Wednesday, July 22, 2009

From Jennifer Locsin Taylor

When I share the news about the Ivy League Connection and how this program has transformed my son's life, people often ask me what private school he attends. People cannot believe that WCCUSD could offer such an opportunity to study at not just one Ivy League school, but five - Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Yale, University of Pennsylvania. Without the dedication, motivation, and commitment of so many people in front of and behind the scenes of the ILC, my son, Zackery Taylor, a student at Pinole Valley High, would not be the confident and driven person he is today.

Zackery's attended Summer at Brown University to study a course entitled, "Leadership for Social Change" and it brought about an awareness, maturity, and independence that was always there and learned to take it to the next level. He met kids from all over the world (Canada, Korea, Sweden & the Congo), who share his passion for making a difference in the community and the world they live in. He brought his world to Brown and quickly adjusted to this new & exciting leadership and college experience. He made so many "connections" in just the two weeks there - alumni from African American & Latino organizations, guest lecturers, professors, teachers and residents assistants - not to mention even an interview with an admissions officer!

The Ivy League Connection helped shape my son's future and he has learned to share the blessings afforded him. Since being back from Brown he is coordinating local, private college tours for students from his high school to inspire them to pursue higher education post high school or even post junior college. He is sharing college brochures he obtained while attending college fairs on the East and West Coasts. He is reminding students about important registration, test, and application deadlines. In essence, he has become the leader you ALL helped cultivate. By using the tools, resources, personal attention, and exposure to -- a world some people only dream of -- he is helping make a difference in the WCCUSD - all because of the Ivy League Connection.

The personal gratifications are to the following:

Mr. Gosney: for capturing this wonderful journey in print and for debating with Zackery so that he can see there are always two sides to every story.

Ms. Sue Kim: for taking the overwhelming college application process to something more personal.

Ms. Sue Kahn: for a fresh start and words of wisdom on first impressions.

Ms. Lamons: for noticing and believing in Zack.

Mrs. Tammy Campbell: for your involvement in all things at the high school and in the community.

Mrs. Kronenberg & Mr. Ramsey: for starting the dream and nurturing, encouraging, and challenging Zackery to reach his TRUE potential.

To the sponsors, parents and community who help make the ILC possible: for making a difference to so many children's future.

It has been an honor to be a part of such a ground-breaking and dynamic program.

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