Growth in Every Step with ILC
The first time we heard about the Ivy League Connection (ILC) was when Ying-An mentioned a school assembly regarding ILC toward the end of fall semester. His eyes sparked with some excitement and uncertainty. After some research, we all thought this would be a valuable experience if he could grasp this opportunity, a precious funded opportunity to study summer programs at Ivy League schools that we could not afford.
Over the winter break, he worked on the essays for the ILC applications. A willingness to trade off short-term play time for a life-changing rewarding experience was a hidden test embedded in the ILC application process, and we were glad that Ying-An made a wise decision.
The wait for the interview list was longer than expected (several days past the scheduled notification date) and created some anxiety. His hope level went from high to almost zero. Plucking up courage with preparation to face the reality of being rejected, he followed up with Don and quickly got a hopeful response. The interview list was not sent out on time due to some delay in the selection process. The delay resulted in only two days to prepare for the interview. It was somewhat a nerve wrecking experience for Ying-An, as this was his first interview experience and had only such a short time to prepare. He took up the challenge and did the best he could.
Even he was not satisfied with his interview performance, I was very hopeful in the waiting room because I knew he has always set a very high standard for himself. He was totally surprised when the selection result was announced. Regardless a long night, it concluded with excitement for the whole family. If not for ILC, he would not have been through all the essay writing and interview experience that he will eventually face when applying for colleges.
Along the way, he participated in the blog webpage design, gained blogging skills, was presented to the School Board, and enjoyed a fancy dinner and meeting with sponsors and Brown alumni. He learned that his responsibilities came with privileges given in each of the events.
During the four-week trip on the east coast, he completely soaked himself in all the activities from college tours, dinners with network resources, the biotech course, exploring campus and places, bonding with his cohort and meeting new friends. The whole experience has changed him. The immediate impression when we saw him at the airport was that he looked more confident. And he should feel confident as he managed to adapt to a new environment and take care of things on his own the first time being away from home for four weeks. He is now more enthusiastic about going to college. Ivy League schools and MIT that seemed unreachable are now under his consideration for applying. He is also more sure that biotech is the field he wants to pursue.
We would like to thank Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, and Don for the countless hours and effort they have devoted to ILC. We also want to thank Ms. Kaplan for taking excellent care of the students. We appreciate very much for the wonderful opportunity given to Ying-An. There is no doubt that the whole experience has expanded his knowledge, broadened his perspective, and enriched his life experience. This experience has also prompted him for self discovery. He has striven for excellence and might have set a high bar for himself. By recognizing that not every thing comes easily, he will work harder, improve, and grow.