Saturday, April 4, 2009

Theresa Berger - Pinole Valley High School

Last summer, I was given the chance of a lifetime when the ILC sent me all the way across the country to study at one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation, Cornell University.

Although I was in Ithaca for only three weeks, I learned more not just about the foundations and theories of western philosophy but also about myself as a person, than I had in the past three years of high school. I came back more matured, confident, and excited about learning. I came back eager to give back, and I also came back wanting to go back.

It was my experience at Cornell that inspired me to look beyond the UC System here at home, and to strive for acceptance at other private schools on the east coast and for another taste of the intellectual stimulation I so desperately craved. And with help from sponsors such as Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg, along with college counselor Sue Kim and others involved with the ILC, I have been fortunate enough to be able to do just that.

Exactly a year ago, I was begining to prepare myself to go off to Cornell. Now, I am beginning to prepare myself to return back East, only this time to Washington D.C. instead of Ithaca. I have recently been accepted to The George Washington University and, thanks especially to college counselor and financial aid wiz, Sue Kim, have received an amazing financial aid package. I am literally days away from solidifying one of the most important decisions of my life, a decision that opportunity has provided solely because of my being a part of the Ivy League Connection.

I pity any person who feels that the ILC is a waste, for they could not be any more wrong. The ILC has truly changed my life, and that of many others. The fact that our students are given the chance to attend such programs, that they have the opportunity to succesfully learn with and compete against students from some of the top schools in the country, and that they are now recognized by such prestigious universities is an amazing example of the talent we have here in the WCCUSD. The fact that students have been inspired by the ILC to take a chance and look beyond the UC system, and the fact that students have been inspired to even become a part of the ILC are even greater examples of the impact the program is making in our schools, and are more importantly, the strongest indicators of its future success and potential.

I feel as if I can do nothing but echo my fellow ILC'ers when I say that words truly cannot express my thanks and gratitude for the program and what it has done for me. I can also do nothing but urge that all who have any sort of reservations or issues against it take the time to rethink their positions and the role that the Ivy League Connection has played, and will continue to play, in our community.

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