East Boston resident Jacqueline DelMuto waited anxiously on March 29 for a very important email.
It was admissions notification day for many of the nation’s prestigious universities and DelMuto, like high school seniors nationwide, waited for their decision on her candidacy.
“The feeling in the school that day as everybody was waiting for the same notification – you could feel the tension,” said DelMuto, at the time a Boston Latin School (BLS) senior who was completing an excellent academic career at the nation’s oldest public school.
The good news arrived at 7 p.m. with DelMuto learning that she had been accepted for admission to Harvard University. More than 34,000 candidates applied to the nation’s most prestigious university this year.
“After I read it [her acceptance to Harvard], I came out of my room and I said, ‘I think I got in,’ and my parents and my sister [Kristin, a graduate of Salem State University] were all jumping up and down,” said DelMuto, who was accepted to other elite colleges as well. “The next day I received my accepted student’s packet in the mail and the actual Harvard acceptance letter.”
The daughter of Frank and Maria DelMuto, she was a highly motivated and gifted student at every stop along the way.
DelMuto attended St. Mary’s Star of the Sea School in East Boston from kindergarten through third grade. She moved on to Manassah E. Bradley Elementary School for the Advance Work Class (AWC), a program that provides an accelerated academic curriculum for students. She attended sixth grade at Umana Barnes School in the AWC program.
DelMuto took the entrance exam for Boston Latin School (BLS) and was admitted for seventh grade, beginning a six-year experience at the nation’s oldest public school that was founded in 1635, a year before Harvard was founded.
DelMuto continued the high level of academic achievement at Latin that she had demonstrated in her elementary school years. She graduated in the top 10 per cent of a class of 300 students, 25 of whom were granted admission to Harvard.
“There was a healthy competition among students at BLS that really helped me,” said DelMuto. “It just motivates you to do well and also to encourage your peers. It definitely was a competitive environment but it helps you along the way and prepares you for college.”
DelMuto praised the faculty at BLS for helping to maximize her educational experience.
“The teachers are really helpful to students and interested in being involved in the school community, not just teaching their everyday classes,” said DelMuto. “A lot of teachers are willing to help out students in their extracurricular activities and they enable to do the things we want to do beyond school.”
Befitting one of the most outstanding students in the class, DelMuto received a number of honors and awards at Latin. The vice president of the National Honor Society, she was the recipient of the Williams College Book Award, the Modern Prize for having the highest scholastic average in her homeroom, the Advanced Placement Scholar Award, and summa cum laude recognition for her performance on the National Latin Exam.
She also played girls varsity hockey at Latin, continuing her involvement in the sport from her early days in the East Boston Youth Hockey organization at Porazzo Rink.
“Karen Moore, Tom Tassinari, and my dad were instrumental in starting that program for the girls and that’s how I began playing hockey,” said DelMuto.
She earned a spot on the BLS varsity as a seventh grader and played six seasons for the Lady Wolfpack, elevating to the position of team captain in her senior year. DelMuto said her hockey coaches, Mary Bellaconis and Katherine Foley, were very encouraging to her while stressing the importance of academics.
“Playing varsity hockey had a positive impact on me,” said DelMuto. “I was happy to be a captain and in a position where I could inspire the younger teammates and make sure we all had positive attitudes and showed good sportsmanship.”
At Latin she founded a student club, Care for a Cure, whose mission was to get students involved and aware of cancer and other diseases and how to fundraise for cures.
“As a captain of the hockey team, the club hosted an event, “Pink in the Rink,” and raised funds for the American Cancer Society,” said DelMuto.
DelMuto will be a resident student at Harvard, joining incoming freshmen from all regions of the world. She’s already connected with her roommates who come from New York, New Jersey, and Texas.
“It’s pretty cool. I’m interested in living with people who are not exactly like me – different from me so I can learn from them. I’m just excited to meet new people and have that experience. One of my new classmates I’ve met is from Chicago and her roommate is from Israel, so it just shows you the kind of diversity that Harvard has and how students can benefit from that.”
DelMuto said though she’ll be living in Cambridge and walking through famous Harvard Yard, she’s happy that she won’t be that far from her home and close-knit family in East Boston.
“It’s reassuring to know that my family will be close by and they’ll be home if I ever need anything, but I think they really want me to get out of my own and have that experience,” said DelMuto.
At Harvard she intends to concentrate in Government or Economics.
“I’m interested in either doing public service or business one day,” said DelMuto. “I think I’ll definitely be continuing my studies in graduate school. Law school and business school are other options. And if I could go to Harvard Law School or Harvard Business School, that’s definitely something on the map for me in the future.”
Looking back at her days at Boston Latin, DelMuto understands that many underclassmen viewed her as a role model.
“I definitely like to be seen that way, someone whom can be looked up to and who instilled positive beliefs in others,” said DelMuto. “I want to make a difference in my community. I’ve had a lot of people who have really helped me get to where I am today. There are older peers that I looked up and I want to return the favor and be that kind of role to other kids.”
She’s grateful to her parents, Frank, an architect, and Maria, a physical therapist, for being great role models for her.
“My parents have been instrumental in my life and I’ve seen how they’ve given back to their community. My father was always involved in the activities that my sister and I participated in,” said DelMuto. “My mother was the parent who brings Gatorade or cookies to the game to help the team. I’m grateful to them and my sister for all their support.”
DelMuto is working this summer for the Boston Red Sox in the client services department. Later this month, she begins the next chapter in her life at Harvard.