Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elizabeth Gonzalez

Congratulations on the award. It is great to see all the hard work pay off. I am truly happy for the blessings that the program has been for many students. As an outgoing senior, the advice I am about to give will probably seem contradictory, however that is not my intention. I would rather focus on brainstorming ways in which students will feel well-supported at the schools once they decide to attend. I had a very rough fall and it is my hope that this will not occur to more students. You do not have to forward this, however I am hoping that this will serve a purpose.

I will never deny that I indeed received a phenomenal education at Brown University. I do not regret my decision, however it has been challenging beyond my imagination. The amount of pressure we students place on ourselves is not normal, especially when one comes from an educational background that may not be up to par with my fellow Brunonians. There are so many obstacles one encounters in the Ivy League and I have felt that the culture within the institution has had some detrimental effects on me. Of course, I feel stronger for getting over those obstacles, however my health has paid a heavy cost. While my self-esteem has greatly improved from the point where I was considering leaving Brown, it is in my hope that WCCUSD students do not repeat my mistakes and do no go through what I went through. I am not victimizing myself for I have been greatly blessed, however students must know that this is indeed a challenge and we must support them in the transition.

It is essential that students develop a strong safety net and learn how to maneuver through this schools. This is not to say that other universities are not as rigorous, however being thousands of miles away from home and away from the community for the first time is another experience in itself. I guess what I am proposing is perhaps setting up a counseling program for incoming and current WCCUSD students to help them transition into these schools. Many resources are provided by these schools, however just speaking on behalf of my experience, often I did not feel entitled to them. Something must change. This issue does not have to be addressed by the ILC, however one must have these conversations in the best interest of the students.

I would be happy to elaborate on anything that I have mentioned.

Thank you very much for your dedication. It has not gone unnoticed.



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