Monday, May 30, 2016

An Annual Tradition

Every year the students who are participating in the Ivy League Connection are recognized at a School Board Meeting. Typically, other things are discussed as well, but this meeting would also be touching on the selling of property to a charter school and comments from those who were pro-charter schools and against them.
Lovonya Dejean Middle School'S Multi-purpose Room where the meeting was held
At the beginning we talked amongst ourselves and to Mike, our chaperone. Diana recited the speech she would be giving to the board to us, and we all loved it. This was the time to show our gratitude to the board and the community for supporting this program, as it's a public-private organization. Mike would also get the chance to give some words about what we'd be doing at Cornell and the extra school visits, which as of right now are potentially Columbia and UPenn. Diana and I both shared that we really wanted to see Columbia.

Don was handing everyone their school flags, and turns out, ours was MIA. We weren't bothered by the absence of our flag though, we knew Diana's speech would be great enough to represent the Cornell cohort.

As the meeting began, they decided to move us up on the schedule, which was great for those who had places to be at soon after the meeting. One by one the cohorts went up and they all shared their amazing speeches of gratitude. Some were so eloquently written that it was no wonder they were chosen as ILCers. When it was our turn to go up, I felt very proud to be there and represent Middle College High School. Afterwards Don shared some inspiring words as well as Arnold Dimas, a former ILCer and recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

Arnold talked about how life changing the experience would be and how important it is to take advantage of it and make the best of it. Not everyone gets an opportunity like this, and it's very useful not just what we learn and the connections we make, but how it'll look on applications for other scholarships and colleges.

Once the ILC part of the meeting was done with, we all stood up and went outside for the big group picture. Don had to figure out how to arrange 17 girls, 5 boys, chaperones, and numerous parents. It was rather amusing to say the least, We even took a selfie with the chaperone from UPenn, Mr. Hillyer. Don took about 25 pictures before we were able to stop grinning from ear to ear. Honestly my cheeks were in pain. Everyone dispersed and took pictures with family, chaperones, and friends.

'16 Ivy League Connection - everyone looked great

Thursday, May 26, 2016

First Time at a School Board Meeting

Tonight was the school board meeting that was mandatory for all ILCers to attend with one parent. This was the actually the first school board meeting I have ever attended. This particular school board meeting happened to be filled with more people than usual because of the controversial topics on its agenda so that was rather exciting. I was actually extremely surprised by all the equipment used at the board meeting --timer for the timing of public comments, large semi circle table for the board members, and other various equipment. Seeing all of this was extremely eye opening. I realized how little I knew about what happens in WCCUSD and how little effort I put into learning more about my community. 

All of the speeches given by the different speakers were amazing. The speeches were all well thought out and very different from one another. It was unexpectedly extremely entertaining to listen to them --I expected to hear similar speeches for every cohort. 

One of the most exciting parts about this entire experience was the picture (actually pictures) we all took at the end. We all went outside and Don placed the parents in the back, the girls and the chaperones in the first two rows, and finally the boys on the floor in front of the girls. It all came together nicely after he adjusted us. Hopefully, we were able to all smile and not blink in at least one of the many photos he took so Don has a variety to choose from. Otherwise, Don will have a lot more photoshopping to do. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Showing Gratitude To the People That Made It Possible

Although the event was very short today (approximately an hour) it was great and it was a perfect day to show our thanks to all the people and the school board who permitted for us to be able to have such an amazing scholarship. It all started out with us waiting for the school board meeting to start. When I walked in, I was actually quite shocked at the fact that we would be speaking in front of an audience so big. I realized that many people were at the event to protest a decision made by the school board. However, the ILC presentation was the opening event which was extremely nice. I was also really happy to see my school's counselor coming out to support the MCHS ILCers which really meant a lot to me and showed that my school really supported what me and the other Middle College ILCers were trying to accomplish.
Unfortunately, our ILC cohort was the only one that did not have our Cornell flag to represent us however it did not hinder us from being great in anyway. We were the second to last group to go up and Mike gave his fantastic introduction to our cohort and really emphasized on how we were different from the other cohorts. Then Diana went up and did an AMAZING job and represented our cohort in a fantastic way and really displayed what we were looking forward to and what we were nervous about. I can honestly say that our cohort looked the best up there. 

After we finished giving the school board our thanks, we then went out for pictures. I was super surprised that I got the middle seat. As someone that is very tall, I assumed that when Don called me he was going to position me in the back somewhere. But instead, I was placed dead center in front of the camera which I was surprised but at the same time really happy about because it was a new experience for me. It was also a very tight fit seeing as to how we had to squeeze in every ILCer and their parents. Although my parents did not come, my friend came with me to support me which made me feel even more support from my community.

Overall, the experience was extremely great. This is the final group picture which came out amazingly. 

~ A Few Words of Thank You ~

Today was a day for gratitude from the Ivy League Connection at our presentation before the School Board. Each of the cohorts went up with their chaperone,as the chaperone spoke then one  student designated from each cohort to express their gratefulness towards the school board, sponsors, and community spoke. I was one of the few designated to speak today. I did not realize how many people would attend this meeting and I also overlooked the fact of it being televised. I became nervous of presenting the speech not because I was not confident enough nor the public speaking element of the amount of people and cameras, but because I was representing the Ivy League Connection while I was speaking and my worst fear of the moment was failing my cohort and the program. 

I prepared with a few note cards and practiced all day. I was elated to see my cohort listening to my speech and helping me time myself and passing on their confidence on to me. I was also thankful for Mr. Rhea once seeing me practice with my note cards giving me words of encouragement that I would do just fine. Thankfully for everyone even other ILCers giving me support I was able to provide a speech thanking everyone for their support and giving insight on what my cohort will be exposed to at Cornell and what we hope to bring back. I expressed in my speech that we were eternally grateful for their support because we get this once in a life time opportunity. We are able to now experience college, the East Coast, and our courses that can help provide for an enhancement of skills and insight of future careers. I was happy to see all of our speeches and I came to be even prouder to be apart of the Ivy League Connection. 

Our presentation concluded with ILCers, chaperones, and parents taking a picture outside the building. The person missing from the picture was Don as he was taking the picture because he actually knows how to take pictures, but its okay from the blogging session I think I picked up a few tricks to photo shop Don in a picture.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Connecting through BART and Dinner

The sponsor dinner was a lot different from what I expected but at the same time a lot better than I expected. The food was really different from what I was used to and the connections gave a lot of input on what to expect and how they were changed from going to an Ivy League. The trip started out with us going on El Cerrito Plaza BART and luckily catching a train that goes straight to San Francisco. I had finally received the chance to formally meet our chaperon, Mike, in person and got the chance to talk with him. He was really cool and I found out how he loves to travel and so it is really cool to be chaperoned by someone that has experience when it comes to traveling. 

In the train I was also talking with Joceline's sister who, although wasn't one of the ILC alumni, gave a ton of advice. One of the most helpful pieces of advice she gave was when she told me how since I would be able to go in as a junior to many colleges because of the dual enrollment credits I take at Contra Costa College, I should consider applying into the master's program at the school I attend so that instead of staying four years at a university and coming out with just the Bachelor's degree, I would stay four years and come out with my bachelors and my masters. This was extremely helpful because I hadn't even thought about getting a masters degree and so the information makes me push more and more towards getting it now that I know how convenient it would be for me. 

We had finally arrived at Kuleto's and the room that was reserved was really fancy. There was a 30 minute session for connecting and talking with each other and that's when Jesus Verduzco and Doug Mitarotonda, previous Cornell alumni, showed up and we got the chance to talk with them. Jesus Verduzco was the first of the two I talked with and I'm really happy I got the chance to do so. He was telling us so much about his experience at Cornell and how he majored in Engineering but does something completely different now and that we should really go with what makes us happy. I enjoyed talking to him because I am someone that is interested in the STEM field and am considering engineering at Cornell which has one of the best engineering programs in the world. However I am not sure if I really want to stay within that path so the fact that he does something else and is good at it was helpful because it taught me that I don't have to be limited in one option. 

The actual dinner finally started and we were seated. I was seated between Mr. Verduzco and Shanti, who was a previous Cornell ILC alumn. I asked Shanti many questions about Cornell and how it was and she talked a lot about the multiple things they were able to do there which really interested me because I am considering applying to Cornell and I wanted to also take advantage of the time I will be there to explore the campus and how I would like it. She really gave a lot more vivid images of Cornell and what to expect while I was there which is a lot more helpful than looking up biased videos about Cornell on their website. She was also helpful when she told me just in time that the Filet Mignon is not fish but steak and as someone that doesn't eat red meat, it was a very helpful catch. 

The dinner finally concluded after desert (which was AMAZING) and we ended up taking pictures with the Cornell seal making us official. We then left the Kuleto's and ended up on BART and luckily did not run into any angry Warriors fans. We arrived back at the El Cerrito Bart at exactly 10 PM. I can gladly say that I was really happy to go on this trip because I learned so much advice and a lot about not just ILC but when I apply for college. Especially related to the different routes I want to take in college. This dinner was able to open my eyes to many different routes and was also able to show me how Cornell can help me regarding this as well. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Making New Connections

On Monday afternoon my sister picked me up and took me home so we could both get ready for the very anticipated evening ahead. We were going to have dinner with the rest of the cohort and a parent for each, our chaperone Mike, Don, Ms. Kronenberg, alums and sponsors. At the time we had no idea who the ILC alums would be or which sponsors would attend. I was looking forward to be able to converse with everyone, make new connections, and eat some delicious food.

We got to the El Cerrito Plaza BART at 5 PM, just like Don had instructed. For the most part, everyone that would be taking BART with us was there, all we had to do was wait for one more person and we'd be off. I was so happy to see that one of the ILC alums that would be accompanying us was Shanti Shrestha! We both play water polo and we happened to practice at the same pool, so we were happy to see each other.

It was finally time to board on the BART, I had so many questions to ask Shanti, and the other lovely ILC alum that would be attending Cornell in the fall, Hummd. Shanti gave me so much information on what it was like, how beautiful the experience was, and all the friends that she made. I was also really inspired because she and another ILC alum at Hercules High School really prep the aspiring ILCers for the interviews, and I hope to do that once I come back from Cornell.

Finally, we arrived at the Powell Street stop, and the train was so crowded it was definitely a struggle to get out. We walked a few blocks to get to a hotel, and took a very small staircase down to the room in which we'd be dining. The Cornell alums hadn't arrived just yet, so we had time to get some soft drinks and talk a little more. Not too long after we were joined by the two Cornell alums, Jesus Verduzco, class of '99, and Doug Mitarotonda, class of '02. They actually both majored in engineering, something I'm personally drawn to. Doug absolutely loved Cornell, so much he received his Bachelor’s, Masters, and PhD all from Cornell. Jesus received his Bachelor's at Cornell and proceeded to receive his Master's from UC Berkeley.

The alums were very inspiring because they were so accomplished and had traveled a lot. Both got into Cornell on early decision,but they were from very different places and unlike Jesus, Doug didn't know what major he wanted to go into. That was honestly a reassurance, because although engineering is something I'd like, I really just love math and want my major to involve that but I'm not very sure what I want to do.
Listening to Doug tell us some more about how he loved Cornell. I think my sister was going to cry.
Nevertheless it was a happy night.
We were also joined by one of the panelists and sponsors for our program, Gboyega. It was great seeing him because after originally not being chosen to be part of the cohort, I reached out to him and the other panelists/sponsors for advice on what I could do better next time. Definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made. He said he was very happy and congratulated me, which made me feel very proud of myself.

After almost two hours, and a great dinner, we all agreed it was probably time to leave because we didn't want to have to ride BART with all the either happy or angry Warriors fans. We said thanks, once again, to the alums and Gboyega for taking their time to attend. The dinner was a great experience to get an idea of what the summer would be like, and it made me realize even more how blessed we all were, but how important it is to work hard.

When I Ate a Couple Hundred Dollar Steak

The Cornell alum and sponsor dinner was probably one of the best experiences of my life. Not only was the food amazing, and expensive, but also extremely informative and fun to be at. The entire experience actually all began at the El Cerrito Plaza Bart Station, well before we even ever arrived in the city. I was able to chat with Chiamaka Nwadike, who attended University of Pennsylvania's Social Justice program, and Shanti Shrestha, who attended Cornell University's Hotel Management program. They both gave amazing advice and insight on what we should expect from our classes, what to bring, how to ensure we don't receive freshman 15 during the summer, and much more. 

Once we actually got on the Bart train, heading towards San Francisco, I sat down next to Hummd Alikhan, who attended Vanderbilt and is a soon to be student at Cornell University. At first, I was a little bit shy and unsure of what to do to make a good impression, but soon I found myself not even thinking about impressions and just being myself. She told me about how attending Vanderbilt changed her career choice completely. After attending Vanderbilt, she knew she couldn't be the doctor she always thought herself to be because she couldn't handle it when they were passing around human body parts. From this experience, she learned that never be too set on a certain career because there might be something out there better for you or that your "set" career might not suit you as much as you think. This was the first time I was told this piece of advice throughout the ILC dinner. 

The second time I heard this piece of advice was from Jesus Verduzco. He's part of Cornell University's class of 1999. While he went to Cornell for engineering, he is now apart of an organization that attempts to achieve health equity. The biggest thing he kept going back to was about giving different options a chance. He realized throughout college that his true passion didn't lie with engineering. He also gave us the advice that degrees don't necessarily matter. Despite having an engineering degree from a highly prestigious school or the rigors he went through to get that degree, he's only used the material he's gained from getting that degree once or twice (only the math part of it) and his current job doesn't really have anything to do with what he did in college. I didn't really get to talk to Doug Mitarotonda, Cornell's class of 2002, but he seemed like a really cool guy and personally wrote his gmail onto the very cool business card that he gave to each of us. 

The last part of my dinner was when we all got back on the Bart, heading back to El Cerrito. Right before we got on the Bart train and during the ride, I chatted with Mr. Boyega (one of the sponsors for ILC and panelist for the Cornell Cohort). He told me all about starting his own business and how his career changed throughout the years (the third time somebody gave me this piece of advice). This was especially interesting to me because I want to start my own business someday.

After hearing all the personal experiences of all these amazing people, I'm that much more excited to experience my own adventure at Cornell University and see where it takes me. Whether I find out that I want nothing to do with psychology (I am taking "The Individual in the Social World") or that I want to further my knowledge in it as I progress in life. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

~A Vision of Cornell with a New Community~

Yesterday night I was elated to attend a dinner in San Francisco for the Cornell cohort. The Ivy League Connection all met at the El Cerrito Bart Station at 5PM and from there we got off at Powell. During the Bart ride I was delighted to sit next to Ms. Kronenberg who is apart of the school board, who informed me a lot about the history of the Ivy League Connection, what it is like at Cornell, and informed me about past alumni at Cornell which was very interesting. She even recommended we go to see a couple of museums that I cant wait to explore. Finally we all walked as group to a restaurant called Kuleto's which was only a couple of blocks away about 5 minutes I would say. 

The dinner consisted of a variety of guests with a mass amount of information and advice which helped me understand about Cornell and college more.There at the dinner there were two alumni from Cornell. In the beginning of the dinner I spoke with Jesús who briefed me about his time at Cornell and coming from Texas. What I saw was how hard he worked to get there and he never stopped pushing forward and I developed a big sense of respect. He gave me a lot of advice about college and just the future about the major I hope to get into, to just life advice and to really treasure who you are. Another alumni I spoke with was Doug he talked about how Cornell was his home and he gave me a lot of insight into Cornell about literally everything which let me feel more calm about going there because now I don't feel as new to this college. I'm really looking forward to the community Cornell that he mentioned, the environment and especially the food! I was also happy that my chaperone was also there and I got to get closer to my future travel companion.

I was also thankful to meeting once more Mr. Boyega again from sitting across of me from a panelist table to a dinner table . He gave me more advice on what I can improve on in my interview like understanding that I confident and I don't have to keep reassuring the judges that I am confident in my speech. I was really thankful on his advice so I can now improve my speaking skills.

I met two new people named Shanti and Hummd,their both absolutely wonderful and were very informative, helpful,and just sweet. Hummd was apart of ILC for another college, but had just recently got accepted to Cornell. She informed me a lot about the application process which I will be facing very soon and gave me tips on how to prepare myself.Also at the dinner was Shanti who because of her I feel as if I already went to Cornell. She definitely encouraged me to have confidence in myself and to never lose it and know that to get there you worked hard and thats what mattered your ability your skill, and who you really are. She also let me know everything I could possibly know or watch out for at Cornell. They have helped me already so much with just one night and I hope to keep in contact with both of them.

Of course we can't have this dinner without Don, even Don helped me with advice about college and how I need to not just look at the fact you got accepted to a college but what college is really best for you. Now I'm just even more thankful for Don because without Don there would not be an ILC and just shows he actually cares about us and wants to see us all succeed in the future. Don also knows how to pick a restaurant because this place was amazing from their spinach,to their chicken, and finally their creme brulee which I never even heard of before,but now have to find where they sell it.

I am entirely grateful for everyone who came because they showed us support and complete open arms. Everyone gave the cohort kindness, knowledge and especially advice that all of us needed to hear. I think the whole cohort can agree on a note that this dinner was amazing and we just became apart of a new community and have and are going to become even closer. We were all completely inspired.Last ,but definitely not least was our parents or guardians who came. I am sure without them we would not be at that dinner because each of them have gave us all support and love that have helped us overcome obstacle over obstacle. I am just eternally grateful for everyone at that dinner.

The most supportive person I have my mom

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Tutorial and How It Opened a New Door for Me

Today was the start of the world of Ivy League connections and the journey I would go through before the time came for me to travel east. It took a lot of me to wake up by 6 but by deleting Netflix and using an alarm clock it worked out just fine. 

I had arrived at exactly 7:59. Right before the doors were going to close. Actually, I had arrived at the school at 7:55 but as someone that is very hesitant with every decision they make, for some reason I felt that I shouldn't go through the doors next to the big sign that said Ivy League Connection and the next door with the red flag on it. Luckily, I somehow got the idea to keep going and it just so happened to be the place I was looking for. 

During the tutorial, we learned many essential steps. First, and also the one that took up most of the morning, was learning how to blog. I knew about blogging from different websites so I was interested in using blogging for academic situations such as the Ivy League Connection. We also went through packets and pages of rules and guidelines and learned how to post pictures to our blogs. Even though there were technical difficulties we all pretty much got the point in the end.

I think my favorite part of today was the fact that I got to read some of the example blogger stories in the packet. My favorite was from a ILCer who went to Yale a few years back because he was able to look into a club that was about people who are undecided about what science career path they want to take so they would give them multiple options. This really interested me because I am currently going through the same situation and did not even know that such a club was even possible. It definitely puts Yale on a list of schools that I would want to apply to in the future knowing that there are multiple support programs to help me. And this information shows me all the more reason I should blog so others will get the cycle of information sharing to reach them as well. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Blogging and Traveling 101

I was both dreading and looking forward to this very morning. All of the Ivy League Connection cohorts had to meet up at De Anza High School at 8 AM to receive a tutorial from mostly Good Don about blogging, do's and don't's while being away, and basically how to do well in this program. 

Personally, I went through a few interviews before getting a spot in the ILC, so it was rather pleasant to see a few familiar faces and knowing we were all in this together.
Few members of each cohort, UChicago, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, Vanderbilt
Regardless of how early it was, everyone was actively participating in the new blogging experience. We started the morning off with some guidelines on blogging and proceeded to actually make some practice posts. I enjoyed it because I have a couple of blogs myself, nothing fancy but partial experience made things go by smoothly and more fun. Some practice posts were honestly funny to read, especially the jibberish ones. Then we got to the fun picture taking part, which Don also gave some useful tips on. 
Lynda took a picture of me taking a picture of the banner, not appreciated.
We also got a bunch of breaks in between, so the hours didn't feel as long. Eventually, Don started talking about what to pack and  told some interesting stories about past ILCers. There was a lot to follow along, but in the end it's all very useful and makes this process way less stressful. Don does so much to make this as inexpensive as possible and really assures is that he'll fix any problem that we tell him about. That's a big relief because in this situation we're no longer high schoolers and have to be far more responsible.

First Timer: MOD Shake and Mike

This past Monday, May 9, 2016, my cohort had the pleasure to meet our Chaperone Mike Myrga. We met up with him at 5 PM at Mod Pizza in the Pinole Valley Plaza. I had no idea what to expect, all I knew was that he was a teacher at De Anza High School. I was excited because the girls and I had a groupchat already so I looked forward to talking to them more in person.

When I arrived at Mod, I found that Diana and Shuxin were already there with Mike chatting it up. They caught me up on some things, mostly the traveling, which Mike is very experienced with. We decided we would wait a little longer before deciding what to order, and I got the pleasant surprise that, the ILC would be covering the expenses for our meet and greet dinner. Yet another thing to be grateful for in this program. We all got different pizzas and came to the conclusion that none of us were particularly picky eaters and would have a good time trying new foods in the east coast. Diana and I got Mod milkshakes for the first time and were really content. Except, all the cookie dough was at the bottom of mine. 

After about two hours, we all really got to know each other and got even more excited for the trip to come. I'm really happy with my cohort and can't wait to get even closer with them.

Getting to Know Don at Orientation Among the Many Dons

A while back I received an email from Don about attending a mandatory tutorial to learn about blogging and other information we would need to know for our programs. That tutorial was today. In his email, he mentioned he would close the doors on anyone who was late and they would lose their scholarship. Needless to say, I absolutely did not want to be late. I was so afraid I would be late that I woke up around 6:30 AM when it started at 8:00 AM (this is coming from somebody who usually wakes up ten minutes before she needs to arrive at school). Anyways, when the tutorial started, it was a lot of going over the necessary actions before and during the trip. 

My favorite part of the tutorial was when Don introduced the many Dons --Tickled Pink Don, Good Don, Evil Don, Frustrated Don, Shifty Don, Guantanamo Don, and Flamethrower Don. He told us about how he used to use those at the end of his emails to inform us of his mood, but how he doesn't use them anymore because of an angry parent. Honestly, I love the idea of him ending his emails with what type of Don he is because there are times that I'm not sure if he's happy with us or not. Overall, I got to listen to Don talk for four hours and got the impression that he's really chill if you do what he asks you to (Good Don), but if you don't then you'll meet Guantanamo Don. 

~Get Ready for the World of Blogging~

Today was the day for a whole new world, by new world I mean the world of blogging. This Saturday morning I found myself at De Anza High School at 8 AM with Don and the entire Ivy League Connection cohort in a computer lab ready to learn. Everyone seemed very tired, but our spirits were lifted once we saw the pack of cookies, Red Vines, and chips.  Good call Don.

Don taught us what we needed to know on how to blog and how to post for the Ivy League Connection blog. We learned the steps on how to work the blog site and, most importantly, how we were supposed to write the blogs -- which involved guidelines involving font size to inserting pictures. I did well on the regular blogging but when it came down to how to insert a picture, not as well. I am a little slower than most when it comes to computers, but thankfully there was trusty Don just along the room and helped me step-by-step through a 5 minute process which alone would have taken me 20 -- if I was lucky enough to even figure it out at all. I even learned a couple of neat tricks like PhotoShop for my future pictures on this blog, so stay tuned. 

Yet, this tutorial was not only about blogging. I learned more on the details of my upcoming trip. I learned to be prepared for anything. Don talked about what to bring the essential items which was very helpful and informative and also was very gracious in providing us a list of items he is willing to lend us for this trip. The trip to Cornell is less expensive because I am able to borrow certain items like bed sheets to a mini fan. He is even offering luggage which is a great help.  I most importantly was reminded of the rules to all ILCer's and that to always remember I need to conduct myself as an adult. There are no children in the Ivy League Connection. This session was informative on many things and answered any of my questions I previously had.

~Plus One at Cornell~

Mike Myrga
Our chaperone to Chicago and Ithaca
This past Monday I met the new addition to the Cornell cohort, our chaperone Mike. I was very nervous from the thought of who was going to be joining the cohort for the couple of weeks back East, the person looking over us in this unfamiliar place.Would he be nice? Is he going to be fun? Can we rely on him? I think all of these questions were going through our minds. The cohort got together at Mod's in Pinole ready to eat and of course do a little investigating on the new addition.

I walked in and was greeted very kindly by the new addition and was handed a paper with some ice breaker questions to get to know one another. I really liked the fact that he was trying to get to know who we are throughout the entire session and seemed happy to be there. 

I also was able to learn more about the cohort and chaperone of course. Thankfully everyone got along great as we talked about our interests and we all are very easy going.  Most importantly, though, we want to make the best of our time at Cornell. 

The meet and greet was a complete success -- the chaperone turned out to be nice and reliable and  I saw a fun and happy cohort. The meet and greet was a preview of what is to come at Cornell and I can't wait for the actual show!

Meeting the Traveler From De Anza

On May 9, 2016, the Cornell Cohort met up at Mod Pizza in Pinole for an informal meet and greet. I arrived first after the chaperone, Mike Myrga. Mike usually teaches environmental science and chemistry at De Anza to seniors, but on the side he’s a traveling extraordinaire. Within minutes of meeting him, I learned that he’s been to several countries and he loves strolling around college campuses which is how he first became interested in the Cornell chaperone position. He heard traveling to Cornell and found the position interesting enough to apply for. After a short ten-minute interview, he later received a call from Don, informing him of his acceptance to the position. He then went on to contact us, per Don’s instructions, for a meet and greet.

Throughout the dinner the entire cohort chatted over our interests, likes, dislikes, etc. and by the end I was already enamored with our cohort. We talked about our love for food, flying experiences, worries about going to the East Coast, and much more. Despite this being a small Ivy League Connection event, I already love it and am that much more excited to board the plane to Cornell.