On Friday, June 9th, we celebrated the 74 Fenway seniors who earned their diplomas at the graduation ceremony held at Emmanuel College.
Valedictorian Manuel Martinez, who is headed to Northeastern University this fall, spoke about his family’s path to the United States: his mother, who did not graduate from high school herself, worked multiple jobs to provide for Manuel and their family, but she always viewed America as her home and a place for her family’s new beginnings and opportunities. As he enters college, Manuel is committed to working on immigration issues; he quoted Elie Wiesel: “No human being is illegal.” He says he leaves Fenway with the understanding that the school “unconditionally supports the differences in our community.”
Valedictorian Manuel Martinez ’17
Salutatorian Herlene Preval, who will attend Smith College, talked about her transition from Haiti to Boston when she was in 5th grade. At the end of her first year in the US, she was told she needed to repeat the grade the following year, but she said it is something she would never take back because the road she took eventually led her to Fenway. She recalled the first “family photo” she took with her Fenway family at the fall Community Day as a freshman, and she noted that every struggle the Fenway community has undergone has “brought us closer together as a family”.
The 2017 Commencement Speaker was Laura Sen, CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club. Ms. Sen visited Fenway in the fall, where she met with a group of 12th grade young women and spoke about her career. In her commencement address, Ms. Sen talked about the transition from high school to college: for the first time in their lives, the seniors will soon be in a place where no one is going to tell them what to do and how to succeed; it will be up to them as individuals. Ms. Sen said: “If you remember nothing else, remember this: the choices you make from this day forward will determine the life you have.” She left students with three pieces of advice that have helped her achieve her own success: 1) Choose wisely how you will use your time; 2) Surround yourself with positive and supportive people; and 3) Know what you are going to do to achieve your goals.
Below is a list of schools that the Class of 2017 will be attending in the fall. We wish them all the best and congratulate them on an incredible four years at Fenway!
Atlanta Metropolitan College
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (2)
Berklee College of Music
Borough of Manhattan CC
Bridgewater State University (2)
Broward College (FL)
Bunker Hill Community College (3)
College of St. Joseph (VT)
College of the Holy Cross
Concordia University (Montreal)
Fitchburg State University
Framingham State University (4)
Lesley University (3)
Massachusetts Bay Community College
MA College of Art and Design
Mills College (CA)
Monroe College (NY)
Nichols College (2)
Pine Manor College (5)
Quincy College (8)
University of Massachusetts, Boston (8)
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (2)
University of Massachusetts, Lowell (2)
University of New Hampshire
Wentworth Institute of Technology (5)