Waipahu High School’s new Ivy League Club aims to help students develop competitive college applications for prestigious schools.
Over the course of three and a half years, members will experience a myriad of opportunities to nurture the skills needed to excel in college and beyond.
In the fall, members will research schools and invite speakers who have graduated from Ivy League schools to share their experiences.
Members will also develop their personal statements from early on.
As Early College program director Dr. Mark Silliman recalls from his work in the Career Center, “Most seniors wind up waiting until they’re a senior before they start crafting their personal statement. It’s too late, and it doesn’t really capture their motivation to go to that particular school. What they do is they do the same cookie- cutter personal statement for this school, they just changed the name of the school and they use the same personal statement.”
During the spring semester, members will all attend a one-credit college course, SD100, which was developed by the director of Early College, Dr. Garyn Tsuru. Its purpose is to help students improve their SAT and ACT scores.
Ivy League Club provides clear guidelines and support for its members to complete these steps of the college admissions process.
In order to be a member of the Ivy League Club, freshmen must have at least a 3.9 GPA during 8th grade. Eligible freshmen must maintain a 4.0 GPA to remain in the club. They must attend all of the fall seminars, and be involved in leadership and service.
The window for membership is limited. Freshmen can only join the first seminar during the fall Early College semester.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors cannot join because it is intended for students who will follow its 3 and a half year plan.
Freshman Mariah Iris Edu Ramo, co-founder and secretary of Ivy League club, says of the organization, “Since seventh grade, I have always dreamed of going to an Ivy League school, but didn’t know how to prepare, who to talk to, or where to turn for information and resources. But now we have a strategic plan that helps to provide guiding steps: The Ivy League Club.”
Silliman encourages students to take advantage of such opportunities.
“You shouldn’t stop and wait and think and do nothing while you’re thinking, ‘What is it that you want to do?’ and ‘What do you want to make of yourself in your life?’ You need to move forward even in uncertainty. Move forward, make progress, even in uncertainty. So as long as you’re moving forward, you’re gaining experiences,” Silliman said.