Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hope and Power

My dormitory, Perkins Hall, is located near the intersection of the streets, Hope and Power. If there are two things that I have received or felt as a result of this trip, it is the feeling of hope and empowerment.

Like I have stated in my previous blogs, each Ivy League Connection event, that I attended prior to my departure to Brown, has contributed to my personal growth. My participation in the Women and Leadership course was the final and most impactful factor to my growth as an individual. As a result of my participation in the Ivy League Connection, I have more faith in my abilities and I am confident about being in an environment that asks for my maturity and intelligence.

When I attended the informational session about the Ivy League Connection, I was entranced by the descriptions of the experiences of the Ivy League Connection participants. I was astounded by the idea that I could be a participant in the Ivy League Connection. However, at that time, I was extremely doubtful that I would be accepted. The presentation for the Ivy League Connection primarily discussed the application process and we were able to hear short testimonials from the previous year’s students who completed the Women and Leadership course. My mind mainly harped on the idea that we would be able to stay at an Ivy League.

Before I heard about the Ivy League Connection, I honestly knew a minimal amount of information in regards to the Ivy Leagues.  I never considered applying to any of the schools. Throughout my entire life I always pictured myself attending UC Berkeley or Stanford. I am familiar with their campuses and I know about some of the programs offered there since they are discussed at college fairs. The campus atmosphere is another aspect I consider when thinking of prospective colleges. Although a majority of individuals will not have the opportunity to visit the Ivy Leagues due to their location, it is essential that other young students are aware of these schools. There is so much more than what is in your own state. I am fortunate that I will be able to share my experience at Brown with my community. Whenever I step out of my comfort zone, I am weary at first, but I soon discover that I am thankful I did. It appears that most students in low-income areas are unaware of the Ivy Leagues, and I am thankful that the Ivy League Connection exposes us to these schools. Without the Ivy League Connection, I would not have the opportunity to participate in a program like the one I attended at Brown.

My grandparents are encouraging me to stay in California because in their culture the child is expected to support his/her parents. Luckily my parents are comfortable with any choice I make in regards to the colleges I apply to.

The interview for the Ivy League Connection was my first conventional interview. I was surprised when I heard my name called among the other selected students. The best advice I can give is to put your best foot forward. Try your best and relax! Don has always stressed that the panelists, for the Ivy League Connection, are on our side. They want us to succeed. 

Each event that the Ivy League Connection holds benefits the students in a variety of ways. I developed both personally and intellectually from participating in these events.

I had a preconceived notion that these events would not be positive for me. Contrary to my beliefs, the interview, the alumni dinner, and the School Board meeting were successful events for me. Each event was a major stepping stone and I felt prepared for the next event I would attend. 

The blogs have encouraged me to analyze my surroundings and to think critically about what I have learned.

If you read Don’s instructions, your experience will be wonderful. The packet was a major help that I used as a reference throughout the entire process. The packet should be renamed to How to Succeed in The Ivy League Connection.

I have grown so much as an individual through my Women and Leadership course. I was encouraged by the emotional support of my fellow classmates to aspire to do my best. I have become comfortable with the uncomfortable and I am excited to display my new sense of self. In class when I gave my opinion, I saw nothing but nonjudgmental expressions, and their sincerity is a major contributor to my growth as an individual. Additionally I have developed more confidence in myself through my interactions in class.

Through the Women and Leadership course, I was able to learn how to become a better leader. I also learned about negative messages that surround us in our society. The first workshop forced me to acknowledge my leadership style and weaknesses. I know that I must channel my weaker leadership styles to be the best leader I can be. Additionally, I discovered how I could improve as a leader. In one of the workshops, an advisor encouraged the South leaders, which I am, to take charge and I became extremely apprehensive about doing so. My classmates were encouraging when the South leaders had to step forward. From that experience, I learned that I can improve my leadership abilities by being confident and adopting different leadership styles if necessary. 

I have also grown as a result of the social aspect of my experience. The freedom I experienced at Brown permitted me to develop my time management skills. At times I would have to decline an invitation in order to finish my Action Plan. Although I was initially hesitant about doing so, I knew I had to complete my priorities.

From my experience, my time at Brown has been life altering! I have a better idea of what I will experience at college. Additionally, I will definitely apply to a few universities on the East Coast when I am a senior.

For me this program has changed my perspective of life, and I would love for other students to have the same experience.

I am so grateful for what the Ivy League Connection has given me! The Ivy League Connection has given me hope that I can positively impact my community.

I will forever be grateful for all the people associated with the Ivy League Connection. They have given me this extraordinary opportunity to attend a class at an Ivy League and to open my mind to new possibilities.

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