Ever since I was admitted into the Vanderbilt Program through the ILC, I have heard Don talk about this "amazing" dinner that was to be held near the end of the school year. One week after the event, which was held Monday May 9th, I aware of why Don called it so amazing.
The day of the event was like any other day- well, minus the event. I went to school like usual and got out of school at 3:30 PM. I walked home and changed into the clothes purchased the day before and took off to the El Cerrito Plaza Bart Station with my chaperon, Angelica Arriaga, and former ILC member, Arnold Dimas. I remember telling Angie and Arnold that I felt nervous and sick to my stomach. This feeling was not new to me at all. I remember feeling this way the day of the Vanderbilt interview. But just like the interview, all went well.
We arrived the Bart station approximately 10 minutes before the desired departure time, which was 5:10 PM, and met with the rest of the cohort, their parents, Don Gosney, Madeline Kronenberg, and my cohort's chaperon for the summer program, Ms. Thomas. Don quickly explained how we would reach the location and what we should expect at the dinner. He then gave each person a Clipper card and we them boarded the train towards San Francisco.
On our way to the dinner, we were encouraged to speak to any of the adults that accompanied us. I sat down with Arnold and he told me what I should expect at Vanderbilt this summer. He also spoke of his two-year experience within the Ivy League Connection. All was wonderful until I heard Don firmly say "This is our stop." We all quickly rose from our seats in a synchronized manner and walked out of the train like robots following Don's voice and footsteps.
We finally got out of the Embarcadero station and walked two blocks to the luxurious Town Hall restaurant.
|"Best seat in the house"|
|Introducing myself to the attendees|
As we waited to be seated we spoke with the Alums and sponsors. Angie, Arnold and I spoke to Alex Sweet, whom attended the prestigious Vanderbilt University. He cracked a joke or two and we all laughed. He was very sociable and admirable.
Don soon sent us to our assigned seats and we began to introduce ourselves. We were at a long table with approximately 16 people. It took a while before Don was able to speak again and introduce the speakers for the event. We first heard from Jahnvi Doshi, fellow cohort member, and after heard from Arnold. They both spoke in regards to how the Ivy League connection has opened new opportunities for them. Listening to Jahnvi talk about her school's Robotics team, and Arnold speak of his journey through the two years of being in the program, it was challenging to maintain a stern complexion.
Shortly after the presentations, I heard a clatter of plates and glass and I soon saw the workers set food down on the table. We all quickly began to feast in a sophisticated manner while engaging in conversation.
I spoke with David Sanchez, alum from Vanderbilt, and he spoke of the amazing job he holds in promoting start-up businesses in Google. I was very impressed and very astonished with all that he was able to accomplish after graduating from Vanderbilt. I also spoke with another alum, her name was Casey Word. She talked about her career and how often she gets to travel. I hope to be able to have that opportunity once I start my career. Through the lengthy conversation I held with David and Casey, I realized how achievable my dreams are if I keep in maintaining this great path I have paved for myself with the aid of so many wonderful people. This was when I realized why Don had called the Dinner so amazing, not just because of the food, it was mostly because of the many connections made with alums from the University in which I will be visiting this summer. I cannot stress how thrilled I am to continue my journey from the other side of the country!
|Wonderful Cohort members and Alums|