It was such relief to walk into the semi-cool multi-purpose room of the beautiful LoVonya DeJean Middle School and escape the heat of the day. I walked in at ten to six and proceeded to look awkwardly around for anyone I knew, avoiding chairs and people who actually knew where to be. After spotting Don, Ms. Thrift, and the rest of the ILC scholars, I felt more comfortable and Don began to tell us what to expect for the evening. Each cohort would present itself to the School Board, announce its members, give a short speech, and we would take a group picture afterward.
At the meeting, there was the WCCUSD School Board, ILC benefactors, ILC alumni who will be attending Ivy League schools in the Fall, and a large crowd of proud parents. As each cohort introduced itself and thanked everyone who help us during this experience, I truly took into account how amazing this opportunity I have is. I want to thank Don Gosney, Ms. Kronenberg, Charles Ramsey, and all the benefactors who played a role in my scholarship. Sitting in that room, I felt part of something grand and it made me recognize how blessed I am and how excited I am to explore the possibilities are being offered to me. It is all thanks to the people who have invested in the talent that this community has.
After the speeches, the entire 2014 ILC group took a group picture. After giggles, body heat, and getting to know my neighbor, Don took a bunch of photos until everyone's cheeks hurt. It was a lot of fun, especially since I got to see some old friends who will be attending class as part of the ILC this summer. I got my certificate from Ms. Thrift and the meeting was over, but my spirits were so high that I was reluctant to leave. There are so many bright students I have gotten to know over the past few week that I see how many friends, opportunities, and connections this program offers. My ambitions are becoming realities all at once. I cannot express my thanks in words.
|Dani, my friend from elementary and middle school|