Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Town Hall Mingling

The ILC dinner of 2016, an event long anticipated by everyone in the program, finally occurred with the Brown program on May 31. Before everything started, I was expecting to meet new people such as alums and sponsors while dining at a fancy restaurant. I was slightly nervous about all the possibilities that could happen, but it all turned out to be a tremendous night that exceeded my expectations.

The site of the dinner mingling
Making sure I wouldn't be late, I got my mom and I to get to El Cerrito Plaza Bart Station early. I was scanning the place for people dressed like they were being interviewed for a position in the White House. There was a woman seated fitting this description and I was thinking that she is our new chaperone. She noticed my mom and I and she was who I thought she was. We all introduced each other and this is when I met Maricris Cruzat, a very warm and easygoing person. Soon after, more people started to arrive. I saw my cohort and met the past ILCers. Crystal, Izabel, Cynthia and Thao are all very approachable, helpful and inspiring students. They talked to us about their experience in the ILC and how it changed their lives. 

Maricris and I
I got the opportunity to sit and talk with Crystal on our Bart train ride to Embarcadero and I was impressed with how passionate she is with education and helping her community. She took Women and Leadership in Brown so she had a lot to tell me about what to expect from the program, such as its workshops and how it shapes women into leaders. Crystal also attends Brown currently and has a great interest in biology. She really got me to consider applying to Brown my senior year because of how well she is doing there and how great the student life is. I am looking forward to all the outcomes of my participation in the Ivy League and how much it really will affect my future.

Crystal and I
We finally got to Town Hall after walking about two blocks from the Bart station. There were some refreshing drinks that we drank and we continued to mingle in the hall. It was a good-sized room with tables set up for everyone to sit. We sat at our designated seats. I had a table with my mom, Izabel, Margaret, Erica and Charles. All of us introduced each other and I was warmly congratulated for taking part in the ILC. Izabel is a graduating senior from Kennedy High and she participated in the ILC for two years. She is attending UC Davis and I'm really happy for her accomplishments and I hope that I can return one day like her inspiring future ILCers. Margaret is a Brown alum and graduated in '84. I was seated right next to her and I really appreciated how she told me a lot about Brown's atmosphere, what to expect, and how relaxed college there felt for her. Charles Ramsey shared the story of how the Ivy League Connection was founded when he sent some students to Brown. In the early years of ILC, there wasn't an interview process. The counselor would just pick students that seem eligible to go. Erica is not an alum, but she is a teacher and I really liked hearing her thoughts on relevant matters such as kids' learning development.

Dreamy thoughts about the speakers and the ILC
We all had active conversations about the ILC and even hot topics of today such as the gorilla killing. The question "Would you have shot the gorilla?" was raised and I noticed that the women in the table including me would want to have saved both the gorilla and the child, but Charles Ramsey quickly decided he would shoot the gorilla because he values human life over this animal. I liked seeing our thoughts and opinions unfold together because new solutions came up along the way. No opinion is wrong; we all come from different perspectives. I'm extremely grateful to have been allowed the chance to meet and associate with these people because they kindly answered all the questions I had and made me feel welcome. I hope I get to meet them again another time.

Margaret and I

The hosting also went very well. Everyone in the room introduced themselves and we got to hear words from people such Komal, Crystal, Don and Charles. They all delivered thoughtful and sincere speeches and they made me determined to get all the goodness from this program.

The delicious food at the dinner complemented all the great mingling going on inside. I ate a salad, grilled chicken and cheesecake. It was so tasty, especially the cheesecake. I asked who chose the food on the menu, and apparently, it was Madeline Kronenberg, who chose these foods because they had a New York style to it. They were indeed wonderful choices. I was so full afterwards.

Cheesecake for Aimee

Grilled chicken!

As always, we took a ton of photos. I think we're getting used to being blinded numerous times in a row by Don's flash now. We were basically done after and we started to head back home. I was so tired in the train but I had such a lovely night I cannot forget. This definitely marks a huge milestone in my Ivy League Connection journey.

Awesome human beings

Awesome human beings with the Brown banner

Awesome Brown cohort '16

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