half hour before taking a group photo. Even before we got to the restaurant I knew we were going to have arranged seating (I'm sure Don noticed our buddy system!). It took me forever to find my seat but was pleased to share the table with my mom, Sarah Scott, one of my interviewers, Susan Champion, School District President, Madeline Kronenberg, my Brown chaperone, LaDonna Williams, and one of the investors, Gboyega Aladegami. They were a lot of fun to talk to and had many interesting conversations!
While we ate, Charles Ramsey, Madeline Kronenberg, and Brown cohorts made hilarious speeches that us laugh. All of the students going to Brown stood up and introduced themselves, followed by Brown cohorts and alumni. We had to state our name, school, and which program we would be in while attending Brown. When it was all over, we mingled one last time before getting back on BART to go home. I was surprised to find out the dinner lasted an amazing four hours! It seemed to fly by. I had so much fun that night and it was so great seeing everyone.
Monday, May 9, 2011
We all met outside Dejean Middle School's auditorium, where we were directed to what we were to do once the meeting began. I was able to meet some ILCers from other programs before the meeting who I would have not met otherwise. I remember seeing some students fret whether they had to speak at the meeting and a few had prepared themselves with a speech. After a while, I started to worry if Mr. Ramsey would call on one of us. No one could assure me, and I spread my worry to some of my friends in the program, although they seemed unchanged by prospect.
The meeting began with all of the ILCers sitting with their chaperon, and then the chaperons introduced the students they were chaperoning. In between each introduction an ILC alumni who was accepted to an ILC explained their experience of the ILC program and their reason for applying and going to the college of their choice. There was one ILCer alumni who read her entire speech from her phone. I just thought that was absurd, but she saved some trees, had a well developed speech, and was definitely one of the more memorable of the speakers. I found these speeches inspirational, but I also experienced a feeling of anxiety. I usually have this feeling when I talk or hear about the future, but this time I think I resolved myself to accept the path I am going and enjoy every step of the way.
Before the Board Meeting, I had to take the AP Calculus AB test in the morning. I did not feel the backlash of the test until the next day, which was then proceeded by another AP test, and then the next week on Wednesday I had yet another test. Then after the tests my teachers assigned projects due at the end of May. As you can see the two weeks after the Meeting were extremely busy, and just now have I been able to get the blog post for this event. I really need to start prioritizing my life and stop procrastinating when I am busy.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
On Tuesday night, eating some of the most sumptuous food I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy, the Brown cohort met for the Brown alumni dinner at the One Market Restaurant. My fellow Brownies and I mingled with our parents, chaperones, Brown alumni, and ILC sponsors in a beautiful open room, sipping drinks (non-alcoholic for us students, of course) and sampling appetizers. After posing for several photographs with alumni, we drifted into the luxurious private dining room.
I had the pleasure of dining with Simon Hong, a Brown alumnus and head of the ILC Brown mentor program, Sarah Larson, chaperone for the first Brown group and a wonderfully capable counselor from El Cerrito High, my fellow Brownie Kathleen He and her mother, and my own mother, Cathy Chin.
I was pleased to get to know Kathleen a little better, as I had not had the chance to talk with her much before Tuesday night. I enjoyed her descriptions of Middle College and comparing and contrasting them with my knowledge of El Cerrito High. I also greatly appreciated Mr. Hong’s vivid descriptions of his days at Brown. He was happy to answer any questions we had about life on campus and offered good advice about college in general, and Brown in particular. He also gave us pointers about interesting places to visit during our stay in Providence this summer.
Throughout the dinner, we listened to several eloquent speakers, beginning with Ms. Kronenberg and ending with Mr. Ramsey. Ms. Kronenberg warmly welcomed us all to the dinner and gave a brief history of the program. Student speakers Andrew Gonzales and Ava Burnell thanked the sponsors, chaperones, and all others involved with the ILC for their support. Andrew urged us to vote for him as president in 2032, to the amusement and entertainment of all present. Mr. Ramsey ended the evening’s speeches with a profound quote by John D. Rockefeller. We concluded our dinner by thanking Dick Barker for his generous support of the ILC and offering our gratitude for graciously hosting our dinner. At the end of the evening I was left with a much greater appreciation and understanding of Brown, and I am eagerly anticipating my trip east this summer.
After the excitement of Tuesday night, it seemed ludicrous to think anything else would match the momentousness of the dinner. However, as I walked into the WCCUSD school board meeting on Wednesday, I realized that this was at least as incredible as the night before, if not more so. After a brief introduction by former El Cerrito High principal Mr. Rhea, each chaperone introduced their cohort and spoke about their summer program.
Scattered throughout these speeches were illustrious ILC alumni speakers who participated in the program last year. I was impressed by the poise and eloquence of Irene Rojas-Carroll, Guadalupe Morales, Austin Long, and other students. They each spoke about their personal experiences and offered advice about their respective programs to the current ILC students. They will be attending prestigious universities such as Brown and Cornell next fall, and all credited the Ivy League Connection as a key part of their success. I hope that I will learn as much this summer as they did last summer.
These past few days have been somewhat hectic for those of us in the Brown cohort. Looking back, though, I realize that I had a fantastic time at the Brown dinner and that the school board meeting on Wednesday helped me realize how much the Ivy League Connection means to the community and the students who have participated in the program. This week has been fun and extraordinarily educational.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
I was immediately impressed with the restaurant as soon as I stepped through the door; it was grander than I could have ever imagined. After mingling for a while and a group photo with the Brown alumni, we found our name cards indicating our seats and sat down at our assigned tables. I had the pleasure of sitting with Simon Hong, a Brown alum and a Senior Research Analyst for Ironwood Capital Management (not to mention one of my interviewers), Sarah Larson, our amazing chaperone for the first Brown session, fellow Brownie Mariko and her mother, and of course, my lovely, lovely mother. Mr. Hong shared his many experiences as a student at Brown, lauding it for its open curriculum, diverse student body, and liberal atmosphere. He was, more or less, selling the school to us, even though he swore he wasn’t being paid for doing it. I enjoyed listening to his praises, and I learned so much more about the school. He also told us about a mentoring program that pairs Brown alumni with high schools students to help them with their college applications, which I am definitely interested in. I didn’t think it was possible, but Mr. Hong made me even more excited to visit Brown. I was finally able to meet Ms. Larson in person after I missed our group meeting on Monday. She is incredibly kind and caring, and I couldn’t have wished for a better chaperone or group. During the course of our meal, aside from chatting, we also listened to speakers, beginning with opening remarks by Ms. Kronenberg and closing with Mr. Ramsey. I was very proud of Andrew and Ava for their speeches; they were the lucky two chosen to speak on behalf of us students, and they didn’t let us down. Two students who received well-deserved attention that evening were Irene Rojas-Carroll and Guadalupe Morales, who were in the Brown Women and Leadership program last year and will be attending Brown next school year. On our way back to
I was immediately impressed with the restaurant as soon as I stepped through the door; it was grander than I could have ever imagined. After mingling for a while and a group photo with the Brown alumni, we found our name cards indicating our seats and sat down at our assigned tables. I had the pleasure of sitting with Simon Hong, a Brown alum and a Senior Research Analyst for Ironwood Capital Management (not to mention one of my interviewers), Sarah Larson, our amazing chaperone for the first Brown session, fellow Brownie Mariko and her mother, and of course, my lovely, lovely mother. Mr. Hong shared his many experiences as a student at Brown, lauding it for its open curriculum, diverse student body, and liberal atmosphere. He was, more or less, selling the school to us, even though he swore he wasn’t being paid for doing it. I enjoyed listening to his praises, and I learned so much more about the school. He also told us about a mentoring program that pairs Brown alumni with high schools students to help them with their college applications, which I am definitely interested in. I didn’t think it was possible, but Mr. Hong made me even more excited to visit Brown.
I was finally able to meet Ms. Larson in person after I missed our group meeting on Monday. She is incredibly kind and caring, and I couldn’t have wished for a better chaperone or group.
During the course of our meal, aside from chatting, we also listened to speakers, beginning with opening remarks by Ms. Kronenberg and closing with Mr. Ramsey. I was very proud of Andrew and Ava for their speeches; they were the lucky two chosen to speak on behalf of us students, and they didn’t let us down. Two students who received well-deserved attention that evening were Irene Rojas-Carroll and Guadalupe Morales, who were in the Brown Women and Leadership program last year and will be attending Brown next school year. On our way back to
The following day, on Wednesday, all of the Ivy League Connection students showed up for the School Board meeting at
After our sponsors received awards and recognition for their generous contributions, we all assembled for a picture of everyone in the program, including our parents. Don snapped around 25 shots, and hopefully I wasn’t blinking in every single one.
This concludes the excitement for the week. I look forward to our next orientation and soon after, our trip! I can hardly wait!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
|Me and Dyana after the meeting|
|Cindy, Rebecca, and Josie holding up their certificates|
|From left to right: Mrs. Yip, Cindy, Mrs. Burnell, Ava, Rebecca, |
Josephine, Mrs. Biteng, Myself, Mrs. Ramsey (my mom)
My father and I went to El Cerrito High School on Monday to meet Sarah Larson, my chaperone for Brown Cohort #1 this summer. I had previously tried to figure out more about Ms. Larson through her profile on Blogger and I discovered that she looked like a movie star. Our group includes Erinn Kuehne, Andrew Gonzales, Frank She, Kathleen He and myself. We discussed paperwork over pizza while we chatted about our trip to the East Coast. Ms. Larson was an ILC chaperone for Yale two years ago with my former marching band major, Yohanna Pepa, so in addition to being cool and professional, she totally knows what she is doing.
Last night was the Brown University Gala Dinner at One Market in San Francisco. Everyone and their parents spiced up the El Cerrito Plaza BART station in their fancy clothes and shoes. We were a sight to see. During the BART ride over, I had a great conversation about college with Cynthia Yip and we concluded that we are soul sisters. Once at the restaurant, I finally got the opportunity to mingle with my fellow Brown folk. I shook hands with parents and alumni. I was pleased to meet Dick Barker, who was our host for the night. He gave me a firm handshake, a pat on the back, and assured me that I was going to have an excellent time at Brown. We all conversed in a majestically spacious hall while we were served mini chickpea cakes and chipotle chicken bites. After Ava Burnell’s rave reviews, Josephine and I got Shirley Temples (a Sprite with a maraschino cherry in it). It was exciting to be fancy.
We were ushered into a private dining room and we proceeded to find our name tags on the tables within. Once we were settled, several speakers talked to us about the Ivy League Connection. The student speakers were Andrew Gonzales and Ava Burnell. They both were excellent speakers and I applaud their integrity and confidence.
My mother and I were seated with Frank She and his father along with 2001 Brown Alum Jim Sinai. Mr. Sinai works on the floor above One Market Restaurant in sales and marketing so all he had to do was take the elevator down to meet us for dinner. Mr. Sinai told Frank and me about his experience from Berkeley High School to Brown. He said, “Brown is the best place on Earth.” He told us where we could get chili dogs or hit the beach in Providence. I enjoyed Jim Sinai’s company and conversation throughout dinner. He provided useful tips for high school, college applications, and college life.
I just returned from the WCCUSD School Board Meeting which was just hours ago. Thank you, Ms. Larson, for introducing Brown #1 to the Board. I felt very proud to stand up and smile to the big names in education from our district. It was strange to not face the audience when we were being introduced to them, and it was a bit awkward staring at everyone’s backs when they stood up after us. I have to say that the ILC folks look pretty snazzy from the back.
I was inspired by the former ILC Brown Students who gave amazing speeches to the Board and the audience behind them. Thank you to Austin Long, Irene Rojas-Carroll, and Guadalupe Morales for sharing your experiences from Brown. Best of luck in your futures at Ivy League Schools!
The past few days have been full of fancy fun. I am very fortunate to be apart of the Ivy League Connection. These past events have gifted me with new friendships, the feeling of close community, ILC pride, and gratitude for it all. Thank you to all of our sponsors and ILC coordinators. Can we go to Rhode Island yet?
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
My dad (Mr. Ramsey) has an excellent taste when it comes to picking out restaurants, but, surprisingly, I had never been to One Market. My mother had and told me it was excellent, and she definitely was not lying. After meeting at the El Cerrito Plaza BART station, exchanging hugs and meeting people, we crowded onto the train and rode to San Francisco. We walked a little bit before arriving at One Market. What struck me was how BEAUTIFUL the building was. The architecture was absolutely breathtaking and simply incredible. I was honored to be eating in such a fine restaurant!
Everyone mingled for a while, getting drinks and delicious appetizers. We took pictures with one another, met amazing people such as Dick Barker and Simon Hong, and just waiting to have an amazing dinner!
My dad organized where everyone was going to sit, and he did an amazing job doing it. At first I was slightly disappointed sitting at a table with all adults and none of the other participants, but I soon realized that this was my time to shine and be personable; something that is definitely one of my qualities. I was delighted to find that the woman who I was sitting next to, Lauren Brodsky, not only graduated from Brown, but was the half-sister to Andrew Brodsky, who is in my sister's grade and a boy I'd known for a very long time! It is such a small world. I was also delighted to meet the other people at the table - I regretfully forget their last names, but I remember Sue, Kevin - the man who designed El Cerrito High School and is working on Pinole Valley High School, and Linda, who is a teacher. They were all very nice and we had great conversations throughout the evening!
The speeches made were fantastic. Andrew's speech was lively and entertaining, and Ava's speech pointed out statistics about women that I didn't know of. I definitely learned from both of their speeches and was very proud of them for presenting in front of a huge group of people. Simon Hung's speech was definitely touching; I could tell he was definitely inspired by the Ivy League Connection and happy of the people who end up at Brown University for college.
And speaking of those who are going to Brown University for college, I must not leave out Guadalupe Morales (Richmond High School) and Irene Rojas-Carroll (El Cerrito High School) who will begin their journey at Brown University in the fall. Irene is an amazing and well-rounded individual who inspires me to be the best that I can be, and I appreciate all the advice she has given me to think about for my summer at Brown. I met Guadalupe for the first time tonight, and while I didn't get to speak to her much, she was very sweet and I'm so proud that she will be the first person from Richmond High School to attend Brown University. I know these two ladies will make our district very proud and inspire those around them with their intelligence and grace.
When my dad spoke, I was beaming. I like experts, and my dad is definitely an expert at anything he does. I love hearing my dad give speeches because he addresses challenges and proposes everyone in the ILC to face a challenge: going to the East Coast and not just learning in their class and about the campus they will be studying at, but about themselves. This is a life changing experience, and I'm so happy that not only am I being given this life-changing opportunity, but that every other Brownie is as well. I know this program couldn't have been made possible without my dad, and for helping to create this program, he has my upmost thanks and love. He has been there for me since I was born, drilling in me the importance of education and trying to give me advice about classes to take in high school and where to look at for colleges. One thing he and my mother have always told my sister and I is to "think big and think ahead," and if they had never told us that, I do not think I would be the person I am today.
My dad also had good taste in picking out the menu, which was amazing! I ordered the New York steak with mashed potatoes, and my dad also made sure everyone was served chocolate cake (with a ravenous topping of whipped cream on the top) for desert! It was amazing. By the end of the night, I was stuffed.
Seeing my Brownies all dressed up and looking fabulous was great. I love seeing all of them, and I know that we are becoming a family. I'm sad we're not all going to be at Brown at the same time, but reading their blogs while I'm waiting for my experience to start will definitely be exciting! I know that we all love each other, and I don't think that this experience would be the same without the people I'm sharing it with.
Before coming to the meeting, I had badminton practice so the rush from practice, which I had to leave early from, to El Cerrito was not needed, but I needed to go to practice.
When we entered El Cerrito High, we were directed to a room and greeted by pizza and our chaperone. After a few minutes of mingling, each group (the Columbia cohorts were there as well) went to its respective conference room.
Once everyone was settled, we introduced ourselves to the group, which consisted of Erin Miller, Andrew Gonzales, Frank She and our parents. Then Ms. Larson passed out some paper work that we and our parents had to sign. Unfortunately, Ms. Larson wanted to collect our Pre-College forms, but Erin and I had forgotten our paperwork. Ms. Larson was very nice and was willing to compromise and collect our paperwork on Tuesday, when we would meet up for the Brown dinner.
Ms. Larson also wanted to incorporate our suggestions into her plans over in on the East coast, and allow us time to collect our requests. She assured our parents that we would be in capable hands, passed out her information on a card and then gave out her cell-phone number.
Ms. Larson gave us a brief explanation of the following nights, the Brown dinner on Tuesday and the Board Meeting on Wednesday, where to meet up and how to dress.