Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Journey Has Just Begun

The ILC journey so far has consisted of the School Board meeting at LaVonya Dejean Middle School and dinner at LaFolie in San Francisco. Both events were opprotunites for us to give our thanks to the many people who made our trip and experience possible and for their continued support.

When we first arrived at the School Board meeting, all of the ILC members gathered together to socialize with and introduce ourselves to others in different programs that we had not met before. I was reunited with some of my friends from middle school that were attending other programs, which I found suprising that all of us were on the same journey once again.

After everyone was accounted for and the audience was seated, we procedded as a group inside where we sat with our respective groups to be presented in front of the School Board. One by one each of the programs went up ad gave their thanks to the school board and the donors who were generous enough to donate to send us on this amazing journey. When my group went up and we stood before the Board, it finally hit me that I was about to embark on a journey of a lifetime and what I had waited my whole life for. After the schools were introduced, students from previous years gave speeches about what the program was able to do for them and their plans for the future. A previous ILC student, Beulah Agbabiaka, shared with us her experiences during the summer program and the great news that she will be attending Columbia in the fall as part of the class of 2015. Her speech and her presence was another major burst of motivation. It was amazing to see how many people supported us in our dreams, not only the School Board and the donors, but the public also.

The dinner at LaFolie in San Francisco was fantastic. The dining experience was something that I had never experienced before and the food was beyond imaginable. I had the pleasure of sitting across from Mitchell Flax, an alumnus from Columbia who was a part of the Columbia Alumni Program in the East Bay. He answered all of our questions regarding the admission process and life at Columbia, plus some opinions regarding movies and teaching.

The program during the dinner started off with a speech from Mrs. Kronenberg. She congratulated us as well as thanked the donors who were there to dine with us and other alumni who were able to joining. Then Beilul and Irene gave speeches about what the ILC meant to them. What they said in their speeches was exactly what each of us felt inside, about overcoming the adversities that were put before us and our excitement towards the journey ahead of us. Following them was Mr. Ramsey, who told us that if we work hard "there will be that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow." It's amazing to know that it started with a dream and now the ILC will be sending the most students it has ever sent(35) to the East Coast.

The final stop before we depart to New York City is the ILC orientation in June. After that, we will have a lot of reading, a lot of packing, but most importantly, a lot of memories.

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