Saturday, September 5, 2009

From Yohanna Pepa's Parents

For us parents, it was also a pretty intense two weeks of anticipation coupled with reading blogs and e-mails. We can probably now handle Facebook or MySpace chatting. Actually the magnitude of the intensity is more on becoming aware that our daughter, Yohanna is growing as a person, maturing and on her way to seek out her purpose.

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

From Stephanie Ny's Parents

Dear Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Gosney, sponsors, supporters and members of the Ivy League Connection:

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.

Forever grateful,

Eric Ny and Lien Chau