Monday, August 29, 2011

From Tom Miller's Mom

The Ivy League Connection is a great concept and we couldn't have asked for a better way to expose our son to what 'East Coast schools' are really all about. It was a rare opportunity to get beyond the campus tours that frankly, start to sound the same no matter whether it's at an East Coast school or a West Coast school, a private school or a public one. Getting to meet and talk informally with admissions officers was eye-opening for Tom. The very best part of the program for me was the emails and phone calls that Tom and I shared during his course at Yale. Teenagers rarely want to have that kind of deep conversation with parents and the experiences he was having were rich and profound and he wanted to share them. Overall, I think the program gave him confidence in his abilities vis a vis other "smart" kids he met there.

Thanks again for your leadership and commitment to this program. Hope you enjoyed it as well!

Best regards,

Gina Moreland

From Beilul Naizghi's Parents

To Ivy League Connection Team,

The Ivy League Connection was a priceless opportunity to our daughter. It was the perfect opportunity for Beilul and I, to actually see her off to college before she has to. Every step of the ILC program was a rich experience not only in attending college,and visiting and learning about other colleges, but also the whole process of applying to the ILC program and the colleges; giving personal speeches in front of the school board and city council meetings; learning to live thousands of miles away from home, in dorms. They lived and learned with students from different parts of the country and the world. They also had a chance to test life in small town (Ithaca, New York) and one of the busiest cities in the world (New York), sight seeing, going to the shows, using the subway, orientation at NYC, museums, etc. It is all amazing. The experience she got both in Cornell (2010) and Columbia University (2011) has sharpened and focused her educational goals. I see a more confident girl ready to take on more challenges. This rare gem of a program, takes kids to the best colleges in the world and with chaperons! Priceless. I feel very fortunate that my daughter got this chance. Thank you to Dr. Ramsey, Mrs.Kronenburg and Mr. Don Gosney, the school board, the school district, the generous donors and all the chaperons. Specifically, I would like to thank Mrs. Swellen who accompanied my daughter to Cornell in 2010 and Mrs. Lilhanand who accompanied her to Columbia in 2011. With all the choices the students had, it was great that the chaperons included vital exposures to culture and unique tours to the locations. It was also possible for the students to visit many colleges with the presence of chaperons.

Preparing for the program, the students met numerous times for information, orientation, speech, lessons on MS Windows and MS Office, etc. These meetings were great orientation for us parents too. One very important thing I loved about the program was the exchanges of experience of the alumnus. Those who went previous years gave very detailed account of their experience. The parents and students and ILC team also dined with alumnus (of ILC and the colleges) at 5 star restaurants. Students heard from graduating alumnus, and from those accepted and going to the colleges they attended through ILC. This year when applying to colleges, the students have ample opportunities to explore their college plans through all the network provided for them due to ILC.The experience is great, the possibilities are unlimited. This is a glimpse of what I think was how the students were preparing for their college experience but it is also how my confidence grew and I felt comforted to finally see my daughter and her peers go off to college thousands of miles away from home for the summer.

My thanks to the ILC team.


Nardos Mussie

Ephrem Naizghi

From the Parents of Matt Lee

We wish to thank you and the ILC for the amazing opportunity given to our son this summer to experience the Yale Grand Strategy course, and visit the college campuses of Princeton, U Penn, Columbia and Yale within a detailed, well planned, well – chaperoned itinerary from door to door by Lori Nardone and at times, other adults including yourself.

The exceptional a to z support provided by Don Gosney, from the professional photos, Blogging 101 instruction and travel store, to being the door to door chaperone for the preliminary luncheon at the Claremont Hotel, and for providing the almost 4000 pages of pre-program reading from over 18 sources in a spiral bound note book, or down loaded onto a Kindle, spoke very clearly to all of us how seriously the ILC views the selection and success of its program participants.

Our son returned after his 20 day trip East tired, but more confident, and with a deeper understanding of himself and the world around him. We are just beginning the college application process, however Matt now has a better idea of what is important to him in a college education, and he is open to looking beyond California borders to find a good fit.

Thank you again, Mr Ramsey and the ILC, for your generous gifts to the students chosen from the WCCUSD, for this incredible educational opportunity.


Phyllis and Daniel Lee


Sandi Potter Speaks

Well, I have to say that we had a terrific summer and the Ivy League Connection and Julia's experience at UPenn was a large part of the excitement! While there was a lot of work, coordination, and preparation to get Julia ready for her adventure, once Mr. Miranda and the kids set off for the east coast in the early hours of June 30th, we were able to sit back and watch her adventure unfold.

We followed the blog, received newsletters from the U Penn summer program (with photos of the kids), and on rare occasions, recieved a phone call. Julia enjoyed the stimulating and challenging lecture series featuring world renouned physicists and scientist; loved the staff at U. Penn; and especially relished the opportunity to meet young scientists from all over the world.

She learned, understood, and retained complex concepts in physics, which she applied in the laboratory and again on our family camping trip (when she returned home) - building excellent camp fires, operating the human-powered flash light, and teaching her cousins the joys of science.

Julia returned with a renewed love of learning, enthsiasm for higher education, and new friendships. We are so grateful for the generousity of the ILC and for the support of WCCUSD, that made it possible for her to participate in this life-changing educational program.

Thank you Charles, Madeline, and Don (and all the other folks at ILC) for your support. Also, I want to thank all the funders of ILC for making this amazing program possible.

Sandi Potter