Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Partnership Pizza Party

The highlight of today was the Partnership Scholar Pizza Supper at the Smith-Buonanno Hall, which was a chance for students with Partnership Scholarships to get to meet. Various scholarship organizations out of 70 total were represented, including of course, the ILC. First everyone mingled with each other. We met Dean Robin Rose (she hadn't been able to make it to the Capital Grille dinner), who took interest in hearing that we were part of the Ivy League Connection.Throughout the party, we met people from all over the US. I'm still amazed by the diversity that Brown University has to offer. Just from the summer program, I've talked to people from various cultures around the world from places like Hong Kong, Turkey, India, China, and more. So far out of all the schools we've been to, Brown seems like the most diverse from what I've seen. A lot of the scholarship organizations at the dinner were similar to the ILC, having strict requirements and application processes. However the ILC is different, because of two things. First of all, through the ILC, we get to tour colleges, expanding our horizons to find out what kind of colleges are the right 'fit' for us. Most of the time opportunities are presented to you through your connections. From these explorations we can also begin to establish our own network of alumni, staff, admission officers, etc. so that we appear as more than a name on a piece of paper to them. Second, we are all required to bring something back to our community. This opportunity is not only meant for us, but also to share with all the other students in our district that did not get it, in order to promote the college-going culture.

After a while of socializing, we broke into smaller groups led by a Brown student/staff member to discuss our concerns about college in a personal environment. My group was led by Ben, a rising senior football player at Brown. Since he was like me, a first-generation student, I could relate to a lot of his experiences, such as not knowing what to expect during the college application process or not having anyone to talk to. Something he said that struck me was that college isn't for everyone. I had never really thought of not going to college as an option and still don't, but it's nice to know there are other paths to take.

At the same time as the pizza party, there was a distinguished speaker event at Salomon Hall by Dr. Kenneth Miller, who has done extensive research on cell membranes as well as written several books on evolution. I had originally been planning to go to this, but finally decided the Partnership dinner was more important. Although I was very interested in what he had to say, I'm glad I made the choice that I did. It felt good to meet so many students, who while coming from different backgrounds, shared similar concerns and enthusiasm. Now I feel more comfortable with the whole college culture and just reaching out to get what you need.

Tomorrow we’ll be getting our blood drawn, to extract our own DNA in the lab, something I've never done before. Despite the early 8 AM call time at Health Services, I can't wait to see what I'm made of!

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