Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ivy League Connection Introduced at School Board Meeting

In the warm sunshine of early evening, I walked quickly to an open entrance as my mother and aunt drove on to find parking. West Contra Costa Unified's School Board meeting was held in Lovonya Dejean Middle School's multi-purpose auditorium at six o'clock, where the Ivy League Connection was presented to our sponsors, the school board, teachers, and our adoring audience watching from their televisions.

Our amazing chaperone, Jenny
As soon as I walked into the fairly large auditorium, it took me less than a minute to search for my cohorts and their parents. Shortly, all of my cohorts attending Women and Leadership class at Brown University and Jennifer Azucena, our chaperon who also teaches Spanish at DeAnza High School was confident and ready to be presented.

Jennifer, our chaperon for our upcoming summer precollege program class at Brown practiced our names in order, to be introduced to the School Board. We all mingled with each other and made friendly conversations, whereas it felt comfortable like we all have known each other for quite a while.

The publicly televised School Board meeting had begun. Charles Ramsey, President of  the WCCUSD School Board spoke and introduced two high school seniors who spoke about how being in the Ivy League Connection had transformed their perspectives of attending Ivy Leagues and private colleges outside of California. Tamilyn Chen, a high school senior incoming first-year at Harvard University this Fall semester, spoke to us about her experiences of attending Cornell and taking college tours of private universities, how much she learned and was influenced by these granted trips. Both senior speakers expressed their deep gratitude and appreciation for the Ivy League Connection and how these amazing opportunities and what they have learned will never be forgotten into giving back in their community.

Here I am working hard and doing my part
After the Brown-I ILCers were introduced, Brown-II and our chaperon Jennifer were called up to the podium. To my surprise, I felt confident and no nervousness came up. Jennifer spoke of the leadership knowledge we will learn and bring back into our communities of Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Pinole, Hercules, and El Cerrito. She spoke of how women shall become more involved in government and science based fields. Jennifer announced we will be visiting New York University, Columbia, Dartmouth and Wellesley. Following that, Cynthia spoke to the School Board and the audience representing us cohorts, of the gratitude of great opportunities the Ivy League Connection offers WCCUSD, and the leadership and confidence qualities we will learn and apply to everything in our journey when we come back from the summer at Brown.

The Ivy League Connection benefactors were introduced to all of us, although a few representatives could not make it. Many of our sponsors are architectural firms designing our new schools. I am so appreciative of our sponsors with the Ivy League Connection for passing on to us their support and knowledge.

Finally, the meeting was recessed so Don could photograph the 2014 Ivy League Connection, their chaperones and their parents.          

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