Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jessica Tran -- El Cerrito High School

I must say that this program is one of the most amazing opportunities that I have witnessed and experienced. I must admit that I had no clue colleges existed beyond California until last summer. I had been given the chance to attend a Women and Leadership Institute at Brown University. I gained a first hand experience of not only the college life at an Ivy League school, not only the exploring of a new location, but also a chance to work independently and gain new confidence. By attending Brown once in the summer and later in early November, I feel that I have definitely become a better speaker, worker, and leader.

I was not the only one who was able to benefit though. Many of my peers did not know about Ivy League colleges, or, if they did, they believed that it wasn't the right place for them. When I was able to share my insights, they have now begun to consider colleges outside of California. I have seen many people nominated to attend summer courses at Ivy League schools and I feel that the attempt itself is a great success. ILC has spurred the thoughts of individuals so that they can take the initiative to prepare themselves for college. It really helps one realize that there are unlimited possibilities!

Another great accomplishment of the Ivy League Connection would be Senior Kiana Ward of El Cerrito High. For those who don't know her, she was another ILC student given the chance to go to Brown with me last summer. Her thoughts were strictly UCLA; however now she is going to attend Brown University after graduating this summer. At this I must say that even the most dedicated UC pursuing student can be persuaded if only given the chance.

This summer I was able to apply to a Leadership In the Business World program at the University of Pennsylvania. To me this is a big step because it is definitely a rigorous course in which I know I would not have even considered if it were not for the ILC. Others who applied also were given a second chance. I was able to sign-up for a Physics class at Columbia, just in case the UPENN application does not work out. I feel that this really proves the ILC's dedication to our future. Not only are they providing the opportunity to sign-up for great programs, but they are trying to ensure we get the chance to witness a life changing experience.

I truly thank Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, Don Gosney, Ms.O'Brian, and ALL the Ivy League Connection supporters. The dedication and time put into this program is outstanding and inspirational. I believe there is a unanimous agreement when I say that everything coming from the ILC is beneficial to all who have heard, experienced, or encountered them.

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