I brought my mother to the very important ILC orientation. Since it was her first ILC event, I think that she was more nervous than I was. Actually, I was rather excited about the whole event. I made sure that I wasn’t going to arrive late, so I volunteered to drive to the location myself. We quickly signed in before entering Pinole Middle School’s Multi Purpose room. My mom wanted to sit in the front of the room to have a better view of whoever is speaking.
After Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, and the chaperones began with introductions of the program, Don talked about his loaner items. I’m pretty sure that I will be loaning most of his items. We then started with our break out sessions. The Brown II cohort quickly assembled a tight group on the left side of the room. Jackie and Kat, our chaperones, began with handing us a bunch of papers with a lot of information about what we will be doing the first week of our trip. They gave us a whole outline of which colleges we will be visiting, where we will be eating, and what we were to do at each event. The break out session gave us all a chance to have a more intimate discussion about the activities specifically for the Brown II program. This was really helpful not only for me, but also for my mom. It gave her the reassurance that she needed. I’m happy that she’s comfortable—proud even, about my participation in the Ivy League Connection.
I remember someone also reminded us that we will encounter a ton of other students from all over the world. I’m really intrigued by this fact because the thought of it reminds me of my first day here in the US. I wonder if I will be just as amazed by the different characteristics and cultures people have as I was 6 years ago. Once again, I will be facing the unknown. But this time, I will be without my family. I no longer find that intimidating because I really want to grow. I want to grow as an independent young woman, and this ILC program will be my tool. Instead of being a bystander, I want to be a part of the crazy world out there. I want to be able to come back to California and say that I made the most of my trip and I faced every adversity with courage and passion.
As Mr. Ramsey concluded the event with great enthusiasm, I couldn’t help but smile. Actually, I’m still smiling. We are officially on our way to Brown University.