This is what we in the ILC refer to as The Dinner Season. This year we had six dinners where the ILC brings their 35 ILC students together with alums from the schools they'll be attending, the sponsors who finance the program, the school administrators who help facilitate the application process, the chaperones who represent the District and play the part of the doting surrogate parent to our cohorts while back East and the panelists who helped interview our applicants during the selection process.
We allow our cohorts to dress in their finest and host the events at some of the finest restaurants. Our goal here is to acclimate our students to a life other than the fast food joints and grunge clothes they may otherwise frequent.
After a two year hiatus, this year we will be sending three of our cohorts to the Physics Academy at the University of Pennsylvania. Brian Seegers and Julia Martien from El Cerrito High will join Alex Elms from Pinole Valley High as they show the rest of the world that the WCCUSD has the students to compete with the best.
While many of the 24 guests that joined us at La Scala's in San Francisco may have attended for the pomp and ceremony, and some for the speeches, and even more for the camaraderie with people of importance, some of us were there for the food.
With a choice of entrees that included sea bass and filet of beef, options were there for satisfying even the most selective of palettes. While the filet looked pretty good, I'm still sure that my choice of the sea bass was the right way to go. Then again, the individual apple pie topped with housemade vanilla gelato almost made me forget what the main courses were.
Aside from our invited alumni partners we also had former ILC alum Cristina Pelayo with us. Cristina is always a joy but the fact that she has now concluded her freshman year at UPenn gave our new cohorts to talk with someone who could tell them first hand what it's like to come from the WCCUSD and attend Penn.
Of special importance was the attendance and participation of former Philadelphia resident Tony Thurmond. Tony is a former Richmond City Council member and currently serves on the WCCUSD School Board. Without the support of Tony and his fellow Board members, the ILC would have a much more difficult time to provide services to the youth of out District.