Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hercules High Parents - Fred & Brenda Shephard

With each event that we attend, I become more convinced that the Ivy League Connection is more valuable than I could have ever imagined. Our daughter, Ramiah, is a part of this prestigious organization and what it has done for her self confidence is beyond measure. Also, what it has done for us as parents is immeasurable.

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.
Mr. Ramsey ad Mrs. Kronenberg are to be commended for founding this program, because without it, our children would not have this awesome opportunity. They have opened a door of opportunity that some would have not even dreamed about, but because of the ILC it has become a reality. I also want to thank the other Board Members for your continued support of it. I only hope that you will continue to support and encourage the growth of it.

We will be forever grateful!!!!!
Fred and Brenda Shephard