Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Tale of Gabrielle Meacham and the Ivy League Connection

Flashback to my sophomore year:

Gabrielle Meacham was nervous as she pressed and held the power button to start her laptop--she tried to ignore her jumpy stomach by focusing on what she needed to accomplish before nine that night. An hour later she, unreasonably angry at herself for rambling on page, highlighted the existing paragraphs, and hit delete. She thought about the past week that had been centered around this essay, hit the undo button, but then with a final burst of perfectionism, deleted it once more.

As you can see, she wasn't good at staying calm. 

She wanted to take the Women and Leadership class badly, and she wanted the ILC experience even more. So, she pushed on and submitted her essay.

One year later:

Gabrielle Meacham sat down, and calmly started her laptop. She picked at sentences, substituted words, checked sentence structures, and asked for help. She was really proud of this essay. She thought back to three hundred and sixty-five days prior, and felt relief that she had grown from her mistakes. 

She wanted to take the Women and Leadership class badly, and she wanted the ILC experience even more. 

This time however, she made it to the interview. 

She practiced shaking hands; she practiced smiling and entering a room; she practiced answering questions. She prepared her professional outfit; she prepared a schedule; she prepared her backpack with homework assignments for the long wait. 

This time spent preparing, writing essays, completing applications, and practicing not only got her the ILC scholarship, but gave her confidence in new skills that she could save for the  future.
She was pretty darn pumped...

That was the end to my third person graphic short story. I wanted to write and draw pages for my entire experience, but I decided that thank-yous and plans (I wanted both to drive my final blog) were too hard to read in narrative...   

A significant part of my learning with the ILC took place before I was even accepted. As hopefully obvious with my experimental writing above, getting into the ILC is difficult, and requires a lot of hard work.

I benefited from applying my sophomore year even if I didn't get an interview. I had more confidence applying my junior year because I knew that I could and needed to do better. I also had a sister and friend who were ILC alums who agreed to help me with anything I needed: they taught me small grammatical tricks, they asked me fake interview questions for practice, and they were my cheerleaders all the way. 

When I was accepted to the Ivy League Connection Program, I had plans of creating a school club my senior year that encouraged ILC prospects the way I was by my sister and friend.  

Yet, our lunch periods aren't incredibly long, and many academically motivated students are part of other conflicting lunchtime clubs. There are better ways to go. I still haven't nailed down exactly how I plan to meet those goals in a different setting, but I plan to contact the program at the beginning of the school year, and propose a more effective alternative.

I am involving many students from my high school in my action plan. This is also a great opportunity to advertise the ILC to younger students who can still apply. 

Thank Yous to All Who Made the Ivy League Connection Happen

Thank you for showing us a world that made me thankful for what I have 
and simultaneously hopeful for more.  
Thank you for working so hard to allow us to have such transformative experiences.
Thank you for believing that young people can do great things.
Thank you for treating and respecting us like adults.
Thank you for giving us help when we seek it.
Thank you for teaching us how to network.
Thank you for providing inspiration.
Thank you for forcing us to blog so that I could find out I love it.
Thank you for forcing us to blog so my writing skills could improve.
Thank you for giving me a summer experience and education I won't ever forget.

Thank you for everything. 


  1. You're welcome. This was a very enjoyable blog. And your photos were so much better than anything I took.

  2. I'm glad you liked it, and thank you!

  3. I'm glad you liked it, and thank you!