Friday, May 16, 2014

Meeting New People

My mom and I arrived at the El Cerrito Plaza Bart Station at around 5:00 PM in case we happened to be at the wrong station. The first thing that I noticed was one nicely dressed man getting tickets, which happened to be Don in a black suit and an elephant tie. It was indeed a rare sighting. Once everyone arrived, we talked about how much of a success yesterday’s School Board Meeting was. People are already complimenting the Ivy League Connection to Ms.Kronenberg, one of the school board members, after watching the live broadcast yesterday. Then, Don made sure that everyone received either a clipper card or a bart ticket that he generously bought for us and we were finally off to San Francisco.

We ate at a fancy restaurant called One Market in San Francisco, which was not even a five minute walk from the bart station. When we got inside, we were taken to the furthest room to the right and I could see chefs cooking through a glass window and waiters waiting to serve us. At the dinner were the ILCers going to Brown University this summer, the families of these ILCers, the school board members, the chaperones, the sponsors for our trip, and the alums for Brown. We were given some time to walk around and introduce ourselves to people that we haven’t met before. Kevin Mahoney introduced himself to me again although I have seen him around at a previous ILC meeting and at El Cerrito for SATs. I also met Simon Hong who graduated from Brown in 2005 and has been supportive of the ILC for a number of years. Throughout the day so many people, such as Simon and Jenny, had given me the support that I needed for my speech. Another ILCer, named Jin Yi Chung from El Cerrito High School, also introduced herself to me. I learned a lot of things about her considering that we only had a couple of minutes to talk to each other. I give her a lot of respect for knowing how to speech English well, considering the fact that she came to America when she was in the 9th grade.

Andrea Llenos, previous student at Brown University
Once we were all done mingling, we had to find our names on the name tags which were placed randomly on the tables by Charles Ramsey. Andrea Llenos, a 2004 graduate at Brown University, sat in my table. I asked her a number of questions about the school such as the dorm life and the new environment. Ms.Kronenberg was the host for tonight and asked everyone in the room to introduce themselves. Afterwards, two ILCers presented a speech about what they hope to learn at Brown. Arnold Dimas, a student from Richmond High School, was the first speaker. He showed how thankful he feels to be able to have the chance to go to Rhode Island this summer. It definitely feels like a dream for not just Arnold, but all of the ILCers.

I was the second student speaker to talk about what I want to learn this summer. Although the Brown dinner was full of excitement, I was feeling really anxious the whole night for my speech. The night before the Brown dinner, I didn’t sleep until 6:00 AM because I was studying for two college finals. I didn’t have enough time to prepare a speech so I decided to go freestyle on this one. Surprisingly, I did pretty well for someone who slept for only two hours. I talked about how being a noncitizen has always made it harder for me when looking for scholarship and programs. However, this hasn’t stopped me from looking for opportunities out there. When I come back from Brown this summer, I hope to show other people in my community that people like me could also find opportunities, like the ILC. I understand that sponsors are paying thousands of dollars for students to go to an Ivy League School this summer. I want to thank every person who is giving us this opportunity of a lifetime. 

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