Monday, May 7, 2012

Putting the Brownies back in the oven...and taking out new ones

Being a member of the Brown Mentorship Program has been a wonderful experience. I've learned more about my fellow Summer 2011 Brownies and a lot more about the college application process. I've gained a true friend and mentor in Corynn Brodsky, who has been with me since the day we met at the first Brown Mentor event in June 2011. We email each other often and she gives me advice about the college admissions process, which I've been greatly needing since I plan on starting my college applications when I come back from the ILC Columbia trip in July.

The last Brown Mentor event was yesterday at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. My Uncle Ismail has a membership with the club and was able to secure reservations for a brunch. The Brownies who were able to attend the event were Mariko, Erin, Kathleen, and myself. Beilul, a Hercules High School senior who I have been good friends with in the past months, was accepted to Brown University under Early Decision and has matriculated for the school as a member of the Class of 2016. Andrew Gonzales, another Summer 2011 Brownie, has decided to matriculate to Brown as a member of the Class of 2016 as well. While Andrew could not make this event, I would like to say that I am extremely proud of him. I remember the first day I met Andrew; he was kind, funny, witty, and extremely intelligent. I am so happy that one of the Brownies will be attending Brown University, and I am especially glad it is Andrew. After hearing Andrew rave about Stanford last year, I was so proud to find out he changed his mind and decided on Brown University (he was also accepted to Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania). Beilul mentioned majoring in Public Policy, and at this time I do not know what Andrew is considering majoring in.

Me and Beilul, who will join the Brown University Class of 2016
It was also interesting to find out about Erin and Kathleen's college choices. Erin has decided to attend the University of California: San Diego with a major in General Biology, although she did state she was considering changing it to biochemistry due to the more research heavy approach that major has. Kathleen has decided to attend the University of California: Berkeley with a major in Economics. Unfortunately, my memory is getting to me, but I believe she stated she was also interested in the major/minor Global Poverty (since UC Berkeley does not have an International Relations major/minor). Since Kathleen attends Middle College High School and has taken college courses since she was a freshman, she is estimating graduating in either two or three years. She will know for sure when she gets her college credits from Contra Costa College transferred. I am so proud of both of my fellow Brownies in terms of their college choices.

There are three students at El Cerrito High School in the Class of 2013 that are 2nd year ILC members: Mariko, Nick Shebek (Cornell 2011, and Brown 2012!), and myself. Talking to Mariko about the daunting college application process, college choices, and her excitement about taking the Experimental Physics course at the University of Pennsylvania over the summer was enlightening. She was the only other junior at the event, so it was nice to have a change of subjects and relate to each other. We also spoke about this week's AP exams and upcoming finals - and the excitement that school is almost over!
From left to right: Kathleen He (UC Berkeley), Erinn Kuehne (UCSD '16), Beilul Naizghi (Brown '16), and Mariko Whitenack
The Brown event itself was small but fun. Majority of the mentors attended this event and the food was delicious (I had Belgium waffles - an excellent choice!). The mentors and Brownies sat around at one table and spoke about stories that ranged from studying abroad to international relations to seeing John F. Kennedy Jr. eating in The Ratty when he was a student at Brown University (I'M JEALOUS. VERY, VERY JEALOUS). After eating, we took a small tour of the Olympic Club and then headed back home.
The Olympic Club
To update everyone on college choices, I am still figuring out where I want to apply, but so far, I've come up with a good list. The colleges I will definitely apply to are Brown University, Rice University, Boston University, and Wellesley College. I am vary about applying to the UCs, but I am looking into University of California: Santa Cruz and possibly University of California: Berkeley. Three other schools I've been doing research on are Sarah Lawrence College (which I will visit with the Columbia group this summer), Temple University, and the University of Oregon. After I get back from Columbia I will have a for sure list of the schools I want to apply to. At this point my top school is Brown University but I really loved Rice and Boston University.

I strongly urge the Ivy League Connection to continue with the Brown Mentorship Program. The program has definitely increased my self confidence, increased my knowledge about the college application process, and given me more strength in my personal statement topic.

I am ending this post no longer a Brownie, but as a Lion (Columbia's mascot). For all those who are confused about this, I am participating in the Ivy League Connection again, this time taking Constitutional Law at Columbia University. I am so excited to be participating in this program again. I definitely miss my Brown experience, though, and try to pass on good advice to those who are in the Brown program this year. Seeing the new Brownies again makes me so nostalgic.

To the Summer 2011 Brownies, we're not going away. We're being put back in the oven, and some new ones will be taken out. We'll always be here. Brown will always be there to welcome us home.

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