Friday, July 10, 2009

Game over.

The morning started off with heartfelt goodbyes and hugs. As for us, well, we dully walked to the cafeteria passing all the early departures and I could not help but feel sadden by this. These past three weeks have been a blessing. I am blessed to have such a wonderful opportunity to experience life in the Ivy League. It has changed different aspects of my life in various ways.

Before EVER coming to Brow, at all, I was naive to the world outside of the Bay Area. (Did you notice I said Bay Area, not California? Well it is the truth because most of the low-income community are located in the Bay.) Up until last summer, I was merely focused on getting accepted to UC Berkeley and completely closed off my options but then the Ivy League Connection came and reopened the gateway.

I was a timid and quiet girl who kept to myself. I would normally hate to step outside of my comfort zone for fear of the unknown. When I was offered the opportunity to attend Summer@Brown, I admit I was reluctant. I already had plans for the summer of 2008 and I was in no way prepared to go across the country. However, something inside of me was urging me to go and I guess that urge led me down the right path. I was never really challenged in school whatsoever, and that summer, I came to conclude that I have met my challenge, Brown.

I was aware that I was surrounded by people with wealth. However, when days dragged on, I figured that the best thing to do is put aside the differences in family income and instead focus on the assigned task. I have learned to associate with people from different cultures. People are human beings and that is a fact. We all think and feel emotions so one's background should not change the fact that we are more alike than we think.

This summer, I was lucky enough to go back to Brown. I had the choice to apply to other Ivy League schools but I chose Brown because I know for certain that it is capable of challenging me. Just like last summer, Brown challenged me to take on more leadership roles and responsibility. I have learned how to maintain my time and to set my priorities. Prioritizing. That is a skill that I have gained from this experience and it will surely help me a great deal in the future.

I have learned so much through this experience that I cannot imagine life without it. The memories that have been built here at Brown will forever remain.


Charles Tillman Ramsey said...

No, Meuy GAME ON!!! Of all our students that have been in the Ivy League Connection I have watched your growth and development. I have always seen a blossoming flower in you and finally I can say that I have seen it.

You are open, warm, appreciative and sincere in your final post to us. I never will forgot how our journey started last year in San Francisco that lead us to Charlotte North Carolina where you showed me that Airports have wireless and then to Providence where all five of us and Mr. Miranda had dinner before the start of the Women's Leadership lab. We all have come a long way and you have gotten stronger in sharing your views and ideas.

Now you have a chance to shine and I hope that you will work with Ms. Kim and find the school that is the right "fit" for you. It does not have to be UC Berkeley, but it can. The one thing that I know is now whatever school you select it will be a well thought out and reasoned decision.

Yes, it is scary to go outside your comfort zone, but now you know that it is not so bad and you will have a chance to do it. All of you will have to grow up and move on and hopefully being part of the ILC gave you a snapshot of what the world will look like in one year.

High School is almost over and with that comes the reality that you will be on your own and that you will have to take measured steps to make the transition. I know that you are capable and can do it. So thanks Meuy for being the one that I believe got the most of out this program and in the end has become very happy, but more importantly more trusting of people who genuinely have your best interest at heart.

We will miss you in the ILC.

Take care.

Charles T. Ramsey, Esq.
School Board Member
West Contra Costa
Unified School District

P.S You gave a great speech at the Brown Brunch.

Madeline Kronenberg said...


What a thoughtful last post.

Thank you for being open and candid. Your self-reflection shows us, as Mr. Ramsey said, how far you have come during your time with the ILC.

We are all delighted to have had you be a part of the program and I know that you are now prepared to find the best match for you in a college -- wherever that might be.

I am glad you learned that we are more alike than we think. That's a big lesson -- and one that will be important for you for your whole future.

This is a big year coming up -- so be ready to prioritize -- and I am excited to learn where you choose to apply and where you will finally attend.

Happy travels home.

Don Gosney said...


Your comments about how ‘most of the low-income community are located in the Bay’ could start a mini war. I couldn’t agree more that we have plenty of low income communities right here in the Bay Area and certainly in our own back yard but you just have to drive around to any big city in California and you’ll find much more of the same. We don’t have the monopoly on being poor and underserved. Because it’s right in our face, we just notice it more.

No matter where you go in life, Meuy, you’re going to be around some people who have more and some people who have less. It’s what you do with what you have that defines you, though. There are plenty of snooty poor people and plenty of good and decent people of means. Having money or not having money isn’t a litmus test for good and decency.

At the end of the day, I think you’ll find that we’re all just people—no better and no worse than each other unless we make ourselves that way. From your writings you saw that on your own.

From experience, though, I can assure you that having a few coins in your pocket makes things a lot easier than being flat busted broke all the time.

As you’ve grown as a person, Meuy, you’ve made sure your head is screwed on straight and you’re seeing things through a focused set of eyes. Both will serve you well in the upcoming years.