My daughter came to me one day telling me she wished to attend Columbia University over the summer and asked for my approval to apply to a program that might allow her this opportunity. I was jumbled with different thoughts, not sure exactly what to say in response. This would be the first time my daughter would leave us and go some where far away without us, the experience would be amazing, the challenge would be enriching, but how were we going to pay for everything? I had mixed feelings because I was proud of my daughter, her independent and confident attitude, and her willingness to step outside her comfort zone and constantly challenge herself in all ways. However, as a parent I was also scared.
I began learning more about the organization she told me about that day: “The Ivy League Connection.” I realized how important it is to be a part of the organization and the responsible, generous, and caring individuals behind the program. Slowly, I was no longer the scared parent that was thinking about allowing her youngest daughter to leave home for a month, but I was the supporting mother who encouraged her and told her she could do it.
Around December, I watched as she spent hours preparing essays to submit to the Ivy League Connection in hopes of acceptance into the interview phase of the program. I even watched as she screamed in excitement that she had only entered the interview portion of the application. After witnessing her passion and tremendous amount of time and care she put into the program from the start, I knew exactly how much this all meant to her. Finally, all her work paid off and I was proud to witness my daughter’s acceptance into the program of her choice; the Columbia University Presidential Powers course. She was one of the only two individuals chosen for the program and as her eyes sparkled in the room when she heard the news, as a parent I couldn’t be any happier as well.
I do not know how to thank the people that gave these opportunities to the students of our district enough to show how thankful I am to each and every one of them. I am really thankful of the people that provide these opportunities for bright students, like my own daughter, to have such experiences. I’m really happy of the experience my daughter had, to go to New York, to speak to students and alumni, to study at Columbia University, and to enjoy the development of a deeper understanding for different cultures in a different environment. Without this program, my daughter would have never had an opportunity equal to that of what the ILC provided.
My daughter was really happy about this program and every aspect of her experience was like a dream come true for her and it was the same for my family as well. After my daughter returned and told me about the restaurants she visited, the people she spoke to, I felt like I was actually there as she told me with excitement and enthusiasm. I felt just as happy to hear about the stories, her class, and her challenging curriculum as she was there to experience it. It was all a completely new experience for her and the amount of things she learned within a month was astonishing. My daughter grew both intellectually and as a person.
The Ivy League Connection provided an opportunity for students to develop independent skills and confidence. As a whole, this entire experience is very beneficial to our students, and I’m really thankful for such an organization.
The chaperone, Mrs. L also played a tremendous role as a part of the program. She was very patient and caring towards the students. The first time I saw her she seemed like such a lovable and caring person. I liked her a lot and I truly felt like my daughter was in good hands. Knowing Mrs. L was the chaperone, I was no longer worried even though this was the first time my daughter was going to be away from us. Overall, I strongly recommend this organization to future parents and students alike. Once again, there’s really no way for us to thank the caring sponsors, Don Gosney, Mrs. L, Mr. Ramsey, and Mrs. Kronenberg for giving my daughter such an opportunity and experience. My family is very thankful and we are all very proud of the ILC students’ accomplishments.