Sunday, June 5, 2011

On Time for Orientation

On Thursday, June 2nd the ILC had the official Orientation at El Cerrito High School’s library. ALL of the students participating in the program were there so it was packed. There were many VIPs there that gave important speeches on the trip, what they expected, as well as what we, as the students, should expect. Among these VIPs were past students of the ILC that currently attend Ivy Leagues.
There were small breakout sessions where each group met with their assigned chaperones. The Brown 2 group’s chaperone is LaDonna Williams who prepared a great, to-the-point outline/agenda for our session. We had a student speaker, Kiana Ward, who is a past ILCer and a current student at Brown University.
After going through the itinerary, there was a Q&A for the students and their parents to Ms. Williams and Kiana. Kiana was great—she answered all of our questions to the best of her ability and I believe we were all satisfied with our answers.

After the breakout sessions, there was a short regrouping in the library where closing statements were made and soon after, everyone left feeling much more prepared and more excited than ever!

Our Final Meeting: The ILC Orientation

My fellow Brownies, look how far we've made it! After all the time-consuming paperwork filled out by ourselves as well as our parents, after the seemingly endless amounts of meetings with the whole ILC group or with our chaperones, and after the close bonds formed amongst ourselves thanks to this program, our final "official" meeting has come.
The Ivy League Orientation was held at El Cerrito High School's library on June 2, at 6:30 in the evening. I, being notorious among family and friends for my tardiness at everything, was constantly reminded by my mother and my peers to leave at 5:50 exactly, which proved to be one of my smarter choices. Not only was I there early, but I also had the honor of driving and parking right behind the car of my fellow Brownie, Frank She. In his car was another member of the ILC as well as a new friend of mine, Dyana So. My mother and I followed them and their families up to the ECHS library, where we were 15 minutes early. After waiting and socializing with my Brown cohorts for about 15 minutes, the clock struck 6:30 and the meeting started promptly.
Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, and Mr. Ellis took the stage from 6:30 to 7:00. After re-introducing the Chaperones as well as the individual programs that students were in, Mr. Ellis told us of a new opportunity in which high school students could apply to get a book written by them published. Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg stressed punctuality and the importance of blogging and taking our positions as representatives of our school district seriously. At 7:00, Don Gosney gave a 10-minute overview of our travels. This presentation included many useful things that we would definitely need, such as a laptop security cable, a working alarm clock, and various computer supplies. He also offered to loan out some of his equipment, a huge opportunity that I will not overlook.

After Don's presentation, the groups split up to their specific travel groups. My Brown-II group met with our chaperone, Ms. Williams, in room 206, where we received a packet full of flight ticket and rent-a-car information. We also met with Kiana Ward, a former ECHS student and a current sophomore at Brown University. She took the Women and Leadership program too, and she informed us of valuable rooming information as well as great food joints to check out when we get the chance to.
During the final comments by Mr. Ramsey, something hit me: The Brown-I group will be leaving in a matter of days, and soon after, my group will be on the plane to the East Coast. I only have about a month until then! Not only do I need to buy a laptop and other needed items, but I also feel like I need to emotionally prepare myself for so much time away from my family and friends at home. However, I can't deny that I'm extremely excited for this trip. This summer will truly be an unforgettable one.

Better Late than Never, But Never Late is Better!

The orientation at El Cerrito High started off on a phenomenal note with no ILC cohorts tardy. Everyone was on time and this allowed for us to start the orientation right on schedule. 

It was quite nice to see all of my Ivy League Connection cohorts again, but it was even nicer to see and hear from past ILC participants such as Austin Long. There were several previous ILC participants at the orientation who were either attending, or about to attend some of the most esteemed Ivy League Universities, such as Yale, Brown, Columbia, and Cornell. This really motivated me to continue to work hard so that in the near future I too may attend Yale, or Brown. 

I was also excited receive my itinerary as a member of Brown session one. We will be visiting so many esteemed universities in our stay back East. We will also be dining at some of the finest restaurants that the North East has to offer. And for both of these experiences I am truly grateful. 
The annual ILC orientation is more valuable than I think most realize. It allows the participants like me, to see how close departure is. It also allows the students and their parents to ask questions, or voice any concerns. The orientation makes everyone a lot more comfortable about the journey that they will be taking physically or in the parent’s cases, vicariously. I cannot wait to depart for Providence, Rhode Island!
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