The School Board Meeting took place earlier this evening at DaJean Middle school. The school board members welcomed us with open arms as we expressed our gratitude. The first person I saw as I walked into the school was Arnold who will be attending Vanderbilt this summer. We were able to briefly catch up as he spoke to me about the dinner he attended last night. After the brief socializing period with all the different cohorts, Mr. Hillyer took us to the side of the room and spoke to us about the details of our trip. I has more than happy to learn that we will be visiting Vanderbilt, Princeton and other prestigious schools prior to the start of our program. We went over how to be efficient especially during the first week of our trip because our mornings are expected to be hectic. After the information session from Mr. Hillyer, we took our seats and witnessed the School Board Meeting commence.
As the different cohorts were introduced to the board members, I proudly cheered for my classmates who are participating in different programs this year. My best friend for over 9 years will be attending Cornell this summer and participating in the Hotel and Management program. I am very proud of her, and this program will help her get to know her business side a lot better. Thao Le Hoang and Justice DeloSantos will also be with Shanti in the Cornell Cohort. It was nice to hear Justice's empowering words on what he plans to bring back to our community from Cornell. All the speakers from each cohort had a unique way of expressing their gratitude to the: sponsors, parents, and school board members. I especially admired Rudy's input on the importance of blogging or as the Penn group likes to say, "reflecting on our experiences."
The speaker whose words stuck with me the most would be Michelle Croda's. She read short excerpts from the exact personal statement that helped her get accepted into Yale. I found it hard to believe that not too long ago, she was in my shoes as part of the Ivy League Connection. She attended the Women in Leadership program at Brown and was happy to state that it helped shape her into the woman she is now.
It is an amazing feeling to know that I am part of the Ivy League Connections as it enters its tenth year. They have awarded over 300 scholarships and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. This organization is a true benediction to our district and I am eternally grateful to be able to spend another summer on the other side of the country.