This past week has been enormous as not only have I had the chance to be honored in front of my own community of Pinole at the city hall, but also a few days later was able to enjoy a magnificent dinner with sponsors, alumni, parents, and most of all friends. At the end of everything, it reveals how amazing the ILC experience is and underline how monumental this program is for me. I can never express the thankfulness for everything the sponsors and benefactors such as Mr. Ramsey, Don Gosney, and Ms. Kronenberg in a way that matches their selfless contributions. What I had to experience with other ILC members this week has given me the morale boost to continue working hard and my goals within the community.
Prior to the Cornell Dinner with the vast alumni and sponsors, the ILC students representing Pinole Valley High School ventured to our City Hall where we presented ourselves with utmost pride of our achievement and the proof of the ILC's cream of the crop. As we went up to speak about what schools we went to as kids, I reminisced of the old memories when I was a younger kid from elementary school. I never saw myself being able to be part of a program where it promoted so much character development and involves so much excitement. Being a junior, I was proud with others to show what Pinole Valley had to offer despite not coming from affluent backgrounds or having the rich amount of resources other schools have to offer. This is truly reflective of my view of myself and others. We the students of the ILC are made to be resilient and is not limited by factors of money.
The next event, which was the Cornell Dinner at the One Market in San Francisco was mind blowing. When my mother and I returned home from the dinner, she was so happy and at the same time a little disappointed at the fact we could not stay longer. I reassured her that one day I will give her more chances to eat food at such as top restaurant. Aside from the tasty servings of food which certainly was an experience of the high life for me, I enjoyed talking with the people in my table which includes Tony Thurmond, a former councilmen from Richmond and a current school board member, whose presence motivated me about my own aspirations in politics. I also had a great time talking to assistant principals Ms. Kaplan and Ishmael, in which we related from our ILC experiences to our personal interests. The most interesting parts of the night had to be the speeches, especially our student speakers Alex Elms and Jacky Lares who both did a spectacular job embodying the purpose and benefits of the ILC. Again, Mr. Ramsey delivered the ultimate closing speech with a powerful message that we are not afraid to take charge. I learned that taking charge in our lives is the key to our success.
With a few more weeks to come, I and other ILC students are in great expectations of what to come before our departure.