Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Opening the Door to a New Beginning

Just  a year ago, participating in a program such as the Ivy League Connection seemed to be a dream that was out of reach; however here I was today, along with my cohort setting up the blog for our trip to Brown this summer. It was our first time getting together since the interview, and it was honestly quite a splendid way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I arrived at the location, the San Pablo Library at 11:45, ready to get to work. I stepped out of my car to see no one there.  Just as I was about to call Don, I thankfully saw Esmeralda come out of her car. I say thankfully because it was absolutely freezing, despite me layering up for the snow. The two of us walked into the next door ice cream shop to find Kelsey and Bianche. While waiting for the Don, we spent the time catching up on the past few weeks after the interview, which was really nice.

Once Don arrived, we got straight to work. We began by snapping casual head shot photos. There was still about an hour left until the library would open, so we sat in Don's car and received a crash course on blogging, going over everything from format to content. 

In the midst of all the sunshine and rain, Amelia arrived! That's when we began taking our group photos. We tried out a bunch of different poses, and struggled to keep our eyes open, but there weren't many options for the background.  A few of us had suggested going down the street to Contra Costa College, as we would have many more options for backgrounds there. The campus was empty, but it was really nice to walk around and enjoy the incredibly bipolar weather. 

We all managed to keep our eyes open!
We got some great shots, but we decided that it was time to head back and get started on the blog. As Don scanned our medical cards, we realized none of us had any major preferences on designing the blog. We kept everything relatively simple with the color scheme matching that of Brown's and we finished sooner than expected.

I've started to really enjoy spending time with my cohort and I know that this summer will be absolutely unforgettable. Just within a few hours we learned quite a lot about each other, and now I can rest assured knowing that I will have have amazing company with me at Brown in just a few months time.  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Four Seasons, Four Hours

Today was the first day we had all been in the same place, our location, the San Pablo Library. When I arrived Zunarah was standing out in the cold bundled up in many layers. Together we found two more of the girls, Kelsey and Bianche, sitting in Limon. We sat and talked about many different things yet the reoccurring topic was MESA day, as we waited for Don to arrive.

Throughout the short amount of time we were together, we saw all four seasons within 10 minutes of each other. Once we had taken a few pictures outside of the library we took a trip to Contra Costa College. When we arrived Kelsey and I realized that we had been at the college every day of that week and the trend would continue for another week. After the realization, we managed to take many photos but only about five pictures with our eyes open. Once we finished up we made our way back to the library. 
Our cohort consists of Zunarah, Amelia, Kelsey, myself, and Bianche. (Left to Right)

Upon entering the library, we found that the Wi-Fi connection was very slow, but as the story go slow and steady wins the race. As a team, we easily decided upon the design of our blog site. This allowed us to begin working on our profile which we found was a very slow process. 

Through this time together I concluded that this experience will be one of a kind. We all bring something to the table and complement each other and the events that will transpire will be one of a kind. This was the first step in our journey together.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

San Pablo Library Wi-Fi Should Not be Trusted

This is one of my heads shots that Don took.
Today, Bianche, Kelsey, Zunarah, Esmeralda and I all met at the San Pablo library to take some pictures and customize our blog page. The rest of my cohort arrived at 11:45 to get headshots taken, but since I had gotten mine taken the day before, I didn’t have to arrive until 12:30. The traffic was in my favor and I arrived early, at 12:20.

Once I arrived in the shopping center that the library was in, I looked around for familiar faces and after a brief moment of confusion, I realized that everyone was sitting in Don’s car. So I walked over, and after greeting everyone, I joined them in the car. We went over how Don would like the blogs to be formatted: Times font, normal font size, don’t mess with the colors, blank space between every paragraph, hit preview, etc. As soon as he was done explaining this information, it started to rain. Luckily, it quickly stopped, so we all piled out of the car to take some group pictures.

We tried multiple angles and backgrounds but, feeling like we had limited options, we decided to drive over to Contra Costa College and see what their backgrounds had to offer. From this short trip, we got quite a few nice photos with many different backgrounds. I also learned from Esmeralda and Kelsey which places on campus were overpriced to eat, and which were reasonable, which should be valuable information for the next time I visit CCC.
One of the rare occasions in which we all had our eyes open

Once we had taken a sufficient number of pictures, we drove back to the library and got started on customizing our blog page. It turns out that none of us had a huge preference of what our blog page looked like, and so it didn’t take very long to agree on the finished product. Finishing early was nice, because it gave us time to work on our profiles and get to know each other. For instance, it seems that I’m the only one out of my cohort that doesn’t like scary movies. However, we all agreed on how slow the Wi-Fi was, and shared our frustration about pages that weren't loading. While this was happening, Don was working on scanning Med Cards and perfecting the photos he had taken. Toward the end of our meeting, we all got to look at his computer and see which photos we liked the best. As we looked, we joked about the number of photos in which Kelsey had her eyes closed. Then it was time to go.
None of us were prepared for this photo to be taken.
Despite the Wi-Fi lagging and the unreliable weather, I had a wonderful time. I can’t wait to see how the next “milestone event” brings us even closer together. 

The Very Beginning


Today was very surreal, I came to the realization that I’ve actually been selected to participate in this year’s Women and Leadership program at Brown University. As a freshman I would only dream about this type of experience, but now here I am. I am so grateful to have been selected to a program that I am so passionate about since I aspire to be an advocate for women not only in my community, but all around the world as well.  

At 11:45 AM I met up with Don and my cohort, (Amelia, Esmeralda, Bianche, and Zunarah) at the San Pablo public library to set up our blogs, scan IDs, and take pictures. Even though the weather was crazy, with on and off raining and hailing. We still managed to get some very nice photos of us all together, even if our eyes were closed. However, the tutorial was very helpful, and I got clarity on how to direct the website.
My Cohort and I trying to keep our eyes open.
While Don was going over the rules and everything else we needed to know I was so impressed with how much work is put into the program. This seriously takes a lot of effort. The information provided to me today was extremely useful, not just for ILCers strictly, but also other experiences I may need it for.

Deciding what the theme, template, and colors of our blog was fairly easy since we aren’t that picky. Personally I think that our blog site looks super cute, and it’s going to be so fun documenting my experiences and growth.

I love my cohort, and I can’t wait to go to Brown with them. They are all such nice and inspiring people who I get along with so well. The whole day I was fantasizing about what this summer is going to be like, my dorm, the experience, even the plane ride!

Even though this is just the beginning of the amazing journey ahead of me, I am still so excited for the events that are going to take place this year. 

Almost Two Hours of Rain, But it Wasn't a Pain

I was the second person to arrive at the San Pablo library at 11:45 AM. It was an incredibly cold day and I was shivering, even when I wore four layers of clothes. Despite the weather, I bought an icy beverage and sat with Kelsey, waiting for the other cohort members to arrive. Everyone came around the time we agreed upon, except for Don. We waited for 20 minutes in an ice cream shop right next to the library and talked to one another as if we’ve been friends forever. 

When Don arrived, we went to work immediately. He took a couple of head shot pictures for every person, but agreed upon doing group pictures later since we needed to wait for Amelia. We all went to Don’s car to be spared from the freezing weather (and the rain that came with it), where he gave us an overview on how to create the blog site and profiles. When Amelia arrived, the rain had slowly cleared up and the sun came through. All five of us took several group photos around the library, before piling into Don’s car once again to get a couple of group photos at the Contra Costa College campus.
This is the best head shot I had without squinting my eyes.

Even though walking around the campus made me extremely cold, I don't regret touring the beautiful area. The college was a great choice, we were able to get very lovely pictures with the brick walls and the greenery around it. My personal favorite was when we all had the idea of taking a group picture leaning on the Contra Costa College sign.


The library opened when we left the college campus. We created a design for our blog site and had our med cards scanned. Working as a team went smoother and quicker than I expected. Each one of us had a lot of creative ideas, but we decided to keep the layout for our blog simple and organized. We decided to base our blog site's theme on the Brown University’s logo. After our meet up, I felt accomplished and ready for more work alongside my other cohort members. 
The Wi-Fi in the library was pretty slow and weather was unpleasant, but I still had an enjoyable time with my teammates.