Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Speeches, Recognition, and The Paparazzi: The School Board Meeting

We had another ILC event tonight, for me the third one in four days! We are really starting to kick in to gear for the summer, which is super exciting (even if a bit overwhelming all at once at the end of the school year). Luckily this is the last major ILC event for this week, only because I was going to start running out of fancy outfits! The last few days have been an excellent lesson in time management, and I think I am starting to get the hang this whole blogging process.

Carrying the Chicago banner back to our seats
The event tonight was the WCCUSD School Board meeting, where the ILCers as part of a district wide program came to be recognized and to say our thank you's to the board for their continuing support. We all owe the ILC so much, and the support of the school board is extremely important so that others will also get the chance at this amazing opportunity in the future.

This was an especially important school board meeting, since there were some hotly contested issues lined up to be addressed today, and the auditorium was packed! The event was also being broadcasted on television, which means that we had an enormous audience. The ILC was one of the first items on the agenda, which made it feel all the more special! There was even pizza (which I passed on, but Ryan and Mauricio bolted down) which makes any meeting more enjoyable.

Each cohort went up separately to be recognized, the chaperones introduced all of the students individually, and one student from each cohort gave a short speech. Ernestina did a great job representing our Chicago cohort with her speech and, while all of the student speeches were excellent, Camilla Morales of Brown University's Women and Leadership cohort gave a particularly remarkable speech about how meaningful this ILC trip would be for her and her fellow cohort members as women of color. It was also inspiring to hear a speech given by Arnold Dimas, a two time ILC participator and Gates Millennium Scholarship winner. He encouraged us all to "take this opportunity and run with it," and I intend to do exactly that!

The Chicago cohort
After our piece of the meeting was completed, we all went outside to pose for a group photo. It felt like being swarmed by the paparazzi with the many parents snapping pictures around Don, who took about a million pictures with his fancy camera and bright flash! Since I missed the original tutorial where all the students in the ILC got together, this was the first event where I got to see the program as a whole, rather than just my cohort. It was great to see some familiar faces, meet new people, and finally feel connected to the program as a whole!

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