Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ramiah Davis-Shephard - Hercules High School

I would like to start by saying that you cannot please everyone. No matter how hard anyone tries, everyone will not be pleased. Being a junior in high school, I know that it is very important for me to know about the different colleges and to start thinking about what exactly I am looking for; and subsequently where I want to go. To be honest, as humiliated as I am to say this, before I was selected to be a part of the ILC, I did not even know how many Ivy League schools there were. Other than Harvard and Stanford, I did not know which schools had good law programs into which I could look. I was pretty much lost, and although I know all I had to do was get on the Internet and start looking things up, I felt so overwhelmed and I was not doing as much as I should have been.

All of that changed, however, after I was selected to go to the college meetings in Modesto and Sacramento. I learned - amidst mounds of priceless information - that different schools have different curriculums and different methods for students to receive/design their personal curriculums. Then, in preparation for the interviews, as we were applying to the summer college programs, I learned so much. I had no idea that Princeton has the top law school in the country. I had never even thought about Princeton, much less considered applying there. I have realized that the very prestigious colleges and universities in America are in fact within my reach. Me, little 'ol Ramiah; and if I can do it, there are so many others who can.

No, ILC cannot send everyone to summer colleges, but they - you - do make the dreams of, well I know of six people at Hercules Middle High School, whose dream of an opportunity like this has come true. Students have been inspired on so many different levels. I know that having been accepted to Cornell, makes me feel like I actually do belong in the AP classes I am taking. I actually am Ivy League material; and people are watching me. Not just adults, but also peers.

No, the ILC may not be sending them to Cornell this summer, but watching someone that they know go through this process makes it more real. Prestigious schools no longer seem like such a far off fantasy. The ILC makes them obtainable. I know, that if it were not for the ILC (and I must say God, because if it were not for Him, I would not even be in touch with the ILC) I would still be sitting around, trying to get good grades, but not being really sure what I was going to do with them. Of course, I was planning - and was told by my parents - that I would be attending college; but I just did not know that much about it. I knew that I needed good grades to get accepted, but I had no idea about admittance rates.

The ILC provides guidance, for those of us who are rising above the standard: go to school, go to college, get a job. We are students who are excelling in high school, and will go on to colleges and universities that are a great fit for each of us individually; and then we will continue on to have our own businesses, law firms, labs, hotel chains, airlines, hospitals, ect.

Like I said, everyone will not be happy, but a few will go through this process, and be the better for it. Others will be inspired by those few, and the ILC will make a difference in the lives of many.

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