Month: August 2017


Denis Garcia Reyes


High School

Lynn Classical


Year of LVS Graduation




Stonehill College



Psychology and Sociology; minor in Latin American Studies


How did you decide on a major?

I decided on the majors because I have always had a passion for working with people. I want my career to focus on positively impacting people and improving society. In my spring semester of freshman year I decided on adding sociology as a second major.


Did you have any internships while in college?

This summer I worked in the Career Development Center as the Academic Affairs Intern – I learned a lot about the academic division at Stonehill College. I was able to work on projects that would further improve office efficiency and was able to network with many people in the higher education industry.


Last year, I interned in the office of Admissions at Stonehill College. I served as the Multicultural Outreach Intern. I represented Stonehill at college fairs around the Greater Boston Area, created research proposals on how to better recruit students from underrepresented backgrounds, and coordinated and implemented the multicultural overnight visit for prospective students in April.


What do you plan to do after graduation?

I plan on going to graduate school to further my studies in higher education and student affairs, then hopefully working towards impacting people’s lives at an college or university.


What do you remember most from your time in La Vida Scholars?

I am very grateful for my time at La Vida Scholars. What I remember most is being excited to visit schools with all of my classmates as well as all the friendships that I made.


What are some things you learned at La Vida Scholars that prepared you for college life, finances, and academics?

Some things I learned at La Vida Scholars that really positively impacted my transition into college was about utilizing the resourceful offices on campus. Without that motivation to look for the resources needed to have an easier transition, I would have had a way harder time my freshman year.


What are three words that come to mind when you think of La Vida Scholars?

Family. Success. Gratitude.


Anything exciting happening soon?

Next spring, I plan on studying abroad in Mendoza, Argentina. I am very excited to explore a new country!

Our rising seniors sure had a busy summer! They did everything from SAT Prep to Youth Leadership to visiting their home countries – we’re so glad to have such proactive Scholars! Check out some photos from their adventures below!


Noonan Scholars (Learn More)

Seven students from our LVS 2018 class was part of an intensive summer academy held by Noonan Scholars in Boston, MA, where they strengthened their math and critical reading skills as well as got a head start on the college application process.


Yleana Leadership Academy (Learn More)

Three of our scholars went on to Yleana this summer – an intensive three-week SAT prep program in upstate NY! We hear some major leaps in scores were accomplished! Pictured below: Odilia Mendez (first on left) and friends.


Via Enlight Environmental Youth Leadership Program (Learn More)

Haytam Laroussi (front row, second from left) flew across the world to China for two-weeks to study environmental sustainability!


Engineering Summer Course

Bryan Palma-Flores (center, green hoodie) completed a three-week engineering course in New Hampshire. He even visited MIT in Boston, MA with his classmates!


Barnard College – Pre-College Summer Program

Eliana Lopez (top row, first from right) completed a rigorous summer semester at Barnard College in New York City, NY.



Olga Hernandez took a family trip to her family’s native Guatemala!

Hello everyone! This summer has been very busy – we’ve admitted our new LVS Class of 2020 (blog post about this coming soon!), hired new staff members, said goodbye to our intern, etc. However, despite being super booked this summer, there is one thing we’ve missed: our students!


We absolutely cannot wait for you to join us again in September. We have lots of fun activities planned, many new and interesting lessons to share with you, and, of course, plenty of fruit snacks.


So why is this a Throwback Thursday? We found pictures from our Salem Willows trip from back in June! See them below!
















by  Evan Aroko

Photo: Instagram – Forest Foundation Summer Interns (@ffsummerinterns)


Most people can agree that education is important for every man, woman and child on Earth. With it, people can work towards fulfilling their own life goals, desires and dreams. In my opinion, two of the most important aspects a person can receive during an educational journey are motivation and encouragement, whether it be from family, friends, literature, films, music, the list can go on. As a young adult, I have been extremely lucky enough to have grown up within various types of communities that constantly encourage and motivate, in regards to academic studies, personal hardships and just towards the ability to persevere in life.


Though, I have also found myself in communities that have dozens of low-income families, families who are unable to provide for and are unable to successfully nurture their own children’s academic lives. Within situations like these, children and teens can often lose hope, motivation and may not even receive enough or even meaningful encouragement. As a result, the full capabilities within these youth groups can be overlooked and sometimes even ignored.


Fortunately, there are dozen of existing and active organizations who see to it that kids obtain the guidance, resources and knowledge they need to gain a higher education.


La Vida Scholars is a non-profit organization that equips low-income, high-achieving Lynn, MA students with resources and preparation needed to enter great colleges. Though, the program and its staff go above and beyond, allowing their students to really feel apart of social, engaging and diverse communities. Through one on one mentoring and year round college prep classes, students grow both in their academic studies and their character persona for the better.


During my time with La-Vida, I have witnessed an impressive and sympathetic staff who dedicate loads of time to work with fun, bright, talented and intelligent scholars and, they truly enjoy doing so. La Vida staff members have built, and continue to build, strong relationships with scholars and their families. I’ve been fortunate enough to come across lots of scholars currently enrolled in the program and scholars who have graduated from the program and are happy and hardworking college students.


Saturday June 10th was the 2017 La-Vida Scholars Graduation, and all attendees had loads of fun and celebrated the achievements LS scholars had accomplished within their three year time with the program. It was also a time for reflection for both the scholars and the staff of LVS, for them to think about all the hard work completed from both groups.


One of the many highlights of this internship opportunity with La Vida was being a part of the program’s Fall recruitment process for their incoming student class. During this time, I was fortunate enough to read about and interview over sixty exceptional students who demonstrated what it means to be a hard worker, a leader and so much more. I was able to hear about and understand their own personal stories, which were both emotional and inspiring. At the end of our recruitment process, thirty high school students were chosen and welcomed into the La Vida program.


As my time as an intern at La Vida comes to a close, I am proud to say that I am much more appreciative of my academic life, family and friends. My confidence and optimism for my future life has greatly increased and I am more eager to pursue my dreams and goals.


Clearly lots of teens within Lynn are in good hands.


Evan Aroko (Centre College c/o 2020) was our 2017 Forest Foundation summer intern. We’ll miss him!