Thursday, May 5, 2011

Exciting Dinner, Inspiring School Board Meeting

What a busy week it’s been! To start off, we went to the One Market Restaurant in San Francisco for our Brown dinner on Tuesday. The students each brought along one parent, and we were accompanied by Brown alumni, school board members, sponsors, school administrators, and other important people. I was excited to see all the Brownies again and had fun taking many pictures with them.

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 El Cerrito, I had the opportunity to talk with Irene, and she gave me a lot of insight on her experience and tips for the summer. Driving home, my mother told me how wonderful everyone was and how excited she felt for me. I'm glad she had a great time because I surely did.

The following day, on Wednesday, all of the Ivy League Connection students showed up for the School Board meeting at Lovonya Dejean Middle School. Everyone was dressed nicely, and I felt that viewers watching us on TV were most likely impressed. The ILC program was first on the agenda, and each group was called up one by one and introduced by its chaperone. Ms. Larson did a fantastic job in introducing the Brown #1 group: Andrew, Erin, Erinn, Frank, and me. Former ILC students, including Guadalupe and Irene, also spoke about their experiences and future aspirations. Their speeches were all so inspiring. I’d like to give props to Beulah Agbabiaka, who did so well in representing Middle College High School and will continue to do so at Columbia University in the fall.

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!

Real Time Web Analytics