Author: Beatriz Salazar




Eury German


High School:

Lynn English High School


Year of LVS Graduation:



What college did you attend/currently attend?

Wesleyan University, Bachelor of Arts (2012-2016)

New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Master of Fine Arts (2016-2018)



What did you major in?

Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Dance

Master of Fine Arts Candidate in Dance


How/When did you decide on your major?

I knew I wanted to major in Biology before attending college because I’ve always been interested in the sciences. More specifically, I’ve always been interested in the human body which is why I was a Biology major with a Neuroscience concentration. I decided to major in Dance after my first year at Wesleyan when I had realized my passion for the art form.


Did you have any internships while in college? Where? What did you do?

I attended the dance equivalent of internships during my summers at Wesleyan. Thankfully, I attended these intensives through generous donations and scholarships. The summer after my sophomore year, I attended the American Dance Festival in North Carolina for six weeks. The summer after my junior year, I attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance for four weeks and the Strictly Seattle Dance Intensive for four weeks.


Finally, this past summer, after my first year of graduate school, I returned to the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance for ten weeks on full scholarship. These intensives were designed to mimic professional dance company environments in which we trained in various dance techniques for multiple hours everyday and had the opportunity of working and networking with established and emerging choreographers.


What do you plan to do after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to join a professional dance company and tour the world.



Where are you working now? 

I am currently an MFA candidate in the Department of Dance at NYU Tisch. I work part-time at the Joyce Theater in Chelsea, NYC and as a Graduate Assistant teaching Dance History at Tisch School of the Arts.



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

What I remember most from my time at La Vida Scholars was the comradery and friendships formed. La Vida Scholars is filled with intellectually curious and driven students that congregate to share their passion for knowledge and education. I felt simultaneously challenged and encouraged by my peers and my instructors. Additionally, some of my favorite moments include the various events held at La Vida for the purpose of community building and engagement.



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

A strong work ethic was the most important thing I learned at La Vida Scholars. I strengthened my ability to set and complete long-term and short-term goals. I also developed a strong sense of hard working accountability, autonomy, and reliability. With my peers – and through community engagement – I also developed a strong sense of leadership, volunteerism, and dedication.


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

Access, Opportunity, and Success.



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!

It’s been a bittersweet week for us. This Monday we met with our LVS 2017 senior class for the last time ever before graduation. We chose to make it an actual class – a COOKING class! It’s super important for our grads to know how to make some quick meals for those nights when the dining hall is closed and they’re starving after hours of homework.


Below are some pictures from our last supper!


Evelyn Deleon (aka Salt Bae) and Ruben Ruiz making some oven-baked chicken.


Jose Perez sneaking some cookie dough.


Group photo! Not all of our scholars could attend (some students had to get ready for Prom), but it was nice to have most of them together for a nice meal.


Ruben also made the pasta.

















Meagan is currently a junior at Lynn Vocational and Technical Institute and part of our LVS Class of 2018. She joined our program in September of 2015 and is currently part of SkillsUSA, a program for vocational schools around the country where she learns and develops skills needed for future careers. Throughout the year, they compete with other schools at a district, state, and national level as well as complete many hours of community service.


We caught up with her and asked a couple questions, take a look below!


Some colleges you’re hoping to apply to?

UMass Dartmouth, Clark University, and Bentley University! However, the last school we visited was Williams College and it’s now number one on my list. I love the sense of community that the school values. Even when we visited, students who weren’t from Admissions joined us for lunch and took an interest in our visit. The campus was also beautiful, set right in the middle of the Purple Valley.


What is your favorite cartoon?

Phineas and Ferb


What is you favorite La Vida moment so far?

When my class played Squirrel in a Tree!


What is your favorite movie?

Howl’s Moving Castle. My dad showed it tome when I was young and it’s always stuck with me. The plot and art are both unique and beautiful.


What are you most looking forward to senior year?

Being able to walk around and think about all the efforts that got me to that point.


Who is your hero?

My grandmother. She is woman who is not afraid to say what she thinks and always pushes me to do my best.


What celebrities would you have a dinner party with?

Rob Raco, Tom Payne, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

***Most of Meagan’s celebrities are from TWD***


Why do you wanna go to college?

I want to expand my knowledge, live  the college life that many seem to love, and get prepared for the career I choose.


What would you tell our future roommate?

I may or may not try to sneak in a dog.

Pictured below: Meagan’s dog (Madra) and cat (Panda)


Just a quick update on our Class Representatives’ latest accomplishment! Recently, they held a fundraiser at a local Chipotle, where they raised $894! Thank you to everyone who supported them. The funds raised will go towards planning a big end-of-year event for all current scholars sometime in June. Do you want to help plan the event? Meetings are held in the LVS office every Thursday at 4:30pm. We currently have two Class Representatives from each grade, but we’re always open to more input!

Friendly reminder that all future individual donations will be tripled by an anonymous donor. Now is the time to support La Vida Scholars. Click here to find out how.


Such an eventful month! Our program is soon beginning its most exciting phase: college decision month. We’ve received all the acceptances and most of the financial award letters – now only one question remains – where will you go? Don’t worry, that’s where La Vida helps you out. Over the next month, we will meet with each our senior families and discuss all the options available to them so they can make the best informed decision. And to our underclassmen, pay attention! This will be you in a year!




In December of 2016, our seniors collectively applied to 213 schools. After months of waiting, they’ve heard back and been accepted to 116 of those institutions. In March, we promised you a full list; here it is!


ACPHS Hamline University Stonehill College
Albertus Magnus College Hobart and William Smith Colleges Suffolk University
American University Hofstra University UC – Irvine
Bentley University Keene State College UMass – Amherst
Boston College LaSalle College UMass – Boston
Boston University Lesley University UMass – Dartmouth
BYU – Hawaii MassArt UMass – Lowell
BYU – Idaho MCPHS University of Connecticut
BYU – Provo Merrimack College University of Florida
Chapman University Miami University of Ohio University of Loyola – Chicago
Clark University New England College University of Maine
Denison University Northeastern University University of New England
Drexel University Providence College University of New Hampshire
Elms College Quinnipiac University University of Rhode Island
Emerson College Regis College University of Southern California
Emmanuel College RISD University of Utah
Endicott College Salem State University University of Vermont
Framingham State University Simmons College University of Virginia
Franklin Pierce College Skidmore College University of West Virginia
Gordon College SNHU Wheaton College
Hamilton College St. John’s University Wheelock College



Our 11th graders just got through their intensive 10-week Kaplan ACT course! The average score for the LVS 2018 class was a 22! The national average for the ACT is 21 – and 25% of the top ACT scores are scores of 24 or more, and area in which 5 of our students tested.


Juniors took the April ACT on Saturday, April 8, 2017.




The Math MCAS is coming! We’ve been preparing for the upcoming 10th grade exam for a couple weeks and feel confident that our scholars are ready to ace this test! Strong scores in the MCAS qualify students for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, which pays for tuition at state colleges and universities!

This week, we reached out to one of our first LVS classes in an effort to capture the experiences of scholars who have not just graduated from our program, but also from college! Nahiomy Alvarez was part of the LVS Class of 2012 and was a winner of the 2012 QuestBridge National College Match Program, which awarded her a full four-year scholarship to her match school, Williams College, in Williamstown, MA.



Nahiomy Alvarez


High School

Lynn Classical


Year of LVS Graduation




Williams College



Political Economy


Did you have any internships while in college?

My first internship in college was at a residential program for students with complex psychiatric, behavioral and/or developmental disorders at Hillcrest Education Center in Pittsfield, MA. Having the opportunity to work with children with tough upbringings was immensely meaningful and reinforced my belief in the importance of supporting vulnerable members of our communities.


What did you do after graduation?

Like many first-generation students I didn’t have a clear idea what I wanted to do after graduation – in part because the goal for years had been to get into college. Period. And so, for my first few years at Williams, I very intentionally considered all sorts of alternatives. Psychology? Hmm, I liked talking to and psychoanalyzing people. Law school? Why not, I liked arguing. A PhD? Sure, I loved school. A job in banking? Eh, could use the money.


Meanwhile, I was taking all these classes that inadvertently opened up my eyes to something I hadn’t really intentionally thought about all that much growing up. Even though I experienced it every day, I had never sat down to think and talk about America’s race and class issues. I suddenly had the privilege – the time and the resources – to sit down and learn about redlining, read The New Jim Crow, and write a capstone group thesis on mass incarceration and recidivism in the U.S. I thought, “Wow, I need to do something about this.” Eventually, my plan became to find a job where I could impact policy-making, find ways to bring more folks to the table, and infiltrate the boys club at the top – hence how I ended up looking for a job in D.C.


Where are you working now? What do you do?

After graduating last May (2016) I moved to D.C. for an Analyst position at a firm called Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS). HPS is a consulting firm founded on the idea that by providing a better understanding of issues we can influence and improve policy-making. My work consists of using a combination of analysis and communications to distill complex issues, explain these issues to target audiences, and persuade critical influencers. My day-to-day work involves working on all sorts of issues, including financial regulation, alternative energy, international development, early education, and tax policy.


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

Writing. La Vida is where I wrote and refined my first real essays – which is insane. Writing all those essays, learning new SAT words, reading, etc., all that helped me develop the writing skills that I constantly need in my job and needed in college.


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

Opportunity. Mentorship. Growth.


Anything you want to say to all the current La Vida Scholars?

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to make use of ALL opportunities in front of you. Don’t waste those! Commit yourself to beating your best SAT score and then beat it. Commit yourself to writing the best possible scholarship essay and then write it. Commit yourself to learning something new every day and then learn it. I remember how non-urgent it seemed at the time, and fortunately it worked out, but time is money.