Friday, May 27, 2016

Words of Gratitude and Thundering Applause

I've always felt nervous about speaking in front of an audience, despite my experience. I have done dance for nine years, have acted, competed in Poetry Out Loud, and am part of my school's debate team, yet the nerves never fail to appear.

The WCCUSD Board of Education meeting was no exception.

The annual acknowledgement of and thanks given by Ivy League Connection is held within a meeting between the public and the Board. Although there are many other items on the agenda, every cohort is given the chance to express its gratitude toward the Board, the sponsors, and everyone else who offered support for allowing them to attend their respective universities. Two speakers deliver a short speech on behalf of their cohort: the appointed chaperone and one cohort member.

 I volunteered to be one of the speakers at the meeting despite my slight apprehension because I knew it would be an opportunity I'd regret passing up: I enjoy writing and performing immensely, and I saw a chance to express my gratuity to those supporting our journey to Brown. 

The girls and I before the presentation started.
Left to right: Komal, Bailey, Krystal, Lynda, me, and Aimee.
The meeting was held at Lovonya Dejean Middle School in the multi-purpose room. All the members of Ivy League Connection had arrived, we sat in our reserved seats and waited for things to begin. I was fascinated by the politics of it all: protestors had come with signs expressing their stances on what seemed to be hotly debated topics, and the Board members arrived and took their seats stoically.

Eventually, all were present and prepared to hold the anticipated meeting. A few formalities were addressed, and then the time stand came before I knew it.

Every cohort was met with enthusiastic applause. All the speakers brought their best and expressed their thankfulness for this program. I felt exceedingly happy to be a part of such a diverse and lucky group of students ready to take on their summers at an Ivy League.

Everything went along quite smoothly and our event ended quickly. Immediately after, we were herded to a spot outside for a group photo that included the students, the chaperones, and the parents. Needless to say, a few minutes were spent organizing everyone and many pictures needed to be taken.

We all enjoyed ourselves, though, and are looking forward to the next experience Ivy League Connection will bring us.

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