East Boston High School senior Yesica Calderon received the surprise of her life Tuesday when she walked in to the school library.
Officials from Scholar Athletes, the nonprofit organization founded by Suffolk Construction in partnership with the Boston Public School to reduce the opportunity gap for urban high school students, had called her to the library to present her a full scholarship to Regis College in Weston, Mass.
Yesica and her proud family, including her mother, Lorena Rivera, were overwhelmed by the generosity.
“It was this warm feeling of happiness,” said Yesica in describing the joyful scene as she made her entrance. “I walk in to the library and it was good news, I’m sure, because everyone was here – all my teachers, my family, and my coach – I was so happy. I was surprised and as soon as it hit me, I started crying because it’s true. I couldn’t be any happier.”
Laura Bertonazzi, dean of undergraduate enrollment and retention at Regis, was there to congratulate Yesica and welcome her to the college.
“We are thrilled and proud to welcome Yesica to the Class of 2021 as a Boston Scholar Athlete and we look forward to her contributions to our community for the next four years.”
Yesica was born in El Salvador and is a “dreamer”, among those undocumented immigrants who arrive here as children and went to school here. Yesica earned this scholarship from Scholar Athletes for her excellence in the classroom and on the soccer field. She has attained a 4.8 grade point average in Advanced Placement and honors courses. She is a two-year captain of the girls soccer team.
Phil Brangiforte, principal at East Boston High School, described the scholarship as “a great opportunity for Yesica and her family. It’s a great opportunity for the school. She’s made the school proud. She’s made herself proud. She’s made the family proud. I’m glad that Regis College stepped up and was able to help her out. They did a great job.”