Tuesday, July 17, 2012

From the Parents of Tayler Ward

The opportunity that our daughter received to attend the Ivy League connection was not only a blessing for her but it was a blessing for our entire family. Having the opportunity to watch her and support her through this process reminded us of how truly special she is. Tayler worked so hard at writing those essays as she applied for 3 different programs offered by the Ivy League Connection. That alone made us proud of her that she was willing to put her self out there up to 3 times in order to increase her chances of acceptance.

Well, not to my surprise she was selected into the very 1st cohort therefore there was no need for her to go to the other two interviews. Sitting there with her before and after her interview we were both very nervous, but call it mother’s intuition I felt sure she would be selected.

After the acceptance and leading up to the actual departure was a great time for us as a family. Lots of time talking about all the what if's, planning, preparing and watching Tayler balanced her excitement and her fear. Again, a great learning experience for us all. Never questioning if she was mature enough but still secretly scared to have her gone for an entire month, we, too, had to balance our excitement and fear.

Well, she left for her trip to Brown University for a class in Macroeconomics (I am still wondering exactly what that is!) During her sendoff we fed off of one another’s excitement... no room for fear right now! She made it safe and sound.... she stayed in regular communication with us for the 1st week... well then you all know what happened, she started to enjoy herself a little bit too much bonding with her fellow Brownies and well, things changed. Our communication began to get a little irregular in week two, very irregular for week 3 and picked back up in week four. Well it was at the beginning of week four that she reached her peak for missing her own bed, her own bathroom and her own home cooked meals! She had to balance her feelings of how great a time she was having with how much she was missing Home Sweet Home!

Upon her return we were so happy to see her at SFO. She seemed a little different. We quickly realized that in those 4 weeks she really matured. The exposure that she received has broadened her perspectives on so many things.

We feel that the Ivy League Connection is an irreplaceable program. The combination of the exposing these youth to Ivy League Schools, taking an Ivy League Course, preparing them for being away from home for a significant amount of time, the caliber of the chaperones (Ms. Kaplan was AMAZING), the responsibility instilled in them to give back through public speaking and blogging... all of this together makes this program unique.

The Ivy League Connection is undoubtedly preparing these youth to be leaders...but not just leaders... they are being prepared to lead with a sense of pride, respect for others and personal responsibility to give back. We are very thankful that our daughter had this opportunity.

Billy & Tracy Ward