Thursday, July 28, 2011

From the Parents of Joe Arcineiga

The only way to begin this letter is to say Wow!! And, of course, Thank You!! My husband and I were tremendously grateful two years ago when the ILC sent our older son, Matt, to Yale. We were so impressed with how smoothly the program ran, its attention to detail, its demand for excellence, and its utter generosity!  When Joe was accepted into the ILC program this year, heading for Cornell, we were absolutely thrilled.

We knew we could expect the same quality program and were excited to see how it would affect Joe’s development as a student and as a person. We were off to a very good start when the ILC bought all the books and arranged a dinner with past Cornellians to discuss strategy…what worked well and what to avoid. Knowledge is power and this ILC dinner was invaluable in teaching Joe what to expect and providing him with the tools and the charge to be well prepared academically. Of course, the elegant dinner in San Francisco was a beautiful and informative evening which set the tone for the whole program…this is an Ivy League program and expectations are higher in every way possible.

What we didn’t expect was three days in Chicago, on the way to New York.  Matt’s group was able to tour Wesleyan and another school close to Yale the day before his program began, which was a wonderful bonus. In two years’ time, we are happy to see how the ILC program has grown to sending out thirty-five students in all and including such a fantastic trip to Chicago to tour Northwestern and the University of Chicago.  These tours and the opportunity to enjoy fine dining with students and Admissions personnel from each school taught Joe very much about what he likes and does not like in a college.

The truth is Joe wasn’t sure he wanted to spend four weeks of his summer attending lectures, staying up late reading and writing papers, never mind the weeks of reading in preparation for the program.  He’d worked incredibly hard every single day of his junior year with school and activities and was warming to the idea of a more carefree summer.  Matt is the one who impressed upon him that (1) hard work always pays off and (2) this program will change your life!

Indeed, Joe’s life was changed!  He has experienced new places and climates and students from 20+ countries.  He’s become even better at expressing his thoughts and feelings via the daily blog. He’s developed his conversational and interviewing skills. He’s experienced what it’s like to “go to college,”… living and making friends with an unknown roommate, doing his own laundry J, balancing and prioritizing schedules, accepting criticism from a TA as a positive thing, and yes, making time for relaxation and fun at places like Buttermilk Falls and Cooperstown or playing soccer or basketball. Yesterday, Joe received his first college course grade, an A-. This taught him he really could compete with all of the prep school students at one of the best universities in the world…hard work always pays off.

We will forever be thankful for all the hard work each of you puts into this program and for the way it has truly changed so many lives.  You may rest assured that these students will go on to do great things and the world will be a better place because of you and the ILC.

Most Sincerely,
Melissa Arciniega

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