I might be the last one of all the parents to write, but not the least to appreciate the ILC program. It was Kelly's second time to go. I was a little bit disappointed to know that she was not even selected in the first round. When she was called for the interview, I did not have too much confidence if she could make it to the final. I tried to comfort her by telling her that it is fair to let other kids have the same opportunity. She surprised me again with her well rounded preparation and confident presentation in front of the board members. Since Kelly already had her experience from last year, I was not worried for her at all for her 4 weeks away from home. I tried not to call her and let her handle things independently.
By the way, kids were together with the two most wonderful chaperones. Why should I worry? To tell the truth, I did not have the time to read all she wrote everyday, but I tried to make sure that she wrote everyday. As she was always a last minute person, she managed to write and post except missing a few times for some reasons. It is fair to say that she is much better this year in terms of keep writing her blogs. She is obviously more mature and confident.
The ILC experience really prepared the kids well for college both academically and mentally. By reading her last long blog, I am very impressed and proud of her idea to plan mock interviews to prepare other students for the ILC. I noticed that she uses the word "community" more often these days since she's returned. In my mind, when the kids learn to appreciate or give back what they received to their community, they are getting mature. A few years ago, we moved to Hercules from Davis and I thought we made a mistake for the kid. For the past two years, I actually feel lucky to have moved down here to live in the West county. Our school district has done an excellent job to overcome the disadvantages financially and geographically. They have worked so hard to unite the local businesses and community, to create such a wonderful program for our kids. When I proudly talk about our school district to my colleagues, they showed their envy in their eyes. I have not heard any other school district with similar program.
When I talk about our school district, I always mean the strong leadership from Mr. Ramsey, Ms Kronenberg and other board members that I could not name them individually, the generous sponsors and Don and all the staff involved. I really admire Don so much for his dedicated works. Please don't forget that he is a volunteer for us. He has done more than any of parents did. Mr. Ramsey really set a good sample for the kids and the parents how to follow the rules. I like the chaperones because they acted like parents, babysitting my smart but hard-headed teenager.
The party was over especially for Kelly. She is going to college next year. I don't know where she will end up. But I want her to realize that she might be smart but somebody else created the chance for her. She has to appreciate all the help from others and to give back to the community some day.
Finally, I wish more kids from our West county will benefit from this unique ILC program. No matter where you go, be proud of where you are from.
Million thanks again to the people that I mentioned above and not mentioned but involved. You all are great people!