Boston Scholars give back to the community
By Danielle Masterson
Arianne Cordon rolled her eyes when Michael Maguire (CAS’93), her ancient Greek teacher at Boston Latin Academy, referred to his alma mater in class as the “world’s greatest university.”
But thanks to the same scholarship program that paid Maguire’s way through BU, Cordon (CAS’08) is getting a chance to see what made her former teacher so enthusiastic.
“I thought it was funny that he graduated years ago and he is still crazy about BU,” says Cordon. “He would wear these T-shirts with a Harvard logo that said, ‘Because not everybody can get into BU.’”
Cordon is one of 44 Boston public high school graduates to receive a full four-year scholarship to BU this year through the University’s Boston High School Scholars Program.
Established in 1973, the program has given out in excess of $100 million in scholarships so that more than 1,500 students could continue their education at Boston University.
Ruth Shane, the director of the BU/Boston Public Schools Collaborative Office, says the scholarship program was developed as a way to “provide full merit scholarships to top graduates of the Boston public school system.” Students are nominated by their guidance counselors before undergoing an interviewing and selection process at BU.
Cordon, who kept her options open by applying to eight colleges in addition to BU, isn’t sure yet what she’d like to major in, but she does have some plans.
“I’d like to do premed,” she says. “But I just don’t see myself majoring in science. I want to be a well-rounded person and major in something that really interests me.”
Shane says the scholarship program is designed to also give students a solid education they can use to give back to the city of Boston. Now in its 31st year, the program can boast of nearly 700 scholarship winners who continue to live and work in the city.
“After 30 years, we can really see how the scholarship has gone on to support what I call the human infrastructure and is reinvesting in the city,” says Shane.
A Boston Latin Academy graduate, Maguire returned to the school as a Latin and Greek teacher after earning his BU degree. Although accepted to an Ivy League school, he says, he couldn’t pass up the Boston Scholars opportunity at BU. The scholarship allowed him to attend the University without putting a financial burden on his parents, immigrants from Ireland, or himself.
“At the time, I understood [the financial impact of the scholarship], but it wasn’t until I was older and out of school that I really understood,” Maguire says. “Not having debt was amazing. I was able to buy a house on a first-year teacher’s salary.”
Maguire spreads the word to his students about the scholarship program whenever he can.
For Cordon, hearing so much about BU at Boston Latin Academy led her to strive for the scholarship. “Everyone tries to reach for it,” she says. “It has always been a goal of mine. I’m fortunate to have this opportunity.”