It seems like ages since Adrianne pushed the trunk lid open, grabbed her suitcase, and joined her anxious, shivering cohort around 4:00 AM for their journey to The Big Apple and a Columbia University summer program. Don Gosney's friendly, yet informative presence, and Cheryl Lilhanand's polished attentiveness eased our separation.
Over the course of weeks, I envied the variety of sumptuous dinner plates, drank in eclectic photographic perspectives of various east coast towns and cities, and commiserated with students as they put in long hours of critical reading, note taking, rewrites, debate preparation, and daily blogs. Individual ILC student blogs continue to relate the fascinating mix of social and academic activities in which they participated. For example, I never knew a woman could devour 48 hot dogs in eight minutes at the Coney Island eating contest. There were just 29 competitive high school students in the Constitutional Law class at Columbia University.
Members of this cohort were not intimidated by subway nor train travel while in New York. In many cases, this cohort responded to challenging or unusual situations as a team. As a parent, I would like to take credit for the confidence my daughter exuded during her ILC experience. However, I am sure her veteran chaperone, Cheryl Lilhanand provided this group of ILC selected high school students with the kind of preparatory advice, sage direction, and personal accessibility that formed them into a consolidated cohort. I thank you, Cheryl, for graciously managing with care my daughter and the rest of the ILC cohort for a month in a mega-city at a prestigious university. I am most grateful that you dealt with my concerns abouth the availability of the reading material with such aplomb at an ungodly hour, as well.
As a witness to the blood, sweat, tears, readjustments, advocations, inquiries, refinements, and commitments of the team of dedicated public servants, private individuals, professional businesses, and working men's and women's institutions that continue to steward and fund The Ivy League Connection, I say to all ILC parents and ILC cohorts that showing our nation's top educational institutuions that West Contra Costa Unified School District students are willing and able to compete and contribute in their academic programs is a good thing! I am most thankful for the kind of program that showcases some of our best and brightest. Thank you, to all of the people that make this possible.
Now, here is some brief advice for the ILC cohorts: Education is like a bountiful meal. It is best shared with others. Please find a way to share your academic and social experiences with your peers. Let them know that it is all right to want to learn about the world in some way, that is good to seek help for what is not understood, to stop by a career center for college info, to attend a college presentation or two, to join your community in making the environment better. It may seem bothersome, yet you may be planting a good seed in the heart and soul of another.