Thursday, May 21, 2015

School Board Meets Vanderbilt

At Lovonya DeJean Middle School, there was a school board meeting held that featured hundreds of outstanding teachers from De Anza High School that had received recognition along with their military group as well as the Ivy League Connection associates. I wanted to be sure to get there early, so my mom and I left the house an hour earlier than expected to arrive at the school. We came around 5:20 p.m., found a parking spot, and sat in the car until it was nearly 6 p.m. 

Once the time had come, my mom and I approached the building with the school's name on it, mistakenly thinking that it was the correct place to go for the meeting. We discovered that we had parked all the way on the other side of the multi-purpose room, where we needed to get to. I did not really mind the walk much because I was more concentrated on my speech that I would present later. 

When we finally came to the right entrance, I ran into a lot of familiar faces. I joined the clumped group of Ivy League students and reintroduced myself to a few of them. I reunited with my cohort after seeing them the night before, and conveniently finding our wonderful chaperone, Ms. Jenny Sklar Gilbert, who was also looking for us. We confirmed our names, grade, school, and course with her as she handed out our scholarship certificates. Soon after, we found seats to settle in that were enough for the 5 of us, in the front row. 

The official school board meeting began with the pledge of allegiance, followed by two special guest speakers (I am assuming) that are from the Waters family who spoke about their passion for their community. Then, one of the Ivy League Sponsors went up to the podium to introduce the chaperones and their cohort. As the cohorts went up one by one, I sat in my seat nervously, feeling anxious. Although it is truly an honor to be given the chance to present a speech to the school board, I thought that I would not be able to show how the large amount of gratitude and excitement that runs through my cohort and I.

The whole experience was not as bad as I thought it would be, I felt proud to showcase my voice to the supporters and all who make the Ivy League Connection thrive and prosper now as it should in the future. The speaker who came up after us was an upcoming graduate from De Anza High School, who also got accepted to multiple private universities, such as Yale and Harvard. Her speech was one of my favorites because of how incredibly touching the excepts from her personal statement were. 

After all of the speeches were finished, we received complimentary comments from those from the school board. The Ivy League Connection students, sponsors, parents, and chaperones all transitioned to the back of the room to move to the gymnasium for our group picture. When Don was taking a dozen photos of us all together, it really dawned upon me that the group picture was the first of many to reaffirm the connection of the Ivy League Connection. 

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