This Friday, Boston Public high school seniors across the city will line up in their caps and gowns as part of the city’s annual graduation exercises. By day’s end these seniors will become high school graduates, marking an important milestone in their young lives.
Some will go onto college, some will enter the workforce, but all will share in the memories of high school, the friendships they made and the tremendous future that lies ahead.
While all graduating seniors should be applauded for their hard work and determination some deserve some deserve a little extra attention for their academic prowess and leadership within their schools.
Out of the 36 Valedictorians citywide, the small community of East Boston has produced four Valedictorians this year. These stellar students will all give the keynote speech at their respective graduations this Friday.
Boston International High School’s Ardit Briskaj of East Boston, Community Academy of Science and Health’s, Aleida Aldana of East Boston, East Boston High School’s
Ooviya Sathiyamoorthy of East Boston and Fenway High School’s Robert Arias Nivar of East Boston were all honored last week at the Boston Public School’s 20th annual Valedictorians Luncheon at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto, and BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang recognized the Eastie and other city Valedictorians for their incredible accomplishments during a ceremony emceed by WGBH television and radio host and commentator Callie Crossley.
“I’m proud of what the class of 2018 says about our city. The 36 scholars sitting before me paint a picture of Boston,” said Walsh. “Some of you were born in our hardworking neighborhoods. Some of your stories started on the other side of the world. No matter where your stories began, you all represent the incredible promise of this city.”
This year’s Valedictorians were born in ten different countries. Nearly half of the valedictorians are “home grown” BPS students, or have attended BPS schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Forty-two percent were born outside the U.S. Another 47 percent will be the first in their families to attend college.
“These students have all worked incredibly hard to get to where they are now, with such bright futures ahead of them,” said Superintendent Chang. “I’m more certain than ever that the young people of this city are not just the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of today.”
Ardit Briskaj emigrated with his family from Albania to Eastie in 2015. When he’s not doing school work, Ardit enjoys learning Romanian and reading facts about other countries. He plans to pursue a career in computer science because he believes that technology helps him better understand the world around him. Ardit is headed to UMass Lowell, where he will be the first person in his family to attend college.
Aleida Aldana is the child of El Salvadoran immigrants and has spent her entire academic career in the Boston Public Schools. In addition to her dedication to her studies, she is a committed member of the Build On service learning program, and the One Goal Program. Aleida is also the proud recipient of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. She will attend UMass Amherst this fall.
With a weighted GPA of 5.73, Ooviya Sathiyamoorthy still found time for extracurricular activities. She is president of the National Honor Society, an actress and artist with the Theater Society, a mathlete, and editor for the Art Room Poetry Journal. Ooviya will spend the summer working as a programmer for eResearch Technology in Charlestown before heading to Brown University in the fall.
Robert Arias Nivar is known as “the Professor” at Fenway High School, where he is a role model and leader. He is a former special education student who has an impeccable work ethic. Robert seeks challenges wherever he can find them – through the Debate League, through summer classes at Harvard, and through his many internships. Robert will continue challenging himself at the College of the Holy Cross.