Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Finishing Strong

The Ivy League Connection was such a beautiful experience that I’m so glad I got to be a part of. The ILC has pushed me so much, every step I’ve taken with the ILC has been outside of my comfort zone and that is how I have grown so much.

When Don first presented at Middle College High School I was very reluctant to apply. I saw my sister go through the process but I wasn’t sure if it was right for me. Now that I look back, it wasn’t about what I thought I’d enjoy, it was my fear of being rejected that made me reluctant. Eventually I admitted that I really wanted this and put in so much effort to get there. I wrote my essays, asked everybody for opinions, and eventually felt content with how they came out. I submitted them and that was it.

One day at school my friend received an email listing all of the girls who got into the interview rounds, I was not on the list. My confidence was shattered, but when I noticed I didn’t get any emails I realized there was a problem. After speaking with Don, my application was actually put in the wrong pool. After reviewing my application, I scored high enough to be the ninth girl added to the interviews.

Now was the part I was most nervous for. I am not a great speaker, especially under pressure, and these interviews caused me so much stress. As I walked nervously in the room alongside my mother I thought about how fast this came. I walked in to be greeted by Don, and sat next to my friend the entirety of the night. I relaxed a little bit after being fourth to interview. The interviews weren’t as bad as I thought, it wasn’t too hard to answer the questions. The interview although, went very quickly. Before I could blink five people went through their interviews and now it was the waiting game. After a longer waiting period than anticipated it was finally time for us to know. Three names were called in alphabetical order, I thought I didn’t make it. At the end “Bailey Ward” was called, and I couldn’t believe it, I did it! After snapping some pictures with Komal, Lynda, and Camila I headed home.

After the interviews I waited for more emails from Don. Getting an email from Don was so exciting, I couldn’t wait to get more work to do. I enjoyed every piece of preparation for Brown it made everything seem so surreal. The application process was a bit complicated, I was even nervous about the essay required for Brown but got it done with the help of a few.

Departure day!
Next was the Orientation, Tutorial, School Board presentation, alumni dinner, and meet and greets. Each of these events leading up to the trip were what got me comfortable. I got to interact with my cohort at these events and got valuable information that prepared me for the trip. When our first chaperone had to leave to take another job offer, we got a second meet and greet dinner with Ms. Cruzat. This dinner is the event that brought us closest.

On June 22, 2016 our trip began. The beginning of our trip was spent touring colleges and sight-seeing. This was the perfect time for us to get even more familiar with each other before we spent the next two weeks together. Time flew in our first few days and eventually it was move in day for the dorms. The move in was a very quick and easy process, I ended up with a single dorm that I grew to love during the trip.

The Women & Leadership Class.
June 27, 2016 was the first day of the Women and Leadership course. I have grown and learned so much more than I ever expected in this course. I now know I am capable of so many great things and can’t wait to share all that I’ve learned with everybody around me. So many things through this journey have contributed to my growth as a leader. It would take me hours to list each thing so let me just list a few. The workshops, my teacher Tina, my TA/RA Christine, my classmates, the lifelong friends I made, Ms. Cruzat, my cohort, the discussions, the activities, the homework, and the action plan all contributed to my growth.
The last photo with the cohort.
Every piece of this trip taught me something and I am so grateful for it all. As I implement my action plan back at home, I will remember all I’ve gained from this amazing trip. I can’t wait to follow the next leaders who will enjoy and grow from this experience as much as I did.

1 comment:

  1. A very nice blog, Bailey. I enjoyed reading it. And I also appreciate your infusion of photos.

    And for the record, while the error was mine on misfiling your application, had it not met our standards, you never would have been invited to interview. You earned your seat in the interview room just as you earned your trip to Brown.