Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lucy Parada - Pinole Valley High School Parent

When I first heard about the Ivy League Connection, it was through the excited voice of my daughter Lucina, then a Junior at Pinole Valley High School. She came home and told me all about the program, including the rigorous selection process. There were seven candidates, and all had to submit a resume, and essay and letters of recommendation. They also had to be interviewed by a panel of respected professionals. Days later, I was thrilled when Lucina called me from the office of her principal to let me know she had been selected. Lucina attended Cornell University's Summer College, Freedom and Justice Program in June 2008. After three weeks in Cornell, Lucina came home, not only talking about Plato incessantly, but with a gained self confidence and a broadened view of her educational possibilities. She fell in love with Cornell and knew then that she would apply for fall admission in 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.