Saturday, August 18, 2012

From the Father of Rachael Redlo

We want to thank you and all the supporters of the Ivy League Connection for the wonderful experience our daughter Rachael had this past summer. Rachael’s experience, from our perspective, helped her grow and mature as she prepares for College next year.

Some reflections:

The itinerary was well organized and we appreciated the fact that it involved both parent and student involvement. The college experience to be successful involves all parties.

The pre dinners and meetings with previous alumni was very helpful and gave us a flavor and sense of the experience.

The Cornell Program was challenging with too many students in the class at once in a packed lecture setting. The time frame was exhausting at times. The students had class morning afternoons and nights, Sunday included. I thought that it might have been better to not be so compressed and maybe give the students a chance to experience other resources and opportunities at Cornell. The experience for most Ivy League colleges, however may be similar, so it may not have been bad to feel some pressure to finish a great deal of work on time.

The opportunity to visit other external campuses and spend the first few days on field trips was great. I think it gave the students a chance to experience other Ivy League schools. It was also good for the students to experience other cities specifically on the East Coast where cultural differences may exist. California at times can be very different from the East Coast.

Lastly, I would mention the advantage of the students talking to each other and reporting their activities in addition to talking in front of groups about their experiences and observations. I think this is all part of the learning experience and a great opportunity for our students to express themselves and practice their communication skills.

Again, we want to thank you and all the supporters, Board members, contributors and support staff that made this experience so important and memorable for Rachael and the rest of the students.

Bob Redlo

From the Parents of Alexander Wing

Our son, Alexander, had the most memorable, exciting summer participating in the ILC program at Cornell University. The ILC gave him numerous opportunities, starting at the very beginning with the essay writing and interviews for the program, the orientations and the chance to meet and interact with the supporters of the ILC, Cornell alumni and present Cornell students at the Bay Area Cornell dinner. The dinner was a wonderful opportunity for Alexander to interact with people he did not know and to engage with them on an adult level. Prospect Restaurant was so elegant and the food was delicious - a perfect venue for the event.

The college visits on the East Coast were very well organized and they were most helpful and eye-opening. Participating in the college tours with fellow high school students, and not with his parents, put Alexander in a position to be independent and to figure out for himself what is important for him in choosing a college. He is definitely interested in pursuing colleges on the East Coast and the ILC program gave him a taste for college life in the east.

Once at Cornell, the support from the ILC and the fantastic guidance from Mr. Chan-Law and the Cornell cohort enabled Alexander to learn and grow. He thrived in the academic and social environment at Cornell and he has called this experience for him “life-changing”. The requirement of a daily blog was an inspired addition. Not only did it enable Alexander to reflect on his day, despite how busy he was with his coursework, but it also allowed us at home to follow his activities and get a sense of how he felt about his experiences. The “Freedom and Justice” class surpassed his expectations by providing him with the knowledge to think, defend and support his opinions and to express his ideas verbally and in writing. He received a solid introduction to Plato, John Locke, Communism, Socialism, among other schools of thought, and an understanding of how they relate to present-day thinking, society, government and law! That is quite an accomplishment in only 3 weeks !

The ILC program is phenomenal and words cannot express the appreciation we have for Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg for coming up with this vision, bringing it to fruition and for continuing to make it better. A huge thank you to Don Gosney for his tireless efforts in keeping our kids in line, holding them accountable and for arranging the thousands of small but important details that it takes to run and organize this program every year. We would like to thank Mr. Chan-Law for being an amazing chaperone, for keeping our kids safe and stimulated and for being their friend and mentor. And finally, to all of the very generous supporters of the ILC - none of this could happen without you and we thank you for giving our son this opportunity of a lifetime.

Yakesun Wing and Debbie Hayakawa-Wing

From the Parents of Eric Wilson

Overall, we thought the ILC program was excellent. We knew nothing about the ILC prior to Eric’s applying, and we were so pleased to learn that such a program exists in WCCUSD. It was an outstanding opportunity, and we feel very gratified that the district is putting this level of effort into challenging our high-achieving students. A program like this has the potential to raise the bar for everyone. We are grateful for the efforts of those who run the program, as well as the sponsors who invest in our district.

Eric enjoyed the Freedom and Justice course at Cornell and was challenged to work at a higher level. Through the lectures and especially the discussion sections, he gained a broader perspective on learning that we are sure he will apply to the rest of high school and college. The visits to the many eastern universities were a great part of the program as well and really kicked off the college consideration process for him. It is a rare opportunity to meet admissions officers and alumni and receive guidance on the admissions process! Eric is strongly considering applying to Cornell, Penn, and perhaps others. Without the ILC, I believe his consideration of these schools would have been very unlikely.

Eric also enjoyed the support and company of his chaperone, Mr. Chan-Law. Eric thought the level of oversight was just right, and he enjoyed the extra trips and activities, such as to Colgate and Cooperstown, that Mr. Chan-Law provided for the cohort.

In short, a great experience and opportunity. Thanks again to the ILC leaders, team, and sponsors who make this possible.

Patrick and Amy Wilson