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?