Wednesday, May 4, 2011

School Board Meeting: An Introduction

This evening, I, along with my fellow ILC cohorts, attended the WCCUSD School Board meeting at LoVonya Dejean Middle School in Richmond to be formally presented to the Board.

The visit to Richmond was a reminiscent one - I had lived in the city and attended school there at Grant Elementary until the third grade. I truly enjoyed the education I received there; at Grant, I had the opportunity to explore and engage in such a diverse area of subjects besides the usual English-Language Arts and Mathematics, such as music, singing, dancing, and performing arts. Only when I transferred to Elizabeth Stewart School in Pinole did I realize how fortunate I was to grow up at a school that so strongly supported student creativity.

When the meeting commenced, each individual group stood before the School Board as their chaperone introduced them and expressed their thanks and hopes for the trip. It was such an honor to watch as each bright, young individual rose up and stood before the Board, and as I did so, I truly was beholding the leaders of our future.
In addition to this year's ILC students being introduced to the School Board, a few students from last year's group who applied and were accepted to Ivy League schools were also presented at the meeting; the backbone of their great achievement, of course, being the ILC. Listening to the speeches from these students, such as Austin Long and Guadalupe Morales, was truly inspiring for me. The impossible dream of going to college at an Ivy League University suddenly seemed just an arm's reach away. I watched with awe as they spoke of their experiences and their inspiration to attend such prestigious schools, and I found myself thinking that one day, that would be me standing there before the School Board, telling them of my decision to attend an Ivy League college for the next four years of my life.

It never occurred to me that perhaps I could, with a bit of work and perspiration, study at such eminent colleges, but here was living proof right in front of me - proof that with the drive to succeed and determination, you really can reach your goals, and possibly even more than you ever believed possible.

On my way home after the meeting, I thought long and hard about the possibilities. They were endless.

The world, I realized, is so much bigger than Pinole, so much bigger than the Bay Area, so much bigger than California. Of course I always knew that there are so many more opportunities out there, such as Ivy League schools, but until tonight, I had never considered them at all, let alone that they are feasible. Any college or university that was out-of-state was always a no-go, but now, I think perhaps it has the possibility of simply becoming a "go".

1 comment:

  1. Julia,

    Every year these "prestigious" universities admit thousands of freshmen students to study in their hallowed halls. The question you need to ask yourself (and it seems that you already are) is why shouldn't you be one of them.

    What is it about everyone else that makes them "better" than you. Is it because they come from money or attend better schools? is it because they have the right connections? Or maybe because the color of their skin is different than yours.

    The answer to this, Julia, is that they're no better than you. Money doesn't make them batter and even a better school system doesn't make them smarter than you.

    No matter where you go there are going to be people who have more money or have been afforded a better education than you but that doesn't make them better than you. If you give it your all, you have a good chance of being noticed by those schools and you'll be opening those stacks of letters that begin with: Ms. Julia Chang, We are pleased to inform you that you have been admitted to..."

    My philosophy, Julia, is to go for broke. WHat's the worst they can do to you except tell you that they don't have room for you. I get that in most of the places I go but it doesn't stop me from trying to get in. Go for broke, Julia.