Saturday, September 5, 2009
It was a two-week crash course in being weaned from having her at home to that inevitable gone off to college far away. Parents want the best their child could be, and sometimes it requires letting go. With such scholarly lectures Matt, Jessica, Yohanna and Stephanie experienced from erudite professors lead by Dr. Luong, these four chosen to be at Yale will never be the same again. The positive experience even whets their appetites for more knowledge and kindles their enthusiasm to pursue excellence.
Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the Ivy League Connection for giving this immense opportunity. We cannot think of any greater venture at Yohanna’s age of 16. This could not be possible if not because of the caring, unrelenting commitment of Charles Ramsey, the dedication of Madeline Kronenberg, the support of the rest of the School Board, Principal Sue Kahn, Superintendent Bruce Harter and staff, the generous funding of the sponsors, and the indefatigable participation of Don Gosney.
As for Yohanna, she would not be what she is today if not for teachers like Mr. Nesmith, Ms. Lamons and Mr. Wilson doing their jobs more as a calling. They have inspired her so much so that the once shy girl is leading a 70 +member marching band as their drum major as well as co-charing the Pinole Valley High School debate team. Mr. Wilson engaging lectures piqued Yohanna’s interest in history and civilization that came in handy for Yale’s Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy. The course culminated with Marshall Brief Presentations, which consisted of giving briefings to the USA President and Vice-president, etc. role-played by Yale professors.
The Ivy League Connection not only opens new windows for West County families but it also gives a sense of community. It makes available the best in education that paves the way to brighter futures. Every aspect is well thought out that there is a fitting chaperone for each group and Ms. Sue Kim assisting with the college application process. The participants get their feet at the door at these northeastern institutions that have a perception of being only for the affluent. With people involved giving so generously of their time, knowledge and guidance, they are not so elusive anymore. We are deeply grateful and it is our hope for the Ivy League Connection to flourish and be blessed.
Eric and Youra Pepa
We would like to thank everyone for their hard work and for devoting valuable time into making this program a success. We are honored and grateful that our daughter Stephanie was chosen to go to Yale for the intense two-week program.
The Yale Ivy Scholars Program has made Stephanie more confident, mature and independent. We saw this confidence, this maturity, and this independence the moment she returned - and it's all thanks to the faith each and every one of the supporters, sponsors, professors, and instructors placed in our daughter.
After two avid weeks of following this blog, we've experienced what Stephanie, Jessica, Yohanna, and Matt have weathered: dorm life, cafeteria food, laundry and vigorous class demands. They have found and made many new friends from all around the world. They've created life-lasting memories with their classmates. Actually, it would be wrong to merely call these people "classmates." Stephanie, Jessica, Yohanna, and Matt have undoubtedly formed a family with their cohorts, instructors, and professors - a family which we're sure will last a lifetime.
One of the purposes of the Ivy League Connection is to have students give back to the community. As a start, we have scheduled a date for Stephanie to teach us all about etiquette! We have heard about Dr. Dr. Luong's etiquette session and have taken great interest in it. This is one of the many things our daughter will bring back to her community as a dawning leader.We're so thankful that the Ivy League Connection exposes our students to the East Coast.
Mr. Ramsey and Mrs. Kronenberg - the two kindhearted, dedicated people who began this program - have come to impact and forever change the lives of many, many WCCUSD students - changes that would have otherwise been near impossible. Because they believed our district could rise above adversity, plenty of WCCUSD scholars have been exposed to Ivy League schools. Through the ILC, these students have applied and gotten into Ivy Leagues.
Once again, our thanks goes out to Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Kronenberg, Mr. Gosney, sponsors, supporters, professors, instructors, and participants. Congratulations to all. Your dedication and time have been well spent.
Eric Ny and Lien Chau
Monday, August 17, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Dear Yale Ivy Scholars students:
On behalf of all the parents I am sure we share the same sentiments. We are all so proud of what you have accomplished and experienced in this short two week program. Your strenuous academic performance and the repeatedly challenging classes you took is your guide to a more successful future. It gives you an insight of how college life should be, and will become for all of you very soon.
I understand many of your friends have had a different Ivy League Experience, and perhaps one that is not as intense. But believe me, the amount of work you put in will be equivalent to what you will reap in the future. Always remember that life will balance everything out in the end.
With desire, I have followed all your blogs, waited for more scenic pictures of the popular Ivy League school (the infamous Yale University), and immersed myself into your stories that reminded me of my own college life and the opportunities that opened up for me and the ones that did not. I am so glad that you all had this chance.
Thanks so much to the sponsors, Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg, Ms. Sarah Larson (the chaperone) and West Contra Costa School District. This means so much to us parents and to the kids as well. This program does not only tell our kids “yes we can” but with your generosity you imbedded in their thoughts, to keep in mind that “there is always a way” in whatever challenges they face. Of which without your patronage this path will not be lighted. I am sure that with the two awards they brought home to the district, they bring home the honor to share with you all.
Believe me, that the success this program brings is not the end; but just the beginning.
My congratulations again to all participants of the Ivy League Connection and a job well done.
Best wishes for the future,
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
- To visit numerous campuses and expose themselves to university/college options outside of our state
- To open their eyes to other fields of studies
- To experience what college life is (and perhaps minimize the anxieties when they actually go away to college).
Sunday, July 19, 2009
We are absolutely grateful for the terrific opportunity our daughter, Yueming Wang, had through ILC. Generous financial support from donors demonstrates an impressive commitment they have in our community. Enthusiasm exemplified through numerous email messages, encouraging blog comments from Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Kronenberg, Mr. Gosney is simply astounding. Dedication and involvement of many people in our school from principal to teachers once again reminds us of what a great school we have in our community. For all of you, we would like to express our sincere appreciation. You show how much you care about our child’s education. Without doubt, this encourages us as parents and community members to try harder to do our part to make our school even better.
Our daughter attended the Cornell Hotel Operations Management program. Among all her great experiences, she ranks gaining more confidence as one of the most cherished experiences. As parents, we can only imagine what this might mean. Our school district is made of working class community members -- where most of us work hard to make a living. As much as we love our children, circumstances and hard reality sometime subconsciously influence our expectation of our children. “Elite college is beyond their reach either financially or academically” sneaks into our thinking in different forms and voices. As old wisdom says "you definitely cannot do it if you think you cannot." This all might just change for good through ILC.
My daughter was there in the same classroom with kids from rich schools or affluent families. Given the same opportunity, she found she is quite capable of taking on challenges, competing with some of the best students in the nation, and excelling in every way that is expected. With this new experience, we have no doubt she will rethink her plan on college.
For us, as parents, this is one of the reasons why the ILC stands out. Once students are inspired, there is no limit how far they can go.
Once again, we would like to thank you and board members for your oustanding leadership in this program.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
2 - 3 years ago, whenever someone asked Courtney what she's planning to take in college; her usual response was Nursing / UCLA; not a shabby choice, I thought.
Then she got invited to participate in ILC in the summer of 2008.
First the UPenn 2008 summer program opened her eyes to the biomedical field; a field I wanted her explore.
Upon her return from Brown U this year, I hear her talking about applying at Brown, Columbia, UPenn, Stanford and UC and possibly taking Psychology as a minor/major.
Based on the ILC's blogs, Courtney's stories and numerous meetings with you, I have ascertained what a wonderful and safe (thank you chaperones!) program you have in ILC!
I hope you keep it going for years and years, so that other well-deserving WCCUSD kids get the chance:
1. To visit numerous campuses and expose them to university/college options outside of our state
2. To open their eyes to other fields of studies
3. To experience what college life is (and perhaps minimize the anxieties when they actually go away to college).
Courtney comes home from the ILC summer programs tired but enriched with wonderful memories of the things she learned & experienced and people she met.
In the end, whatever Courtney ends up choosing to take in college and wherever she ends up going, I'm certain the ILC program played a huge part in her making that informed and wise choice.
Thank you again.
Rowena E. Mariano
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I will begin with the college fairs, Exploring College Options. We have attended four, and the wealth of information that is given -- the question and answer sessions -- have been so informative. With each one, it prepares us for the next one. We are better equipped, because we now know what questions we are needing answers for, and also, we have found out that no college is out-of-reach for our daughter or our children in the Richmond School District. Before attending these college fairs, we thought that these prestigious Ivy League Schools, were out of our ballpark, mainly due to cost. Just the opposite. We now are aware of need based financial aid packages, and our students could actually leave college without a huge college loan hanging over their head. Even if you attend the same fair twice, you come away learning something new or better understanding some former information.
We attended the Duke, Harvard, Penn, Stanford and Georgetown College Fair twice. After attending the second time, I fully understand the difference between early decision and early action, but I also learned more about the study abroad programs. This program has given our children the opportunity of preparing for and then going through an interview process, completing a college application process, and proactively preparing for a college course.
Tonight, I was absolutely blown away at the Hercules City Council meeting, when I saw our students, especially my daughter, stand before that City Council and give their statements. They stood there with so much confidence and pride!!! We are looking forward with great anticipation for our daughter going to Cornell for those three weeks. I cannot begin to express the burden that has been lifted off my husband's and my shoulders about this upcoming college application process. It won't be so intimidating with the ILC guiding us through it. I have been out of college for over 25 years and the process is totally different.
We will be forever grateful!!!!!
Friday, April 24, 2009
I could not have succeeded in college and in life if it weren't for my mentors. I am indebted to my mentors in ways that can only be cured by assisting others with opportunities such as those provided by the ILC. For those now benefiting from ILC, remember this thought throughout your lives.
Wallace B. Gordon
Deems Lewis McKinley Architects
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Malcolm (and parents) have decided that he will attend Columbia University in the Fall. Malcolm is a stellar student who was accepted to several top Colleges and Universities, and I'm sure would have done so even without participating in the Ivy League Connection. However, the benefit to him has been exposure to East Coast institutions that he probably would not have considered prior to his involvement with the program. That aspect has been invaluable and we would like to see as many students as possible benefit from the relationships that have been established by the Ivy League Connection. My husband and I being products of the UC system (Berkeley in specific) and participating in high school summer programs at Cal, strongly believe in the benefits of exposing students to college environments to reduce the intimidation factor and increase their confidence that they can compete and succeed at top ranked institutions.
The WCCUSD often gets negative press, so it's very exciting to see such a positive effort coming from the district and the outreach that Charles, Madeline and their team have done with the schools, students, alumni, business community and the corporate sponsors. Thank you again for putting this program together and offering this opportunity to our young people. Please pass on our appreciation particularly to the sponsors who have donated the funding to support the program activities.
Rhonda and Desmond Carson
Friday, April 17, 2009
As a parent, I’ve always had a dream that my daughter will have a chance to go the top colleges she likes. So, when my friends told me there are no good high schools in WCCUSD and if I want my daughter to go to the top colleges, I should have my daughter move to Albany or Piedmont. What can I do? Are there any good schools in our district? Yes, a while after, I found the answers in El Cerrito High School and the SEAD program. There are very good and dedicated teachers in our district. My daughter was enrolled in El Cerrito High in 2005 and had the opportunity to join the SEAD program for three years since 2006. The program gave her a chance to go to one of the Ivy Leagues schools, Dartmouth College, for the last three years – she learns and xperiences what college is about, and has the opportunity to talk to the college faculty, staff, intern. She also had guidance on how to apply for colleges. This program is a totally new world to my daughter and opens up her eyes and mind, as well as changing her life. As a parent I can see the difference my daughter was before and is now. She has definitely benefited from the SEAD program and her result speaks for it. SEAD not only taught her academically, also helped her with her personal growth. Jennifer is a very strong person. She doesn’t easily show her emotions. She doesn’t feel any anything while I am sniffling when watching a sad movie together. However, she cries every time she returns from SEAD. She always misses the Dartmouth people very much. “You don’t understand how nice and helpful those people are, you don’t understand my feelings!” she always said.
My daughter was offered to an undergraduate admission from Wesleyan, Dartmouth, UC Berkeley, UC L.A., UC Davis and Stanford... and now my daughter has a difficult time in deciding which school she will go to. Thank you very much for the Ivy League Connection for giving my daughter this opportunity of a lifetime. Here, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you
The Ivy League Connection has benefited my daughter greatly and made her dreams come true. I really want this program to be continued so that more and more of our district kids can get into the top schools.
I am here to thank many members of the Ivy League Connection, especially to Mrs. Kronenberg and Mr. Ramsey. They have given up their time, patience, and weekends to advise us when we needed their help with my daughter’s school applications. I would also like to thank El Cerrito High School teachers, counselors, and the other staff members. They have all dedicated their hard work. After the SEAD program, my daughter has become a more independent and mature individual. Before she was always afraid of everything, now she can ride a plane from west coast to east coast to visit colleges all by herself.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
For a subset of this population, however, there is an additional challenge: how to make our highly motivated and talented students who may not have the necessary home support aware of the vast array of possibilities available to them. Charles, you mention the "shocking reminder that our students and families are unaware of the world that exists beyond their communities." I agree that many are unaware, but I also think there are those who are aware, but unable to imagine how to take advantage of the opportunities beyond their immediate vision. I believe that the Ivy League Connection creates those possibilities and broadens the view not only of its recipients but of the community of their peers.
A few months ago, as I sat at Parents' Weekend at Stanford University, I heard the President of the University cite the amazing statistic that 18% of the entering class of freshmen were the first in their families to attend college. Somehow, each of those students had found a path to Stanford -- certainly as prestigious a university as the Ivies. Most likely, they had found people outside of their immediate families to provide the vision and support they needed to help them forge a new path. This is what the ILC is providing for students in our district -- and I applaud the efforts of everyone involved.
The student and parent testimonials, I believe, speak for themselves. If only one life is changed as a result of our efforts, it will be significant. There is a saying in the Talmud, the Jewish commentary on ethical teachings, "It is not up to you to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it." These problems may seem too large for one person or even one group to solve, and yet when we, as a community, feel the responsibility to act even in small ways, then we realize that together we can make significant changes in the lives of the children in our community and in our school district.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The Ivy League Connection is a comprehensive program, from start to finish every detail is covered. Lucina and I have enjoyed the program's events where we had the opportunity to meet some of the programs sponsors and to thank them for their support. We were also introduced to some of Cornell's alumni who were very excited to share their love for their Alma Mater and to talk to us about what makes Cornell unique. They offered Lucina encouraging words and kudos for her choice.
The Ivy League Connection goes a step further and provides a College Counselor to help students maximize their experience. Our College counselor guided Lucina through the college selection process. When she offered her suggestions, she took into consideration Lucina's preferences, her personality and her interests. She also reviewed her essays and personal statement.
As parents, my husband and I have benefited immensely from the college counselor's services. She helped us with completing the Financial Aid forms -FAFSA, CSS profile- a task quite overwhelming, especially when you lack experience in these matters. She also made sure that we were following the necessary steps to submit college applications in a timely manner and without any paperwork missing.
We have come almost to the end of our daughter's high school experience. We are now at the final stretch of our journey. Lucina has received acceptance letters to Cornell and Cal Berkeley, her two top choices and we couldn't be happier.
I believe the Ivy League Connection has been instrumental in my daughter's accomplishments. I have nothing but praise for this wonderful program.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The impacts of this program on her are all positive. It broadens her mind about what is out there as far as college education is concerned. She's so excited to attend a program in a college environment.
My worry is - think my little girl is ready for college. Initially she was set on attending colleges within the California borders but, upon learning about this great program, she's set on going beyond her home boundaries. She's now eyeing any of these prestigious Ivy League colleges for her college education. It may be hard, but opening her eyes about the great opportunities is something else.
As they always say, this program has a PRICELESS impact on the students as well as the parents. I now know that my daughter will be getting out of this program with a wealth of information and knowledge.
Saying thank yous will not be enough to compensate you for all the hard work you have put up and been putting up for this program and honestly we don't even know how to thank you for this GREAT program and for the opportunity that you have given my daughter, Julia. I am also pretty sure that she will work her butt off to make you all and Hercules High School proud in choosing her.
I just hope that this Ivy League Connection will continue for years to come for the betterment of the students. Let us know if there is anything we can do to make this program even more successful (although it is a great success as it is now). Again a million thanks for all your hard work, for the positive impact to my daughter, for the opportunities, and for everything else.........
victor maniquiz and teresita mabbayad
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I can't say enough to thank you for opening our eyes (me, my wife and Courtney's) about colleges and universities beyond the UC system and Stanford as options for Courtney to apply to due to the ILC program. Since Courtney's summer session in UPENN, she has received a ton of letters of invitations to visit different colleges and universities all over the country (This sure was a HUGE difference comparing it with her older sister - 90-95% of the college solicitations came from within California).
A major impact of this program to Courtney is that she has expanded her career options; for a long time she's been set on getting a nursing degree in UCLA without much hesitation from her when asked. Just three weeks ago, while we were having a father-daughter dinner at a Chinese restaurant, she asked me what's a good career combining biology, chemistry and math (I can only attribute this to the bio-medical class she took in UPENN last summer.) Because of my state of shock - the first thing that came to my mind was biochemistry which can lead her to multiple paths i.e. research (drugs), medicine and even nursing. I also told her that chemical engineering might be a good option for her. I told her to ask her school if they do office/plant/lab visits as part of their college career program - I sensed that she can't imagine what they do so she can't decide on whether she will like a certain career or not.
I still hope that she will consider attending an Ivy League school for college (crossing my fingers!) But, like I mentioned to you from past phone conversations, I will ask her to apply to the Ivy League schools even if she is not considering them at this time. (Not for her to know that she could go to an Ivy League school but for the Ivy League schools to be an option for her in case she changes her mind).
Friday, March 13, 2009
My name is Sean Ward. My daughter Kiana, a senior at ECHS, took part in the ILC program last year.
The ILC program paid for Kiana's plane ticket to go to Brown's summer program last July. She took the Women in Leadership program which Brown paid for through a full scholarship. The scholarship was of course requested by the ILC program leaders Ramsey and Kronenberg so in effect they were the ones who got Kiana the scholarship. Kiana loved everything about being at Brown; the campus, the students she met, the professors, the course material, and being able to meet people like Deans Rose and Takesue who ultimately played a significant role in getting Kiana into Brown. Dean Takesue wrote kiana a letter of recommendation.
Kiana also really appreciated all the attention she got from ILC members. The Brown dinner in San Francisco really drove home that this is a serious program for future leaders.
EFFECTIVENESS OF THE ILC PROGRAM
The ILC program is in my personal experience a very effective program. I say this because my daughter Kiana was not even considering applying to an IL school, and now she has been accepted early decision to Brown University. Kiana has gained a lot confidence being in the ILC program.. She had the opportunity to speak in public at the Brown dinner in SF, and even though that was her first real "speech" and she was nervous, she did well and I think that made her very happy and confident. Getting to know the other kids at Brown was a little intimidating at first because, unlike the majority of students there who are quite well off, Kiana comes from a low income single parent household and lives in the flats of Richmond. By the end of the two weeks at Brown she knew she could compete academically with these students and came back with a completely changed attitude about applying to Ivy League schools. And now she is one of our district's sucess story. She is very excited about going to Brown and very thankful for the ILC program. As her father, I am ecstatic about the program and the fact that she is going to Brown.
One of the main reason I belive that Kiana got in to Brown was the personal recommendation she got from Brown dean Takesue. And she never would have gotten that without having participated in the ILC program.
I can't speak to the overall effectiveness of the program because I am not aware of how many students actually get into IL or other top colleges and universities as a result of the program. I do believe that we must be careful not to put all of our resources into our lower performing students because we just assume the top students can take care of themselves. Many of the top WCCSD students don't aspire to the very top shcools in the country. My eldest daughter Kalina is going to UCLA and that was her first choice. We were and are very happy for her. However, she had the same grades, scores and activities as her sister Kiana. Could he have been accepted to Brown, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, etc.? We will never know because she never applied, or even thought of applying. I think most of our top students feel the same way: aspire to UC Berk and UCLA and that's the highest your aspirations should be because that's the school district we come from. They think Yale is only for students from rich private schools or wealthy public school districts out in Walnut Creek or Pleasanton.
The main effect of this program is very simple: our students are starting to realize that they can aspire to be the Barack and Michele Obama's of the world. They are starting to realize that they are excellent students, who like the Obamas, can come from humble backgrounds and graduate from Columbia or Harvard.
It is hard to think of improvements to the ILC because it seems to be working so well and because I am not that familiar with the inner workings of the program.
One improvement would be to make the program more well known to students and parents. When Kiana was plucked out of class and told she should apply to the program, neither she nor I had ever heard of it in spite of the fact that it was a few years old at that point. Two of Kiana's friends were in the program and had done two summers at Brown and yet they never mentioned it to Kiana. I think the program leaders need to harangue the ILC kids to talk up the program. They should be required to tell all the students they meet about it. And there has to be a way for interested students to find out more and to apply for the program. At this point I have no idea how students are picked, or how and why Kiana was picked. I think she was a very good selection for the program, but the question comes up, why wasn't she picked sooner like her friends were?
We should promote the program to the community as much as possible. We may already be doing that, I don't know. But we should be making community leaders, real estate agents, teachers, other school districts, etc. aware of our successes with this program.
Kiana's only recommendation for improvement is to let students pick the programs they will attend. For instance she would have been more interested in Brown's program called she thinks Global Engagement since she is interested in the Watson Institute and its international studies program.
Thank you so much for this program. It is exactly what is needed in our district. It raises the expectations of our best students. The strong relationship the ILC leaders have forged with these prestigious schools is tremendously beneficial to our students, and to our school district. Our school district desperately needs some great successes that we can point to so that when people are thinking about moving into the district we can have something very positive to point to. In closing, I urge you to fully support, and even expand, this very beneficial program.
Proud WCCUSD Parent of an Ivy League Student
Attached is a rather belated "thank-you" message to the ILC - "What the ILC Means to Us." Many thanks - we were quite busy these last three months, with appointments w/Ms. Kim and preparing our taxes for financial aid.
The application process was quite a process! Thank you all for providing Ms. Kim's services for us. We cannot imagine being able to go through this process without her. She always responded promptly to our questions about the financial aid forms, etc. She is extremely knowledgeable and we were impressed with how well she "connected" with Janna. A tremendous help.
(please see below about the ILC).
What the Ivy League Connection Means to Us…
We have many reasons to be grateful for Janna’s experience through the Ivy League Connection:
• The very generous ILC donors made it possible for a student such as Janna to gain a broader vision and perspective of the opportunities available.
• Janna’s grandparents, who were not able to finish high school, by necessity, had to quickly become self-sufficient as teens, working several jobs. They dreamed of their children and grandchildren going to college, and made great sacrifices for them. This would have made them very proud and happy (as well as this mom—a junior college “night school-er”).
• The ILC provided chaperones for all the groups. Janna’s chaperone, Ms. Lilhanand provided great peace of mind for the parents. Her guidance and encouragement, balanced with just enough wise restraint, let the students have the freedom to grow. The daily student blogs were a great “plus”!
• We are gratefully indebted for the professionalism and kindness of Ms. Sue Kim, who helped our family navigate through the formidable application and financial aid process. She definitely knows the universities and colleges well, having personally visited many, many campuses, and she provided excellent guidance and recommendations. There is a ton of information to wade through, and Ms. Kim is incredibly knowledgeable about the details--such as tax tips, college atmosphere, and the academic specialties each college has to offer. With her help, Janna felt confident about her choices for application.
• Thanks to Mr. Ramsey, Ms.Kronenberg, Mr. Gosney, and all of the members/donors who gave hours of hard work, organized parent informational meetings, personal calls/emails, and gave a tremendous boost to make all of this possible.
• We now feel confident about Janna going out of state for college, after her experience at Columbia. Only one of five gals in her Physics class, she enthusiastically embraced the challenge. She handled the dorms, life in New York City, and class demands with maturity. She grew in many ways this past summer.
How will this whole experience impress upon Janna? This past summer coincided and culminated with the election of President Obama, whose single mother challenged him during his high school senior year to not be “casual about your future.” She spurred him on to go to the “mainland” to Occidental, which led to Columbia and Harvard… The applications are in, and our seniors are waiting to see where they will be accepted. Hopefully, Janna may end up at a college back east, or at a California university. Any high school senior should feel that he/she will significantly contribute to others around them, whether they go to trade school, an Ivy League university, state college, local community college, etc. The most important impressions are the character building-blocks that seniors will take along with them.
The “Summer 2008, Ivy League Connection” recipients were given the priceless example of “paying-it-forward” to the next generation of learners, as presented and modeled with excellence by the Ivy League Connection members. I hope students everywhere will remember that no matter where they go they can make a difference to others.
Mrs. Julie Lee
Sunday, March 1, 2009
For more than a half year since Susan took part in ILC program, we have received a lot of information, guides, helps and encouragement from the ILC. Charles Ramsey, Madeline Kronenberg, and Don Gosney never hesitate to speak out their thoughts, or share their knowledge, experiences and resources with us. They have spent enormous amount of time on emails, phone calls, or personal meetings to help this program work effectively. From facing important benchmarks, comparing colleges, figuring out financial help, and private school interviews, we have never been alone. Because of their help, we chose colleges that fit her.
Susan is our only child, so we never before wanted her to go far away from home for college. We thought bay area schools were the best option for her; either we thought the east coast schools were out of Susan's reach, or too far for her to go. Without ILC's generous offer, we would never budget her to visit other schools out of CA. After Susan was back from Penn, she told us a lot of
wonderful things about her stay, and that she feels the life at Penn is exactly what she is looking for. After our second visit, Susan told me she liked the school even more. Although we still don't know which school will accept her and which school we will finally chose, we have our minds open and know what Susan wants.
I feel that is very fortunate for students in our district to be able to gain ambition and confidence through being in the ILC program. Our students deserve to have someone guide them to places where they can succeed academically. For teenagers, their environment influences them more than parents do. That's why I think the ILC program is so important. What the program offers is a lifetime gift to our kids, so they can catch an important chance and be lead to their future success.
As I know, many students in this school district are from low income families. Since most parents are busy making a living, they might not care about Ivy League schools, or are not even know what they are. Also, a lot of parents like me don't want to send their kids out of state, either because they didn't have the chance to explore opportunities out there or because they think it is too expensive. Because of these circumstances, a lot of excellent students miss their chances to see a much bigger world, study in one of the nation's best schools, and gain powerful knowledge in their field of interest. That's why, in this school district, we need good programs like ILC program. Just like we have special programs for underachieving students, we need programs for our outstanding students as well. Even though they are already outstanding, they still need help to reach their goals.
As we know, the schools in the Ivy League are all tough schools. Since they only pick the top students, just getting to know these schools and wanting to apply for them is not enough. Kids also need to prepare and work for their goals throughout high school. Thus, the earlier students know about this program, the better. I would be happy to see this program known by more and more young kids, who will be able to prepare to apply to this program, and be further prepared for college as well.
We would like to thank the ILC program members, especially Charles Ramsey and Madeline Kronenberg, for making this wonderful program and for inputting their time, energy and love on our kids. Without their passion, hard work, and tremendous efforts, this program would not have gone anywhere. We would also like to thank the sponsors, whose generous gifts make the program possible, and help our kids build and work for their dreams. The ILC has truly helped make our district even better, and continues to provide our students with life changing opportunities.