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Boston’s 2013 valedictorians

Forty-four different paths, many that began in distant lands, have brought them together. Through hard work and caring parents and teachers, they’ve conquered challenges. Now, they’ve made it to the top of their class. Here is a look at Boston’s 2013 valedictorians.

Compiled by Lauren Dezenski

Saiful Mahmood

  • Another course to college

  • Born in: bangladesh

  • After Graduation: Boston college


Pierre Claude Providence

  • boston adult technical academy

  • Born in: haiti

  • After Graduation: bunker hill community college

  • “I’d like to become a police officer because I like to protect people. I like solving problems.”

Ana Lemus

  • Boston Arts Academy

  • Born in: el salvador

  • After Graduation: santa clara university

  • “I’m very fortunate. Every morning I wake up and think about how lucky I am.”

Alan Yazbeck

  • Boston Community Leadership Academy

  • Born in: lebanon

  • After Graduation: boston university

  • “I want to become a doctor because everyone in my family is an engineer and being a doctor is a huge honor in my home country.”

Shabrinna McCalpine

  • Boston Day & Evening academy

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: Mount Ida College

  • “Without going to school and doing well in school, you really can’t achieve much.”

Leslie Torres Ulloa

  • Boston Green Academy

  • Born in: Dominican republic

  • After Graduation: University of Massachusetts boston

  • “It took a lot of sleepless nights, but it’s all worth it.”

Julian Bastidas

  • Boston International high school

  • Born in: Colombia

  • After Graduation: Boston college

  • “My sister Nancy ... always encouraged me to do my best and always told me education is the most important thing.”

Edwin Soto

  • Boston International high school

  • Born in: dominican republic

  • After Graduation: bridgewater state university

Son Huynh

  • Boston Latin Academy

  • Born in: Vietnam

  • After Graduation: Boston university

  • “I want to be able to cure diseases when I finish school. Probably cancer. I just don’t know which cancer yet.”

Quynh Nhu Le

  • Boston latin school

  • Born in: Vietnam

  • After Graduation: Harvard University

  • “I want to do something that is helpful to not only myself but also to America.”

Blanca Lopez

  • Brighton High School

  • Born in: El Salvador

  • After Graduation: Bryn Mawr College

Elisa Dosouto

  • Jeremiah E. Burke High School

  • Born in: Cape Verde

  • After Graduation: Undecided

Phu Nguyen

  • Charlestown High School

  • Born in: Vietnam

  • After Graduation: Boston College

  • “When I set a goal, I accomplish it.”

Felida Milhomme

  • Community Academy of Science and Health

  • Born in: Haiti

  • After Graduation: Boston College

  • “I want to make something out of myself. ... I want to take advantage of all the different opportunities in the US.”

Leesandra Cuevas

  • Community Academy

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: University of Massachusetts Boston

  • “I didn’t see myself graduating, much less becoming valedictorian.”

Davina Tran

  • Dorchester Academy

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: Union College

  • “It’s not about being the smartest or best. If you put in your best effort, someone will recognize you for your hard work.”

Lamiae Hassairi

  • East Boston High School

  • Born in: Morocco

  • After Graduation: boston university

  • “Do what you want to do. ... In the end, you’ll be much happier.”

Brankely Garcia

  • The English High School

  • Born in: Dominican republic

  • After Graduation: stonehill college

Yen Nhi Tran

  • Excel High School

  • Born in: Vietnam

  • After Graduation: Simmons college

Vania Pereira

  • Fenway High School

  • Born in: Cape Verde

  • After Graduation: Providence College

  • “I have a passion for school. … I’m motivated to making a difference. ”

Donna Walker

  • Greater Egleston High School

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: Rhode Island College

  • “At the end of the day … we have to take it seriously and do the best that we can do.”

Li Huong Tu

  • Horace Mann School for the deaf and hard of hearing

  • Born in: usa

  • After Graduation: Gallaudet university

  • “I want to be a teacher. ... I love being around kids.”

Kestine Okoro

  • Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers

  • Born in: Nigeria

  • After Graduation: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

  • “Don’t get distracted. Always stay focused when it matters most.”

Haja-Khadijatu Savage

  • Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

  • “You have to work hard … but you’re human, you have to have fun sometimes.”

Jacob Mastrogiacomo

  • Mary Lyon Pilot High School

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: Westfield State University

  • “Keep working hard. Everything will pay off.”

Quanashia Scott

  • William mckinley preparatory high school

  • Born in: usa

  • After Graduation: hospitality training

  • “Things aren’t going to be handed to you, you have to go out there and get them.”

Charles Frasier

  • William mckinley south end academy

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: Plumber and gasfitters school

  • “No matter where you come from…you can go through a pretty rough time but still come out on top.”

Ted White

  • New Mission high school

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: Harvard university

  • “All my hard work over the past four years has made a dream come true.”

Arlette Reyes

  • John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science

  • Born in: Dominican Republic

  • After Graduation: MIT

  • “Science is our path to the future. It’s the only way to really improve society, in my eyes.”

Aaron Young

  • Quincy Upper School

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: University of New Hampshire

  • “My mother has always been an inspiration and motivated me to ... be the best that I could be.”

William Phung

  • Muriel S. Snowden International School

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: Boston University

  • “I didn’t just want the good grades. I wanted to become a distinguished individual in my school community.”

Kamil Moroz

  • TechBoston academy

  • Born in: usa

  • After Graduation: Brandeis university

  • “I’m not an overachiever ... I just did the work and got good grades.”

Nakia Ellies

  • Urban Science Academy

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: boston university

  • “I’ve just been doing what I have to do and this is just a reward.”

Marissa Serrette

  • WEst Roxbury Academy

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: University of Massachusetts Boston

Aaliyah Mendes

  • ABCD University High School

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: Bunker Hill Community College

Sydea Hamlin

  • EDCO Youth Alternative

  • Born in: usa

  • After Graduation: Massachusetts Bay Community College

Devin Brock

  • William J. Ostiguy High School

  • Born in: usa

  • After Graduation: Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology

Markiesha Duverneau

  • Academy of the pacific rim CHarter Public School

  • Born in: usa

  • After Graduation: clark university

  • “Without the people around me, I wouldn’t get to where I was.”

William Amara

  • Boston Preparatory Charter Public school

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: Brandeis University

  • “I try to work to my absolute capabilities. I’m not afraid to work as hard as I can to get what I want.”

Kelly Ijang

  • City on a hill Charter Public School

  • Born in: Cameroon

  • After Graduation: Union COllege

  • “It starts with you giving back, and that’s what I hope to do for my country.”

John Choukas

  • Boston Collegiate Charter School

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: University of Massachusetts Lowell

  • “You just know the teachers are behind you and ... that helped me bring up my grades.”

Lauren Wyse

  • Boston Collegiate charter school

  • Born in: usa

  • After Graduation: providence college

  • “Most of the women in my family are teachers so I’m following in their footsteps.”

Yandiris Baez

  • Match Charter Public high school

  • Born in: USA

  • After Graduation: NOrtheastern University

  • “There are moments when you want to give up but ... it’s all worth it at the end.”

Janaysia Fields

  • Madison Park Technical vocational high School

  • Born in: usa

  • After Graduation: university of massachusetts boston

  • “As long as you stay on track, you can get through it. ”

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