Thursday, May 24, 2012

Round of Applause for the Ivy League Connection

"Yes! We're going to be perfectly on time",I said  as I checked my cell phone for the time while patiently waiting for the stoplight to change. After driving up and down the streets and around various corners surrounding LaVonya Dejean Middle School, my father and I made it just in time for the WCCUSD school Board Meeting. i was greeted by Ian who directed me to the rest of the cohort. I sat next to Cameron and made small talk in between speeches. The speeches given by teachers, students, and other members of the community all had one thing in common; they were fighting for the funding of adult ESL classes. After what seemed like ages, the exciting part arrived! It was time for all of the chaperones to introduce their cohort to the board!

"University of Pennsylvania" is the last thing I remember being said before I stood up and approached the front of the room with my cohort. We stood in front of the board members and audience as Don took pictures of us and Ian, our chaperon  introduced us. After our moment in the spotlight we stepped to the side to receive certificates. After all of the cohorts were called and recognized, the sponsors and donors were also recognized. The board broke for a "five minute break" and during this time the Ivy League Connection assembled in the back for a group photo. After what seemed like hundreds of flashes, we were dismissed from the meeting.
On my way out the multipurpose room, I was congratulated by what seemed like an endless crowd of people. It was such as joy to be appreciated and recognized by the community. I imagine this is only a small fraction of what celebrities are used to. 

I could definitely get used to this.

School Board, I Present To You The Future

I told my dad, “ Drive faster, we are going to be late.”  He took those words seriously.  We arrived at Lovonya DeJean Middle School at around 6:05, luckily on time.  As my parents and I walked into the multipurpose room where the meeting was going to take place, we were quickly separated.  Mr. Rea called us to a corner, gave a small overview of the schedule, and then told us to sit with our cohort.  “David Barba,” shouted Don Gosney, then gave my the UPenn flag, which was to be carried by us as we were presented to the School Board.

The meeting started off will the basics, attendance, and a brief summary of the night. Then it kicked off into full gear.  Multiple teachers and students of from different ESL programs spoke on behave of stopping budget cuts of there program and asking for funds. After listening to all of the speeches, I felt that the students gave better speeches than the teachers. In particular, there was one speech, in which, a six-year-old girl went up with her mother and talked about how it was because of ESL that her mother was able to help her with her homework.  I believe that anybody alive would become a supporter of adult school after seeing this.

The ILC cohorts were up next.  Each cohort went up and the chaperones introduced the students and what each one will be doing this coming summer.  I felt proud to be in front of the WCCUSD School Board.  After being presented to the school board, we each received a certificate to recognize my participation with ILC.  This is one of the many memories that I will have of the ILC, I have already framed and placed the certificate in my room.  We were followed by the sponsors, who deserve many thanks, and unfortunately, did not have an opportunity to speak. The last speakers were two former ILCers.  After listening to their speeches, they drastically increased my excitement for this summer.  Each speech had one thing in common, and that was that the ILC produces the leaders of the future.

The meeting was over, but the ILC kept going. Don stepped up to the plate when it came to the group picture. Knowing that photography is his forte, setting up was going to take awhile.  There was “you move to the right” and “you move to the left,” but alas, we were in position.  Don took almost an endless amount of photos.

The night was one of the four landmark events of the ILC.  As the next one gets close, so does the summer, which I just can’t wait for it to come already.

WCCUSD Ambassadors

I wasn't sure what to expect as I stepped into the Lovonya multipurpose room. There were people everywhere, but I found the ILC group in no time at all. They were the well dressed group off to the side. I quickly went over and joined them. I saw a few familiar faces along with many new ones. Mr. Rhea soon came over and gave us instructions. We were instructed to find our chaperone and cohort and sit together. I was glad to see the familiar faces of the people in my cohort.

The meeting began with the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance. After that, one by one speakers made their way to the podium to address the board with their concerns. I wasn't expecting to be so captivated by the speakers. When they spoke, you could clearly hear how devoted they were to their cause. It wasn't one boring monotone speech after the next. The speaker that stood out the most to me, and I'm sure to a lot of other people as well, was the six year old girl pleading the board to continue providing ESL classes for her mother.

The Ivy League came next. Cohort after cohort stood before the board, proudly holding up the flag to the school they would be attending. The chaperones introduced us one at a time, and they spoke in detail about the trips we'll be making. We were then given lovely certificates for our involvement in the ILC. After every cohort went up, it was the sponsor's turn to take the spotlight. The next two speakers were two former ILC participants. They spoke about how they benefited from their experience while on the east coast, how it has helped them now, and how much we would enjoy ours. The last speakers of the night were the members of the school board who wanted to add their input to what had been said about this year's participants.

Now it was Don's turn to step into the spotlight. He guided us over to the area where we would take our group picture. He first seated most of the girls and positioned the rest of them, then the boys (some seated, some stood up), chaperones next, and lastly the parents. It was a large group, but Don had everything under control. He took a step back, made a few changes, then the flashes began. After a couple million pictures were taken we were dismissed.

We were called the future, WCCUSD ambassadors, the best of the district. Why would anybody be unhappy after all of that? I see no reason why this summer shouldn't be the best I've had so far.