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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Nerve Wrecking Experience and Acknowledgments

The day started out as any other Wednesday except my day was two times busier than usual. Today marked the end of the USDA workshop I attend on Wednesday at the USDA West Regional Center in Albany, California. At the USDA workshop, students would learn about biological things that they do not learn in school (labs are included too). For instance, we have learned about how scientist genetically modify food and we also genetically modified a stem of a plant. The scientist, who guided me and couple other students from El Cerrito High School and Kennedy High School, called today's event our "graduation" and we got a certificate that was proof that we passed the workshop. As much as I wish that my time there could be longer, I knew that time does not wait for anyone. I had other things to do today and there was no time to reflect back on the past. The biggest event (apart from the dinner) of the Ivy League Connection was today; the school board meeting. 

The last time I went to a school board meeting was when I was about seven or eight years old. I remember people were protesting about either demolishing Fairmount Elementary School or Castro Elementary School should be demolished in order to build the new Portola Middle School (now Korematsu Middle School). I don't remember much about the meeting except for the fact that it was VERY long. I was an audience member of that school board meeting. This time, I am a participant in the school board meeting. 

I was the first one to arrive at Lovonya Dejean Middle School and it was not very hard to spot him because he is very tall. He gave me the flag because I was the first one there. When almost everyone from my cohort was present, Mr. Hillyer gathered us around and informed us about what was going to happen the first five days into the trip. The good news was that we are going to be traveling and eating a lot of good food but the bad news was that we are going to get very minimal amount of sleep because we had to catch our flights. I was a bit unimpressed but I know that it is all going to be worth it. The school board meeting started out with a pledge to the American Flag and we sat at the last row.  

Seeing how different speakers from different cohorts were giving their speech, I realized that everyone had the same desire; to go out and expand their horizons and see how they can take the ideas that they learned from the program and include it into their community. It's amazing how so many people can share the desire and together we can help bring change to ourselves and our community. When the speaker called us up, we walked up to the podium and Mr. Hillyer introduced us one by one. We all held our flag proudly and our speaker, Rudy Suarez, informed the school board members and audience about what we plan on doing and how that is going to affect us as well as our community. Going up there was very nerve wrecking and I don't know how people are able to speak so confidently but they are amazing for representing their group well. The school board members and Don acknowledged the sponsors who came and said over 3 million dollars worth of scholarships was given over the past 10 years. The sponsors and chaperones came up to the front where they were in front of the school board members and the chaperone shook hands with each one of them. This could not have been possible without the sponsors and I am extremely grateful for them.

After every group spoke, it was picture time! Everyone who was a part of the ILC migrated to the gym where we were going to take our group photo. Don instructed everyone about where they should be placed and it probably took 10 minutes for him to get us positioned and take the pictures. Although there is only one and half more month until I go to UPENN, I am not done with the process that Don makes us go through. I still have one more meeting and that is the orientation in June. After that, three more weeks to go and I'm off! Time flies. 

We finally have a group photo! 

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