Thursday, December 22, 2011

Brandon Amargo - Middle College Grad

First and foremost I’d like to congratulate the ILC for earning the Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association. I actually viewed the board meeting on television where Board President Ramsey made the announcement. What a proud moment for our school district!

I’ve just finished my first semester at UC Berkeley and all I can say is how grateful I am for experiencing the Yale Ivy Scholars Program (YISP). It has definitely prepared me for my courses at UC Berkeley. I’ve just completed a comparative politics course, quantitative analysis and methodology (Political Science) course, American History course and an internship with the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG). These classes are prereqs for my major in Political Science. Thanks to my education at Middle College High School I will be graduating with the class of 2013. Next semester I'm enrolled in a religious studies course on Hinduism, a public policy course taught by former labor secretary (Clinton) Dr. Robert Reich, a political science seminar in which local politicians speak and a political theory course. On top of these four courses, I was offered a job at the Vice Chancellor for Research Office at Cal and will be working there next semester as an administrative assistant.

I advise everyone in ILC to highly consider Cal when applying to universities. Despite budget cuts, it truly is an amazing place that provides an unbelievable amount of services and resources to its students. Remember, you can make a big school small, but you can't make a small school big. Here at Cal, every student finds their niche whether it be a club, organization or association. Another myth is about financial aid at Cal. We see in the news rising UC tuition, but just last week Chancellor Birgeneau announced that UC Berkeley will be the first public university to provide its middle class students a financial aid plan. Below is a press conference video.

This leads me to our Occupy Movement at Cal. UC Berkeley is obviously notorious for it’s student activism. On November 15th, Dr. Robert Reich came to speak to an astonishing 5,000 people at Sproul Plaza on the dramatic economic inequality that now exists in the United States. If your interested in student activism there is absolutely the place for you! Below is a video of the Occupy Cal movement that my friend actually created. He’s an intern for NBC Bay Area and sure knows how to work the camera.

If you have any questions feel free to email me. Best of luck to the ILC.

Go Bears!

Brandon Amargo

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