Sunday, June 30, 2013

From Stephanie Ny

Dear ILC students,

One of the most important lessons I've learned - and that I learned a little too late - is that you must take every opportunity to participate in internships and other field work. There is currently a discourse about college graduates being overqualified for low-skilled jobs but under qualified for entry-level positions due to lack of experience. I think the key solution to this is internships, through which you receive the chance to sharpen your intellectual and strategic skills while gaining work experience that is necessary for entry-level jobs. I don't know if this is really the case, but to me, it appears to be a very important step that many college students - including myself - often fail to take.

Aside from this, and on a more general note, I'd recommend that you all actually visit the schools you plan on attending before agreeing to enroll. Go at a time during which students are actually present and hanging around. You get a real feel for the school, the student body, and the school spirit. If you don't like the people there, it is likely you won't enjoy yourself! The academics and scenery are important, but visiting a school can finalize (or the opposite!) your decision to attend it.

I'm currently a rising senior at Northwestern University, so if any of you have questions, feel free to e-mail me!

Stephanie Ny
Northwestern ‘14

From Julia Maniquiz

Dear ILC,

I am in the summer before my senior year at UC Berkeley and I was a part of the Freedom and Justice program at Cornell University back in 2009. Because of my AP classes and the units I collected from this ILC course, I have enough units to graduate a semester early. I am still contemplating whether to do so, as I've learned there is no other experience like college and it goes by far too quickly.

For me, one of the best parts of college has been getting to take any type of class I desired. My advice to you all is to take advantage of this freedom and venture out of your comfort zone. I have always strictly been a humanities person; I'm a rhetoric major here at Cal. But many of my favorite classes I've taken have been outside of my department. For example, I was completely enthralled with a Molecular and Cell Biology class. To this day, it is one of my favorite classes. When I was in high school, I never would have anticipated liking or even choosing to take such a course - but college is all about testing your boundaries and moving beyond your comfort zone. Take chances, with classes, on-campus clubs, etc. College is such a wonderful experience and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. College is challenging. It is completely different from high school due to the intensity of the academic work combined with the change of scenery. But no doubt, you will be much more prepared than the average high schooler because of the exposure the ILC has given you to higher level courses, college campus environments, and out-of-state independence.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions. Take care and good luck.

All the best,
Julia Maniquiz
University of California, Berkeley ‘14

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

From Malcolm Carson

Hello ILC,

I hope you are happily anticipating this year’s summer courses/trips, if they have not begun already. My name is Malcolm Carson and I am a recent graduate of Columbia University.

I know my submission is a little late for this semester’s entry but as a recent graduate I wanted to wait a little bit longer until graduation and then give a more holistic view of my entire college experience.

The past four years have been quite a journey to say the least. From struggling through my freshman writing class all the way up to somehow completing last year’s quantum physics course. Attending, and more importantly, completing college is no small task, no matter what school you attend, and, as you can imagine, this is no different at an Ivy League school like Columbia.

However don't ever let any of the hardships you encounter break your spirit. As a member of the original class of ILC students and a Columbia graduate, I have a unique outlook on both the ILC experience and the actual Ivy League college experience. I can not tell you how important it was for me to participate with the ILC, as it prepared me for the academic rigors of college and it also helped to prepare me, a California high school student, for the social and physical environment that exists on the East Coast.

Those few weeks spent at Brown and Cornell definitely helped me to realize that I was able to keep up with highly intelligent students similar to what you are sure to encounter during your ILC summers. Although it didn't quite prepare me for those harsh winters that you are also sure to encounter, should you choose to attend college on the East Coast, I will be the first to tell you that once you make it through your ILC experience you will undoubtedly be adequately prepared for the intensity that exists at the college level.

I would be lying if I told you that your high school education and your ILC summers will prepare you for every single thing that college and life in general will throw at you. However, I can confidently tell you that both have given you more than enough of a foundation to survive and flourish in today's competitive world. In order to survive this though, one must have the fortitude to never give up no matter what your exam scores may say, no matter how small or unintelligent you may feel with respect to some of your peers, or no matter how homesick you may become. You must remember that you are worthy and able. Never let anyone—especially yourself—tell you that you can't do something or are unable to live up to the challenges that will be thrown at you. Just keep in mind that you are only ever competing against yesterday's version of you and every day is an opportunity to beat your old self. If you keep these things in mind you are sure to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself.

That being said I also want to say that both the ILC and the college experience is not simply about academics. Do not kill yourself by only hitting the books. Once you have done an adequate amount of studying for the day and you are confident that you have grown from yesterday's version of yourself, remember to take some time out for yourself and have a little fun. Go explore whatever city you are fortunate enough to be living in for the next few weeks. The ILC is not just about academic exposure but also about exposure to new environments, climates, and most importantly people. Be sure not to waste any of these aforementioned aspects. Keep balance within your experience and good luck to you all in your ILC endeavors and your college experiences as well.

Malcolm Carson
Columbia ‘13

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The ILC is Welcomed by the Hercules City Council

The Hercules City Council graciously welcomed those ILCers who live or attend schools in Hercules.
ILC administrator and School Board member Charles Ramsey introduced to the Council, those in attendance and those watching at home on TV The Ivy League Connection.  Mr. Ramsey explained some of the history of the ILC and especially the history of the ILC and the City of Hercules.
Charles Ramsey
The eight Hercules ILCers then rose to tell the Council where they had attended schools in Hercules, how the ILC has affected their own lives and how they plan to bring back to their community what they've learned.
Rochelle Yee
Cornell University
Hotel Management
Christian Abraham
Cornell University
Freedom & Justice
Anmol Randhawa
Columbia University
Presidential Powers
Damian Wong
Yale University
Grand Strategies
Tamilyn Chen
Cornell University
Freedom & Justice
Jenna Lee
Cornell University
Freedom & Justice
Johnny Ko
Brown University
Jay Fan
Brown University
The penultimate speaker of the evening Hercules teacher and Cornell chaperone Alfredo Chan-Law spoke.  Capping off the evening was School Board President Madeline Kronenberg.
Alfredo Chan-Law
Chaperone~Cornell Cohort