Monday, March 30, 2009

Courtney Mariano - Hercules High School

I am amazed that some do not see the need for a program like Ivy League Connection. However, I hope my testimonial will open their eyes to how much it has helped me and all the other students involved.

Ever since my freshman year in high school, I started thinking more about college such as where I want to go and what I want to major in. I always pictured myself attending one of the Universities of California just because I have lived in Hercules for so long and never imagined living far from home. The thought of attending a school on the east coast never crossed my mind. However, ILC changed my entire perspective. Although the UC’s are great colleges, this program has inspired me to broaden my horizons and consider other prestigious schools, such as the Ivy League Universities.

Last year, I had the honor of being chosen to participate in the Biomedical Research Program at the University of Pennsylvania. I was given a taste of the college academics with morning lectures from our professor, afternoon labs, and projects. Not only was I exposed to the educational side, but I also experienced the freedom that comes with being a college student. I lived on my own in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for four weeks without relying on my parents. I was in charge of waking myself up on time, getting my own food, and balancing my time between school and leisure. Thus, I became more responsible and independent.

This summer, I am fortunate to go back to the east coast to attend Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island to learn about psychology. I am excited to learn more about this subject, meet people from around the country and the world, and live independently for three weeks. To, those who only think this program helps a handful of students, it certainly does more. We who have the honor of going to one of the prestigious universities over the summer come home and tell others of our experiences. We do not simply keep the information we gain to ourselves, but we share it with students like us. Therefore, it helps everyone.

Lastly, I would like to thank Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg for creating the program and providing WCCUSD students with once in a lifetime opportunities. Also, thank you to all of the ILC sponsors who see the need for a program such as this to expose young people to the different colleges. Hopefully, this testimonial will assure those who question ILC and show them that students greatly appreciate it.

Courtney Mariano

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