Through WCCUSD’s Ivy League Connection program, Hercules High School Students Justine Betschart, Stacy Chan, Ramiah Davis-Shephard, Louisa Man, Julia Maniquiz, and Yueming Wang will be attending Cornell University to either study Freedom and Justice or Hotel Operations Management during the summer of 2009.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ithaca's "July 4th"

During class today, I have learned more about the lodging industry, as well as more of Excel. After class, I have met up with Ms. Abby Eller, the Director of Summer College. She casually have asked me questions about my stay, dorm life, class, and more. Ms. Eller is such a friendly person to communicate to, which have made my job that much easier.

Speaking of dorm life, I have not yet formally introduce my roommate, Remi Ojurongbe, whose parents are originally from Nigeria. Residing in Landover Hills, Maryland, she has been attending Elizabeth Seton private high school since a freshman. A book, music, and dance devotee, she is always caught sneaking a book before lights are dimmed at nighttime. Right now, she is currently under the direction of Mr. Gilovich, who instructs the Psychology course here. During this second week, she has been studying social psychology and going in-depth with evolution and how society influences people's behaviors and personalities. 

So how did she learn about the Summer College program? While she was investigating a series of colleges, she came across the Cornell University brochure, featuring the psychology enrichment studies. As a budding lawyer, she believes that having a strong framework of the human mind will help her succeed when she goes on her career path. 

Remi has always been immediately drawn to Cornell for the campus itself and the "home sweet home" feel to it. She is blown away with the high level of top-notch academic professors who teach at this university, including the one teaching her, who co-wrote the psychology book she is using in the classroom. With plans to apply to this school, she is excited to give Cornell a new moniker because this school might just be her alma mater one day.

I want to take time to thank the founders of the ILC, the sponsors, the district and the school staff, and others who are marking this milestone with me. Being selected, I now have a better understanding of what diversity means. Summer College has allowed me to become more open-minded, whether it is exploring new classes, meeting new friends, or being on my own as an independent individual, away from my comfort zone. 

I strongly encourage WCCUSD and others to make note of this program because the lifelong people and academic skills one gain is truly worthwhile. I have always credit the program for contributing one positive aspect--opening up more opportunities in life, in academics, that is. 

Tomorrow marks the last school day of the second week. Summer College is wrapping up. It's bittersweet because I have made myself very comfortable in this setting. However, I am more excited to share my experience with other potential scholars or students who plan to apply to the ILC. 

Also, today is Ithaca's "July 4th." Even though the fireworks have been far away, I am glad that I have the chance to celebrate a special holiday in a new and unfamiliar town.


  1. Stacy,

    Don't get too comfortable there at Cornell. I spoke with your folks and they tell me they've been saving up some housework to welcome you home.

    Your roomie sounds like a very interesting person to spend time with.

    Make sure you tell us in great detail about your 4th away from home.

  2. Your time in Ithaca has been life changing. This is good. I am happy that you are finding yourself and learning more about being in a diverse environment. When you return to Hercules you will be a completely different person. This was our hope when all of you decided to venture to the East Coast.

    Now is your chance to continue your exploration and see if Cornell is an academic institution that would fit within your ideas about what you want out of a University.

    I do encourage you to visit an informational session and do a campus tour, it will give you even more information about what Cornell has to offer.

    Also when you speak to your family back home, what are there thoughts and impressions. Have you been able to give them some feedback on what it is like to learn at a highly selective college? What have they learned with you being away?

    Do you also plan to stay in contact with your roommate from Maryland? Do you both share the same interest in doing a study abroad program?

    Finally, what do you expect when you return to Hercules for the remainder of the summer? Has your horizons broadened? Do you see your senior year in a different way?

    Let me know and did any of the information that I provided in my emails make any difference? If was useful I want to know, if it were not, then let me know as well.

    It is important for us to become a stronger program and that can only happen with your insight and comments.

    Take care.

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