Our two children participated in the Ivy League Connection program. For our daughter, this program and experience she had will stay with her for many years to come as she will be attending Cornell University which is also the university she went to as a sophomore through the Ivy League Connection program.
Our son, a sophomore at Hercules High, just came back from the New York with fun memories and a refreshing outlook on what college means after attending the Constitutional Law class at Columbia University. Looking back, I clearly see the Ivy League Connection program had positive influences on their lives, widened their perspectives not just on which college to attend, but more importantly on their appreciation of expectations, responsibilities, and tremendous supports we have in our community and the school district. Here are our perspectives I would like to share with all parents and sponsors:
1. Applying for and interviewing with a panel were such great experiences for our children. It’s uncomfortable and hard at the beginning. Naturally, they did not know what to say and what to expect. After going through the process, they came away with much better appreciation why they need to be good students in and out of their school, and be good member of their community. More importantly, they heard of these from others, not just fom their parents.
2. College is much more real than they thought. It’s understandable that college is a daunting and uncomfortable subject for many 2nd or 3rd year high school students. This program offered our children the first-hand experiences of living on a college campus and in a classroom with students from very different backgrounds. After a rather intensive class at Cornell, it dawned on my daughter that she not only can do it but also can compete with students from any place. That experience that comes from a real classroom went a long way in building her confidence while she contemplates her study in college and life beyond.
3. Expectations and responsibilities are brand new experiences. The Ivy League Connection program does a superb job of laying out clear expectations and leaves no doubt where responsibilities reside. For our children, this program required them to engage with people outside their immediate family members in a way they did not have before, and that was a new experience. By striving to meet those expectations and owning up to their share of responsibilities because they like the program so much, they learned some powerful lessons of life.
4. Support and dedication from the school district all way down to teachers and staff from their school are amazing. The emails that came in late in the evening from Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, Mr. Don Gonsey, or their chaperones speak volume of their dedication. Details went into their trip planning demonstrated that this program adheres to very high standards. They learned from those examples that many people care about them, and would make extra efforts to help them be successful. Not to mention the encouragements our children received from the many individuals who interviewed or met them in the program.
There are much more. Our daughter’s experiences living on the Cornell campus for over three weeks, and the encouragements she received from Cornell alumni through the Ivy League Connection program , and supports this program gave to her made all the differences when it came for her to make her college decision. We are very happy for her, and are grateful for the opportunities the ILC provided. For a program as good as the ILC, my only wish is that more students are able to participate.
Eric and Yueming Wang's Parents