The sun was shining and a soft breeze blew through the parking lot of Lavonya Dejean Middle School in Richmond, CA, as my mother and I made our way into the school’s auditorium.
It was the evening of the WCCUSD School Board meeting at which the Ivy League Connection would be presented. Unlike the City Council meetings, where ILC students from each school stood before their respective city’s board, the entire entity of the program – students, parents, sponsors, and the administration – was to be recognized as a whole.
Each cohort was introduced and called up, one by one. I watched from my seat in the audience as the proud chaperons took the stand to acknowledge the students they would be spending a portion of their summer with. It was such a moment, beholding the bright, young faces that were beaming with excitement for the program.
Additionally, two former participants of the ILC were present at the meeting – Terilyn Chen (Harvard c/o ‘16) and Austin Long (Yale c/o ’15). Both delivered excellent speeches describing the fruit that this program bore for them. It is always so inspiring listening to alumni such as these – they never fail to emphasize the potential that students in our district have, despite socioeconomic factors that may deter them from success.
This year, we have a fine group of students – the cream of the crop – from the WCCUSD that will be partaking in summer enrichment courses at top-tier universities. These are ambitious students who continue to pour their efforts into education, who want to create a positive impact in the communities around them, and who strive for excellence.
I look forward to what this summer – and the rest of the future, for that matter – holds for each of us.