Before I begin, I want to put an emphasis on the gratitude that I possess towards Madeline Kronenberg, Charles Ramsey, Don Gosney, our sponsors, and everyone who put in time and effort to make the ILC possible. Special thanks to Don Gosney for ensuring that everything was in order 24/7 and for treating each and every one of us like responsible adults the whole way.
I am one of the many students that had the privilege to go to the East Coast for a few weeks to take a course at one of the most elite universities in the U.S. It seems like forever ago that I got introduced to this program. If it wasn't for Don emailing me and calling me, telling me to apply and Ms. Jan pulling me out of class to look over my essays, I would have never gained the knowledge that I now hold. If it wasn't for all of the generous sponsors who believed in me I would have never gotten the chance to take an invigorating self course at Brown University.
From the essays, to the intimidating interview, to the meetings and fancy dinners, it's time to finally relax for a bit. Now that I'm back to the Bay after living on my own for two weeks on the East Coast, it's time to reflect as to my unique experience. Where do I begin? First of all, I wasn't even going to apply. I didn't have self-confidence and I didn't believe that I was good enough. I didn't believe in myself which was a common case within everyone who didn't apply. I applied ultimately because other people believed in me and kept pushing me to at least try. Deep thanks to everyone who contributed in the process. For those presented with the opportunity to apply to the ILC please do and to those presented with the opportunity to apply to any sort of job or scholarship please do. You'll never know if you never try. I can't imagine where I would be right now if I didn't take the risk.
The interview process was terrifying. I remember it like it was yesterday. I didn't think about not getting in. I thought about how much I wanted the scholarship. This helped a lot because my positive attitude won the panelists over and I got accepted after what seemed like an eternity of waiting for the results. It didn't hit me right away. I was in shock. I felt like nothing mattered. I had done it. The girl who had no self-confidence had earned a scholarship to Brown University. The ride home felt surreal. I entered my house with an ear to ear grin not knowing how to tell my parents. My parents thought it was a scam. They thought it was too good to be true and it was in fact, too good to be true. My parents would have never been able to make this happen.
The ILC has taught me to take risks and to believe that I am as important and intelligent as the other privileged students in more affluent communities. Thanks to the Ivy League Connection I have broadened my views as to places to attend college. The thought of attending an Ivy League school is not as unrealistic as before this program. This program gave me the opportunity to not only take a class at Brown University but to visit other universities. I got the chance to visit Yale, Harvard, and Wellesley. With these site visits, I realized that I do not want to go to a small school and that I want to go somewhere thriving with energy and with a sense of community. I personally loved Yale as well. I would never have been able visit the beautiful campus and even think of Yale as one of my choices for college if it weren't for the ILC.
I want to spread the word and encourage others to apply. It may seem like a lot of work but it's definitely worth it in the end. It's the opportunity of a lifetime! Being an ILCer, you gain useful skills like time-management and responsibility. You get the chance to interact with talented and inspiring individuals from all over the world. It's a very unique experience because you learn from the diversity around you and it adheres to you. I know that I'm never going to forget how much I've flourished and what I've accomplished.
I'm bringing back all of my knowledge to my home, school, and community. I learned so much in the Women & Leadership course. For instance, how women get objectified on a daily basis in the media without us blinking an eye. I'm more aware of the issues going on in the world today.
I'm also going to bring back hope and strength to my home, school, and community. I'm going to bring back hope and strength because I've portrayed that socioeconomic status doesn't determine where you're headed. If you work hard, you can go anywhere your heart desires. I represented my community and school this time. I hope that they're proud of me and the places that I've gone and have yet to go. Thanks again to every single person that helped make this possible.
|Some of the ILCers|
|The 2015 W & L Class!|